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Kansas City MO 64131





Cindy Maddera

I am having a hard time being present in this space right now. We leave for vacation in a week and my thoughts are already on what kind of groceries I need to take with us and how I'm going to fit the folding "beach" chair I bought from IKEA in the car with all of the things. The beach chair does not fold down to a smaller size like I thought it would. It does fold down flat, so that's something. I also keep thinking about how I'm going lay my body right down on the hot sand and make sand angels and feel the hot sun warming my belly. Because it's June and the electric blanket is still on my bed. If, on the off chance it isn't raining and I get to ride my scooter to work, I am still wearing a coat and gloves in the mornings. I have been cold since sometime in October 2014 and I AM STILL COLD. So instead of thinking about things I love and having gratitude, I am thinking about how I'm finally going to be warm. 

There's also a small section of my brain that is currently filled with worry and doubt. Will I manage to pack the right things for a beach vacation? Can we really even afford this? Should I buy an embroidery kit before we go and sit on the beach embroidering pillow cases? Will the Cabbage even like the ocean? Or is that week going to be full of "Why is there sand? How come the sun is out? I am not eating that! What can I have to eat? Why do I have to wear sunscreen?" I have this needling thought that all of it will turn into a long week of complaints and whining and I will turn into the freakishly smiling person killing herself to make sure everyone is having the most fun of all time. I will come home from vacation needing a vacation because I forgot that I am not in charge of making sure everyone is happy all of the time. Then as I type this I realize that I have a whole week for those worries to fester and consume larger areas of my brain. So, I'm shutting that down now. New mantra: I am not in charge of other peoples' happiness. Only mine.

And with that I'm pulling myself together to think about right now and gratitude. Wednesday, after Michael said that it was going to rain, I rode my scooter to work any way. Then I stood at my office window and watched more rain fall from the sky than I had ever seen in my life. I watched Brush Creek fill up and over the sidewalks. It was still pouring when we went to lunch and I gasped as we passed cars parked at the curb with water rushing so deep that it covered more than half of the tires. Everyone made a pact at the lunch table that one of them would take me home at the end of the day. But as I left yoga that evening to head home, the sky lightened up and the sun peaked out from behind the clouds. I giggled as I zipped home on the scooter. Once again I gave a big middle finger to my weather app and managed to have it not come back and bite me. I am thankful for those moments between the rain. 

I am thankful for mantras that keep me present in this very moment. I am thankful smoked jackfruit sandwiches with fried jalapenos and grilled pimento and cheese. I am thankful for the sun coming out this morning just in time for my out of the way walk back to my desk with a mug of coffee.  I am thankful for fishing dreams with Dad and J. I am thankful for my crazy messy haired dog because she makes me laugh at silliness. And as always, I am thankful for you.

Here's to a great muggy weekend and a truly Thankful Friday!