Rebel with a Cause

Deer Raymond,

Since we had leftovers from Thanksgiving and I had the day off, I had so many things I planned to get done today. Now it’s afternoon and I haven’t done any of them, and I just discovered my family ate 3/4 of the leftovers and I have to cook dinner. How do I handle this and not yell at my family?


Really Mad Mom.

Dear Maddy,

Last night we ran out of pumpkin pie and we still had a ton of whipped cream left over. This morning, I just opened up the container and started eating it. All by itself. Then, my human walks in and she’s like “Raymond! What the heck are you doing?” I’ve got a mouth full of whipped cream. What does she think I’m doing??? At first I felt bad, then I realized there’s no law about whipped cream. In fact, I could sit down and eat a bowl of it for dinner and no one would stop me. It’s not a house rule. It’s not ANYONE’S rule. So I didn’t need to feel bad. I tossed my human a spoon, and she had some too. We didn’t even get arrested.

You see, sometimes we make rules for ourselves. We might call them plans or goals or lists – but they are really rules. Then when something comes up, and we can’t meet those rules – we get mad or feel nervous like we’ve done something wrong. But – WE set the rules and the only one making feel bad about them is ourselves. You had a plan for today that didn’t work out. Change the plan. There’s no reason to feel anxiety over it. The only person beating you up about it is – you. Be kind to yourself. Admit the plan just didn’t happen, and discover what you can do from here. Don’t box yourself in. Give yourself the freedom to be human.

As for your family, if they ate that much, you are a really good cook! Tell them you weren’t prepared to cook today, and ask them to help you come up with a solution. Maybe they can cook. Maybe you can order a pizza. Maybe you can eat a bowl of whipped cream. Whatever you do – be flexible and forgiving, and you won’t need to yell at anyone.

Your sugary friend,


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