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Local Columnists

WRITE TEAM: Eat the damn cake

How many times have we heard someone say, “Oh, I can’t eat that/go there/do that because I have to fit into a dress/it’s too far/I don’t know how?”

When we’re following the rules and doing what we’re supposed to do, it brings order to our lives. Being sensible and practical are admirable qualities that show responsibility and maturity.

At the same time, the very order we crave can leave us stifled and bored. Not only do we worry too much about what other people think or what they expect us to do, but we are afraid to mix things up. There are too many calories/it’s too far away/what if I mess up and look foolish.

Stop fussing and fretting. It’s OK to shake things up a little. So here’s a shocking sentence.

Eat the damn cake.

Not the whole thing at once; we do need to show some restraint. But have a piece. Put a slice on a pretty plate, use a silver fork and enjoy the fluffy frosting and the taste of a perfectly lovely dessert.

Have a big cup of coffee, too. In the good mug. And don’t feel guilty.

We can’t always wait for things to get better or what we perceive will be the right time. Life isn’t about waiting, life is about living with what today brings.

This might be as good as it’s going to get. Today can be the right time because we choose to make it be the right time. Life is too short to count every calorie/fuss over every detail/be afraid to make a mistake.

Make a different kind of choice, one that fits you and makes you smile. Don’t worry about what anyone else thinks because taking care of ourselves and enjoying life also falls into the responsible category.

It doesn’t have to be a monumental decision. Just do something a little out of the ordinary. And smile about it.

Take the expensive towels out of the linen closet and put them in the bathroom. Buy a different shade of lipstick. Get the seasonal coffee creamer. Try a new recipe or restaurant.

Stay up half an hour later and watch the funny rerun. Go to the exercise class. Sign up for drawing lessons. Take an evening walk and turn right at the corner instead of left.

Play basketball with your grandkids. Turn up the music and sing loudly while you clean house. Move the furniture around. Wear your new shoes.

We should not abandon all common sense and practicality. Being responsible and safe with our time, money and assets is absolutely essential.

But so is taking care of yourself. It’s perfectly fine to have a moment now and then, and you don’t have to explain it to anyone. Recognize that those small moments will become the key to a glorious day. Don’t let them slip away.

Life can change in a heartbeat. So instead of saving our fancy dishes for a special occasion, use them for dinner tonight. Today can be a special enough day if we simply decide that it is.

Eat the damn cake.

KAREN ROTH, of Ottawa, is a semi-retired, original member of the Write Team. She can be reached at

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