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LAND OF THE LIVING

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LAND OF THE LIVING

Cindy Maddera

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You know how I wrote that whole Thankful Friday entry about how I was getting better? That's the type of entry that happens when you write ahead, because in reality Friday morning I woke up with another sore throat and I was all "MOTHER F*&#@#$!!!". I stayed home from work, drank copious doses of Alka Seltzer cold medicine, used my Neti pot twenty times and drooled on the couch while watching season 2 of Portlandia (second episode is the best. ever. by far.). I continued to take the Alka Seltzer on Saturday and only moved from the couch long enough to take the car in for it's oil change and run to the mall for some beauty supplies. It was a short outing. The rest of my weekend was spent watching Season 7 of Weeds (meh), various movies and documentaries, and washing clothes. I did make it to Sunday dinner at the Lange's where Hannah introduced to me to all of her Princess Barbies (highlight of the weekend). Yes, I was disgustingly lazy this weekend, but the sore throat is gone. All that remains is a sniffle and an occasional cough. I feel really guilty for the lack of moving around this weekend. I did the minimal amount of house work needed to be done (clothes, dishes). I did paint my fingernails (something I hardly ever do). I also unplugged the lights on my tomato cage Christmas tree. Notice I said "unplugged". This does not mean that it has been put away. Oh no. It's still sitting on my front porch (better than a rotting pumpkin). And the more things I list, the guiltier I feel about how I spent my time. Actually, the Christmas tree sitting on the front porch was the clincher. But I'm better. I'd even say that I am well.

The actual act of doing less is an art. It is an art form that I can do well, but not without guilt. I don't even really understand why that is. My house is always clean. Clothes are never left piled on the floor or in the dryer. And though there have been a couple of Sunday's where I didn't brush my teeth until 3 in the afternoon, I am usually clean. The neat and tidy of my house should not be a source of guilt. Also, I hear all of you shouting "But Cindy, you've been sick!" yet this does not ease any of the guilt I feel for watching so much TV, and I don't think having a little guilt is such a bad thing and here's why. Guilt has always been a huge motivator for me.

There was a time when guilt would take control of my life and send me into straight on panic. Like when I thought I needed to be at the gym three times a day and I'd feel guilty for only making it twice. My rational brain recognizes that as crazy behavior, but when you're the fat kid and have always been the fat kid and still feel like you're the fat kid even though you're not, exercise is one of those things you obsess about. My feelings of guilt usually stem from the idea that I am not enough and back in the days when I truly believed that I was not enough, this guilt could turn me into a nervous wreck. Now I use that guilt to keep me on track with my usual routine. It's like my brain says "OK, you've had your weekend of indulgence, now it's back to the usual". Monday I worked, walked, spent over an hour on my yoga mat, made myself a baked sweet potato topped with kale and ricotta, cleaned the bathroom and took out the trash. Nothing extraordinary, all the things I'd usually spend time doing on a Monday, but all things that had been a bit disrupted since the Holidays.

So I guess I'm finally back to the usual and it only took a tiny amount of guilt to get me there.