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Kansas City MO 64131

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Filtering by Tag: risk

THANKFUL FRIDAY

Cindy Maddera

Michael has asked me on two different mornings this week if it was a scooter day. Both times I have answered "yes!" without even checking the weather. That's not true. I checked the weather by looking out the window. Skies were clear. That says 'scooter day' to me. The reality was that each day included a chance of severe weather or at least some rain. In fact, on Wednesday, we got a notice at work saying that we were under a tornado warning until 7 pm that evening. Michael can't ride his scooter on Wednesdays because those are evenings with the Cabbage. She's not quite tall enough to ride the scooter. Yet.

I got to work on Wednesday just before the rain hit. At one point during the day, the wind was ferocious and rain came down sideways. But by the time I left yoga class to head home, the sky had cleared. Michael opened the garage door for me when I got home that evening and said "I guess you managed to avoid the rain." I told him that I've become the Zen master of riding between raindrops. The Matrix on scooters. I am grateful that I did not get caught in the rain, but more than anything, I am grateful for the scooter rides. I am grateful to have thrown caution aside and just hopped on the scooter and gone. This has been the kind of week that has added hours to days in a way that was unproductive. I mean that those extra hours where not filled with good things that I wanted to be doing. There were several moments when I felt like just laying on the floor. Like that moment I realized that a very heartfelt, personal bit of writing I had been working on, didn't save. Those scooter rides, along with some yoga time, where moments of freedom from this week's little frustrations. 

Today I am driving to Oklahoma to see Thomas graduate from high school. Thomas is J's youngest boy and the most stoic of the two. I can think of a very small number of times when I have seen him laugh, truly laugh. He's a very serious young man, but my memories are immediately drawn to that time that he and his brother, JR, were riding in the backseat of our car. Chris was driving and all along the way, the three of them swapped Darth Vader fart jokes. They were ridiculous and dumb, but hilarious. The backseat was filled with raucous laughter. This is all I will be able to see in my head as I watch one of those young men walk across a stage and accept his diploma tomorrow. I am grateful to be gifted his moments of laughter. 

I am grateful for many things and I am always grateful for you. Here's to wonderful weekend and a blessed Thankful Friday.

THANKFUL FRIDAY

Cindy Maddera

Yesterday morning, as I was gathering things together for work, Michael asked me if I'd opened the garage door. I replied "Yes, to get my scooter out." "You're taking your scooter?!?! We must have very different weather apps on our phones." I looked at him and said "Oh, it's going to rain today. I just think I can get there before it starts." Every day this week we've had a chance of rain. The sky will look like it's going to dump buckets of rain only to clear up by the end of the day. Every day this week around 4:30 pm, I have looked out the window and have cursed myself for not riding the scooter. Sean, at work, has done the same thing about his bicycle. So yesterday morning, when he came into the office after seeing my scooter in the parking garage, Sean looked at me and said "Did you just decide to say 'fuck it'." I replied "pretty much." 

There's always some tune that pops into my head while I'm riding the scooter, always something jaunty. "All the Single Ladies" for some reason is a constant one that I hum while zipping down the streets. Occasionally a show tune gets in there and I find myself this close to belting out a song in my best Ethel Merman or Doris Day impression. Yesterday I couldn't help it. Put on a Happy Face rolled right on into my brain because I just knew that the gray skies were indeed going to clear up. I couldn't help but put on a happy face as I made my way to work, where I arrived without a single drop of rain hitting me.  I am thankful that I did not get rained on, but more than anything I am thankful that I took the risk. 

It may appear that I am a daily and casual risk taker. There is now a running joke between me and Michael any time I even think about sticking my arm out of the car to get a picture. He says "Get in the car Cindy" as soon as he hears the window rolling down. This is because I have been known to stick more than just an arm out a window of a moving vehicle while trying to get "the shot". I ride a scooter which, I suppose, is a slightly risky mode of transportation. I regularly expose myself mentally (a few times physically) on the internet, running the risk of judgement and ridicule. Except I don't see any of these things as risky. I always loop my foot around the seat belt before climbing out the car window. I always wear my helmet when riding the scooter and if I was a talker, I'd probably just tell you those stories I write here anyway. To me the risk comes in not taking the picture, missing the scooter ride or a story forever forgotten from not writing it down. I am thankful for the risk because more often than not, the action of taking the risk has brought me the most joy.

We've got a busy weekend planned full of dance classes, yard work, finishing the chicken coop and taking apart the lawn mower for some routine maintenance. With any luck, we'll have seeds planted in the ground by Sunday and a coop ready for chickens who are just about to out grow their box, which is bigger than the box they were in a week ago. The weather is supposed to cooperate and this I am thankful for. I am also thankful for all of you who have made a donation to my AIDS Walk Fundraising page. I will be contacting each of you in May about a thank you gift. There's still time to make a donation! I am thankful for leftover pistachio salad and chocolate chip cookies. I am thankful for tail wags. I am thankful for you.

Here's to a beautiful weekend and a super Thankful Friday!

THE GAME OF RISK

Cindy Maddera

Yesterday morning, I checked my weather app on my phone. There was a 20% chance of rain dropping to 0% after eight AM. I didn't look outside or stick my head out the door. I took it on blind faith that the weather report on my phone was accurate. I rolled the scooter out of the garage and looked up at an ominous sky. There was a moment of hesitation as I wrapped my scarf around my neck and zipped up my jacket. The weather app may have said 20%, but the sky was saying "It's probably going to rain on you". I took a deep breath, looked warily at the clouds and decided to risk it. 

Fearless is a word that has been used plenty of times to describe me. Sure, I can play the part of fearless or pretend well enough to make it look legit. But risky? Am I a risk taker? Does being fearless make you a risk taker? I've taken risks. One time Stephanie and I skipped school. There was absolutely no reason I had to actually skip. I was a straight A student who never ever got in trouble. If there was a day I didn't feel like going to school, Mom usually said "OK". For some reason that day Steph and I said screw it and decided to not go back after lunch (we still had off campus lunch). Of course we got caught. It was the one time we did something against the rules. We both served six days of detention which all the teachers thought was hilarious because neither one of us had ever EVER been on a detention list. I can't really tell you why we did it or why I didn't just call mom and have her get me out of it. We didn't do anything outrageous. We watched a movie on cable TV. A regular movie. Not porn. But we skipped school and took the risk of getting caught and then we handled the consequences of getting caught. No big deal. 

Every time I went on a first date, I was taking a risk. Then there was that one time I went on that one date which was probably not the smartest date to go on. Michael has heard the story of this date. He still, out of no where some times, will look at me say "what the Hell where you thinking?!?!". I just shrug. What he doesn't realize is that I was taking a risk with any of the dates I went on. I took a risk by going on a date with him. I continued to take risks where our relationship is concerned. I gave him a second try. I moved him into my house. All of that was risky. To take a risk is to accept the consequences of failure. We are not afraid of risk. We are afraid of failure. Sir Ken Robinson tells this story in his Ted talk, How Schools Kill Creativity. It's my favorite story about a little girl drawing a picture of God. When the teacher tells her that no one knows what God looks like, the little girl replies "they will in a minute". Brilliant. Ken (if I can call him Ken or maybe Sir) goes on to talk about how children take risks all the time because they don't know that they can fail. At some point we are taught that we can fail and we can fail miserably . 

So we stop taking risks in life, in creativity, in love. We stop taking risks for happiness, for joy. Because what if? What if no one likes my art? What if things don't work out with this person? What if no one wants to read my words? What if the sky opens up and pours buckets on me while I'm riding my scooter to work? I can remember a time I allowed all of those what ifs to root me to the ground and not in a grounded centered yoga way, but in a trapped paralyzed kind of way. Oh the things I missed out on, even the failures, because sometimes even totally amazing things come from failing.

So, I hopped on my scooter and zipped to work. Not a drop of rain fell on me and by the end of the day, the skies had cleared. I rode home that evening under a crystal clear blue sky. Completely worth the risk.