Maintain Your Sanity: Have a Cookie

Life is a constant juggling act for the struggling artist. You have to earn money to put food in your belly, you have to maintain some sort of social life in order to stay sane, and, of course, you have to find time for your art. There is only one constant: something has to give. For me, the easiest ambition to give up on has been my ambition to stay fit. I work in the middle of a square full of fast-food options, many of which offer some variation of my favorite baked-good of choice, the chocolate chip cookie. If my stomach rumbles, there's virtually nothing standing in my way of sating that hunger. What's hard is not beating myself up about having had the cookie, once I've had it.

Listen: as a copywriter for Pepperidge Farm once wrote, "If you want a cookie, have a cookie!" That's the real secret to maintaining your sanity when the game of Life seems unwinnable. If you've decided to give up on staying in shape, then give up on staying in shape. If a washboard stomach is what you've opted to sacrifice in order to maintain the careful balance necessary to maneuver your way through the cluttered China shop of your life, then don't beat yourself up about it. You're doing what you can do, and that''s all there is to it.

When life calms down and you've finally got time to work on turning that spare tire into a six-pack, that's when you get on yourself for eating a cookie. But not until then.