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THANKFUL FRIDAY

Cindy Maddera

Someone recently asked me how 2018 was treating me. I replied that I kind of felt like I was failing at all the things I had set out to do this year. That person then said "Cindy! It's only January!", except I heard "It's already January!" And I fell over with anxiety. I know this is just my brain playing tricks on me. My brain is an asshole. Yesterday, I read an article about a woman with sudden onset depression. It turned out that she had ovarian cancer. They removed it and everything turned out okay, but as I read the article I thought "I HAVE ALL OF THESE SYMPTOMS! I HAVE OVARIAN CANCER!" I do not have ovarian cancer.

Really, I didn't set any specific goals for 2018. So it is pretty silly to think that I am already failing at goals that were not set. I started another 365 day project on Flickr, taking a picture of myself every day and the project is becoming my morning meditation. It seems that I am more creative and more apt to take a selfie at seven in the morning. Those days (weekends really) where I don't get going in the mornings and I end up putting the picture off until later in the day are days where I just basically point the camera at my face and click. I started this project because for a while now, I've been looking in the mirror and seeing a sad saggy fat face on top of a lumpy sack of potatoes with arms and legs. Almost a whole month into this project and I still see that face and body. It's just a little less saggy, fat and potato like. I captured a picture of myself in Warrior II and when I looked back at the picture I thought "Wow! Look at that ninety degree angle of that front leg!" Side note: I still cannot get myself into Marichyasana. It is as if the yoga gods looked at me one day and decided that after years of doing this pose that I was done with it. Move on. 

What has pleased me so far about this project is that I have not gone out of my way to set up some elaborate shot. I've kept things simple and when I edit the images, I use the same filters and edits. As a result, my 365 day album is acquiring a clean, glowing look. The photo album is inspired by a series of photos that were on display at the Nelson some time ago. I forget the artist, but she had photographed herself daily. All of the images used the same backdrop and it was rare to see a picture of her face. You only saw pieces of her. There was something so honest about this idea and I thought about how we only see pieces of each other. An Instagram picture. A blog post. A status update on Facebook. We infer so much about others from these snippets and these snippets are part of who we are, what we believe and think. But those pieces do not tell the full story or show the whole picture of us. It reminds me to use those snippets wisely. I learn something or gain some kind of insight every time I participate in one of these 365 day projects. I am thankful for the lessons I am already learning from this year's project. I am thankful that I am not already failing at 2018. 

I am thankful for the warmer temperatures. I am thankful for the two students who consistently show up to my evening yoga classes. I am thankful for my own daily practice on the mat. I am thankful for those moments when Josephine spends a whole bunch of time digging around and building a nest in the blanket next to me on the couch. Then she abandons it before even trying to lay down in her nest so that she can come curl up in my lap instead. Those are sweet moments. 

I am thankful for you.