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THE LAST DAY

Cindy Maddera

Tomorrow is the first of December and I'm still wondering what happened to November. I can never wrap my brain around how the last three months of a year can just fly by or how I know that this happens and I'm never prepared for it. I'm not ready. I feel like that's a motto I've been hanging onto for some time now. I'm not ready to write. I'm not ready to buy a lawnmower. I'm not ready for loved ones to die. I'm not ready to say goodbye. I'm not ready to say hello. I'm not ready to be a grownup. My whole life has been a continuous loop of I'm not ready. I feel unprepared and ill-equipped for the end of another year. I can't even remember if I did anything on my list of things I wanted for this year. 

I feel like being unprepared is not the kind of person I am. In general, I mean. I like to think of myself as the kind of girl who is always prepared like a girl scout. I'd like to think that at any given moment, you could open my pantry and find everything you need to make a batch of chocolate chip cookies. All I did for the first eighteen years of my life was to prepare. I was ready to sing a song, do a speech, play a solo on the drums or cello, even bake a pie all at a moments notice. I was ready for college. Something happened in college though. I stopped being ready. I naively assumed that once in college, my preparing for all the things was over. Or maybe I just decided to become all Scarlet O'Hara about it all. Fiddy-dee.  Life would just naturally fall into place. Except life does fall naturally into place. Jobs happen. People move. Babies are born and people die. Ready or not! Here life comes! I recognize that life has placed many things in my path that you just can't really prepare for and I think I have tripped my way around those things in a reasonable manner. 

This is a very introspective way of telling you that I do not have a plan for this year's Christmas card. I had a plan, but then I couldn't find green leggings, everyone got sick and now the weather's turned to shit. The time for outdoor photography has passed and to be honest trying to wrangle a five year old in front of a camera while trying to use a remote to take pictures sounded less and less like a good idea the more I mulled it over. It made me tired just thinking about it. I looked through all my pictures from this last year and I have nothing of the three of us together. There's a nice picture of Michael and the Cabbage on the beach. I've taken some decent selfies. I suppose I could some how photoshop myself into the beach picture in some tacky way. Not once did I think to ask Tiffany or Tom to take a picture of the three of us on that beach. Not necessarily for a Christmas card, because the whole beach photo shoot of the family on a card is not really my style, but so we'd at least have a picture of the three of us together. 

I may or may not have a back up plan hiding in my sleeve. But right now? I'm not ready.