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Life Can Be So Serious

The other day, we published a blog post entitled, The Cookie Contest & An Unexpected Writing Exercise that talked about how a few months back, I had entered a cookie naming contest with a New York City bakery. I wrote that piece when I found out that my name for the Coffee Crumb Cookie was a finalist. The name? Crumbdiddlyumptious.

When it was time to vote, I texted and messaged and told all my friends. Over and over again I was met with one of the following reactions: this is so weird and so random. It’s hilarious and cool and adorable. This is delightful!

But the best response came from a friend who immediately, completely, and wholly bought into the cookie contest, telling their family and friends and eagerly awaiting the news with each passing day. As we texted back and forth about how wacky the whole thing was (and how that was a big reason I was temporarily obsessed with it), they wrote me that that’s precisely why they loved it too. They texted: Life can be so serious.

I wrote it on my white board. The conversation continued, ping ponging different topics back and forth until one of us had to go. But before then, they left me with one more gem: Life can be grim. We need “comic relief.” And you found some. This is so deliciously wacky and insane in the best of ways.

They’re right. Life can be so serious. So what’s wrong with finding a little deliciously wacky joy in the midst of heartache or struggle?

After Crumbdiddlyumptious took home the prize, I joked to my friends that I’d be chasing this high the rest of my life and (more than) one friend told me this belonged on my resume. A day or so later, I visited the colorful, vibrant store to pick up my gift card prize, suddenly sheepish as I told the employee that “Uhm, hi, I named the cookie… I was told to come here… I can show you the email…”

I felt a little funny walking into the store and wondered if 1. the employee would know what I was talking about and 2. if it would suddenly seem very silly in the grand scheme of things. Well, the thing is, it is incredibly silly in the grand scheme of things. And that’s why we need it. That’s why it matters. Thankfully, the person behind the counter was an absolute gem. Oh my gosh! She called out to her colleague in the back room, She named the cookie! I feel like I’m meeting a celebrity!

In moments of silly, you almost have to jump in head first. And why not, anyway? I woke up that morning and read the New York Times, as I do each morning and was struck by the seriousness of the world—environmental disasters, war, human rights violations. I went through my day laser focused on my work and then I went and asked for a box of Crumbdiddlyumptious to bring home for my roommate and his friends. (Funnily enough, while the store has vegan cookies, the one I named is not!)

Having fun and being silly doesn’t mean that the bad stuff doesn’t exist. It doesn’t mean you’re trying to distract yourself from reality or live in the clouds. But it does mean that you know that sometimes the best thing you can do for yourself in a tired moment is something that invites levity and joy. This deliciously wacky opportunity gave me that. And now I hope to be able to share that with the wider Smile Project community. (More details on that to come.)

For now, for today, we invite you to do something deliciously wacky. To lean into laughter and silliness. To invite joy into your day in an unexpected way.

After all, life can be so serious.


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