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Kansas City MO 64131






Cindy Maddera


Saturday, I left the house for the first time in two days and the whole outing made me giddy and slightly dizzy with glee. I smiled and waved at strangers. I went to Target and rolled my eyes at the bikinis on the racks. I went to Trader Joe's and Whole Foods. I filled my gas tank (wince) and went to Walgreens, all the while smiling and waving like I was in a parade. It was bliss. Sunday was just as pleasant with the sun shining and a lunch date with Diane and the fifty degree weather. But then came Monday. Monday started out just fine. I was back in the groove, back to work, putting out science fires, trying to tune out the talk of the next snow storm. I was adamant that the snow storm wouldn't hit, that it wouldn't be so bad. I was making overnights and streaking out plates, ensuring that I'd have tasks to get done the next day, determined to go to work. Every time I mentioned coming to work on Tuesday, Jeff would just look at me and shake his head. Everyone but me believed that there was no way any of us would be at work Tuesday and the more they talked about it, the more I began to panic. By the end of the day, I had worked myself up into a right mess. So much so, that Jeff suggested that I weather out the storm with him and his family. I politely declined because I knew that I would spend the whole time worrying about what was happening at my house (there's a branch out there making me real nervous right this minute). Also, I knew that I would need my routine. I would need my yoga mat. I would need the meals I had planned. I would need my things. I would need my rituals.

Many may attribute my panic to loneliness. I can assure you that this is not the reason. Though I spend a large amount of time alone, lonely is not necessarily the word to describe me. I like my alone time, even relish in it. But it is part of the routine and the thing that happens mostly on weekends. I am one of the rare few that enjoys going to work. I am grounded by my weekly schedule starting with my morning ritual and ending with my nightly routine. I am always sure to leave space in the day for flexibility in this schedule, but there are things that I have to do every day or I don't feel right. The thing that makes a snow day different from a Saturday is that it takes away my choice. This is what causes the panic.

My main goal was to stick to a routine today. Treat it like any other work day. I got up, showered and dressed. I did my yoga and meditation practice. I made tofu scramble for breakfast. Morning ritual. I read emails and chatted with Talaura and came up with a plan for the driveway. I would shovel 1/3 of the driveway and break for lunch. Then I'd tackle another 1/3 and take a writing break before finishing up the last of the driveway. I am on my writing break right now. Just the end of the driveway left and I'll dust everything with ice melt. Yesterday when I said I would be fine, that I could handle the panic I didn't really believe myself. Today I can say it with all honesty.

I'm just fine.