My passion for Girl Scout Thin Mint cookies came up in a conversation today about rationing vs. relishing, and I'm finding my musings disturbingly applicable to life beyond cookie love. The past few years, I've made the hard decision every year NOT to buy Thin Mints from the Girl Scouts that camp out in front of every grocery store. The reason is simple, but sad: The intense pressure of having Thin Mints available only once a year, makes the brief presence of them in my life a real two-choice dillema between sticking them in the freezer and carefully rationing them out to last as long as possible, or, just diving in and enjoying their minty crunchiness while it lasts, not thinking of each cookie as one less cookie for the rest of the year, but just being grateful for the cookie that is. This inner battle has grown so frustrating, that I've landed on not buying them at all, so I don't have to deal with the gain/loss battle of loving Thin Mints.
Well, as any of you intelligent observers of human behavior might have done, Cabe relfected my words back to me in this way:
"That's really sad: So basically, the thing you love the most, you don't let yourself have."
(His approximate words- he can correct me if he remembers them better)
But oh how true and sad indeed. Isn't that the struggle with loving anything/wanting anything/
hoping/risking anything? If you go ahead and buy the Thin Mints and eat and enjoy them, you will have to face the fact that they will eventually run out. Not buying the cookies saves you from having to do the countdown to no-cookies, but really, you jumped right to the no-cookie part, and never got the some-cookies and lots-of-cookies part of the story.
I'm not saying that risk is exactly like Thin Mints, because the Thin Mints will definatley run out, and what you're risking for is not a definate loss situation. But the risk usually feels that way. It's easier just to say no to the thing you want the most, so you don't have to face losing it. And because of that, you never ever get the thing you so crave.
Can we learn to be strong enough to enjoy the Girl Scout cookies while they're here, remembering even that a whole year may not be that long to wait for them to come again? Can we enjoy each cookie, and not just taste it as a precursor to loss? Can we go ahead and love with relish and delight, even knowing we might be alone in doing it?