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Kansas City MO 64131





Cindy Maddera

We had high expectations for Saturday. Perhaps, those expectations where a little too high, but we left the house with the sun shinning down on us and visions of cheese curds dancing in our brains. We stopped at the Enchanted Frog Antiques. We paused at an old cemetery so I could take pictures of dead people (as I like to do). Then we stopped in a long line of cars all waiting to be parked in a pasture and we waited. And waited. And waited. An hour later the car was finally parked and I convinced myself that it wasn't really going to be all that bad. I continued to do this right up until we were wedged into Shatto's General store. This where Michael bent down to look into my panic stricken eyes and say "How about we just go to the grocery store near our house and buy a bunch of Shatto products there?" I nodded my consent and hiked it back out to the car and then we proceeded to drive an hour back to KCMO.

Our first stop was a Chinese buffet. You see, we had assumed we'd eat ice cream for lunch and then get something more substantial later. But that didn't happen and since we'd gone too long with out food, we headed for a place where we could eat all the food. Michael started talking about Thanksgiving while we were munching on our Mongolian BBQ'd noodles. He was asking all these questions about what we should do. Go to Oklahoma?  Go to OKC? Stay here? The thing was I thought we'd already decided on all of this. The first Thanksgiving we spent together, Michael said that he liked to do Thanksgiving dinner. So I thought we were doing Thanksgiving dinner. In fact, I had even told my family that this was a thing. Now he was telling me that he didn't want to do Thanksgiving dinner and I had a melt down at a Chinese buffet. 

The effort I have been making to try to make everyone around me happy had reached critical mass and I was so overwhelmed that I could no longer do anything but put my head in my hands and cry. My body and soul has contorted itself into so many shapes in an attempt to please that is has become stuck. I find myself hesitating over every purchase, every word, every action, trying to decide that if said purchase, word or action is going to illicit an "I don't like purple", "Why is it cold?", "you didn't stop and get me anything?" So much so that often I am frozen with indecision. I have become so full of self doubt that I cannot make decisions. So when Michael asked me what I wanted to do for Thanksgiving, all I could do was cry. I had no idea what the right answer was. 

Recently I had been talking to my old yoga teacher about my relationships and how I have yet to figure out what my role or part was in the Cabbage's life. That this was in fact something that I struggled with constantly. Karen said the most simple thing to me: "Be you." On Sunday, while I was hanging upside down in a silk hammock during an aerial yoga class, that simple piece of advice rolled around in my brain like a marble in a maze. Have my endeavors to please those around me allowed me to be my true authentic self? The answer to that is only if my true authentic self is a trained monkey.  There is a difference in doing something kind and doing something you think is kind with the intention that the recipient will be happy with that kindness. Because for some people, no matter what your intention, will always be dissatisfied. Food will never be warm enough. Drinks will never be cold enough. For this kind of person, just right, just doesn't exist.  And it is not my job to make them satisfied. There's no such thing as perfection. Perfect is a make believe tale used to hurt people and make us feel less.

My happiness is not contingent on the happiness of those around me. That doesn't mean I am selfish or unkind. It just means that I change my intentions for doing kind and unselfish things. and when the recipient of that kindness complains about this or that part of the kindness, I will simple say "You are welcome."