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Kansas City MO 64131





Cindy Maddera

Friday, Michael and I took the Cabbage to see the latest Pixar movie, Inside Out. I knew, even though I didn't know a whole lot about the plot of this movie, that it would probably make me cry because that's the thing Pixar does. The creators at Pixar are just a bunch sadistic jerks who get off by making "kids" movies knowing that the adult will have to take the child to see it and so they put in those subtle things that will make the adult hyperventilate from ugly crying. Up, by far is my favorite Pixar movie. Ever. The theme of getting out there and living your life at the same time recognizing the adventures you've already had resonates in every bone of my body. You know how you watch your favorite movies over and over again? Well, I've seen Up one time. I can't even think about that movie without tearing up let alone get through the first five minutes without ending up laid out on the floor drowning in a pool of my own tears. Pixar. Sadistic jerks. 

I didn't cry all the way through Inside Out like I did with Up, but there were a few hiccuping sob moments for sure (I never want to talk about Bing Bong). Without giving too much of the movie away, the basic idea is that each day you create memories. Joyful memories. Sad memories. Angry memories. Joyful and Sad memories. The day gets filled up with these little memory marbles and then those marbles go to power the various parts of your personality represented by different islands. Like goofy island or family island. After the movie, Michael and I were discussing various parts of the movie and he said "What do you think your different islands are?" What do I think my different islands are? At the time I said "you know, the usual islands." But what are the usual islands? Then I started thinking more about how my islands are organized than what kind of islands make up my personality. So I'm sure I have an island totally devoted to putting thing in neatly stacked boxes and organized files. 

I'm sure I have lots of islands making up this personality of mine and I'm sure that there's a few of those islands that look a little run-down. Like they need some sprucing up. A fresh coat of paint. Friendship island is doing well, but could benefit from some actual non-internet face time and more human contact. I can imagine that my family island looks a lot like Jenga and is very carefully balanced in way to not knock everything over. Family is just complicated, but we make it work. In retrospect, all my islands are conglomerates of things that probably deal with a little sprucing up. That island devoted to organization, Secretary Island, looks over at my creativity island and breaks out in OCD hives. If the islands talked to each other in words, Secretary Island would look at Creativity Island and say "you're a mess! get your effin' act together!" Creativity Island contains a scarf I started knitting for Michael two years ago, three half written petered out writing projects and a number of half baked ideas. All of it causes Secretary Island to slap a palm of it's hand against it's forehead, if islands had foreheads. Or hands. Science Island is alive and thriving. The proof is in how I'm over analyzing the whole island thing all together.

The island I struggle with the most is Creativity Island. It has always been struggle. For years I'm not even sure you could call it an island. Islet. Small pile of rocks. I was talking to my hairdresser the other day about this year's BlogHer's conference. She asked about my blog and then said "Oh, all you creative types." I rolled my eyes and shrugged while mumbling something about not being all that creative. She disagreed, saying that there had to be some creativity involved in just setting up the blog in the first place. OK. She had me there. And then there's my photography. I'm not a bona fide photographer, but I've taken some pictures with my DSLR and my iPhone that I am really proud of. Michael has asked specifically for prints of a few of these, which means something because I don't think he's really paying attention half the time. I've also written some things that I've posted here that I'm pretty proud of. Meaning I feel like it's good and who cares what anyone thinks. Creating something I feel good about can be just as fulfilling as outside approval. 

Really and truly, all of my islands require constant upkeep. Just like a house or a car. The day all of those islands are perfect and complete is the day that I'm done on this planet. Who knows. I may even still be adding islands.