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Kansas City MO 64131

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Filtering by Tag: walk

TAKE A LEAP

Cindy Maddera

People were going crazy over Leap Day yesterday. I think I saw about fifty posts regarding the extra day this year. Some were annoyed we had an extra twenty four hours on a Monday while others were all about taking advantage of the extra time. What will you do with your extra twenty four hours, Cindy? Well...I kind of see it like money. There's no "extra". In fact, I am suspicious of a calendar that is so wrong all the time that every four years it has to throw in an extra day to "fix" it. Someone posted something about the British skipping eleven days in September in 1752. Eleven days! It all had something to do with the Calendar (New Style) Act of 1750. This reminds me of getting in my car and driving to a destination and not having a freaking clue how I drove the car to that spot. 

I kind of just wanted to take a nap with my extra twenty four hours. Michael and I made it back from our whirl wind weekend trip just in time to start a load of laundry and turn on the Oscars. Our trip reminded us of some 80s vacation trip where you pack as much stuff in a thirty six hour period. We at lunch on the Hill, we looked at our cheek cells at the Science Center, we walked all around downtown, we went to a casino and then we walked all around downtown some more. We had dinner at this great oyster bar where the oysters where the biggest oysters I've ever seen. I have over a hundred pictures to process and edit and organize. Maybe that's what I should have done with my extra twenty four hours. I didn't. Of course. Instead, I used my so called extra time to do more laundry, make us a delicious pot pie for dinner, clean the bathroom and watch The Walking Dead. 

I didn't completely waste my Leap Day. It was seventy degrees here yesterday (while today's high is forty). At one point, after spending hours in a dark room marking worms on a slide, I decided to go walk a loop outside. I had already missed my window of opportunity to get to the gym for treadmill time. When I reached the farthest point of the loop, I just kept walking. I walked all the way over to the Nelson and up and around the sculpture park. There were people stretched out on picnic blankets on the Nelson lawn. A small girl was kicking a ball back and forth with her mom. I passed a young man with a baby strapped to his chest. He was walking along the path, the baby facing out with his little arms and legs waving and kicking around like crazy. I noticed tiny pink buds forming on the hedges. The sun bounced off the glass walls of the labyrinth as I watched a couple slowly wind their away around inside. I felt the sun, warm on my face and smiled. 

Lately I have been slightly panicked about getting enough steps in during the day. I've started tracking my food again, which stresses me out because somewhere in the middle of the day I realize that I haven't eaten enough calories to maintain or lose weight. There's a dress I plan to wear on Saturday, that I'm afraid is going to be uncomfortably tight. I keep getting reminder calls from my doctor's office to schedule an appointment to check my cholesterol and on Saturday, I learned that it would cost $1,465,000 to send my body into space. The Science Center has a space scale that tells you your weight in dollars. I was not amused. I feel myself falling back into my destructive weight loss habits. But yesterday, while I was walking through the sculpture garden, I didn't think about any of those things. 

I guess you could say that I used my extra twenty four hours to cut myself some slack. And I still got more than ten thousand steps in. 

THANKFUL FRIDAY

Cindy Maddera

Every morning, after I've gone around to all of my microscopes and have made sure they're working properly, I go and get my cup of coffee for the day. Usually, I get my coffee and then head back up to my desk, but lately I've started taking what I call "the long way" around to my desk. It's really not so much a long way around as much as it is a completely out of the way loop around to my desk. My completely out of the way loop takes me up a flight of stairs, out a secret door and onto a path that leads to the fountains on the west end of the building. The sidewalk winds around the fountains in a large circle and then meets up with original path, which then leads to a different secret door near my office. This is one of the ways I add steps to my day. I do a little here, get on the treadmill there and then do a little more over there. By the end of the day it all adds up. This completely out of the way loop has also become a really nice morning meditation. It's still very early, so there's not many people out. It's usually just me and the birds and the occasional snail. It's a moment of peace before the clamor of the day sets in. 

Thursday morning, as I made my breakfast and watched Josephine in the backyard, I noticed the sky growing darker and darker. Finally I called Josephine in just before the sky opened to dump more buckets of rain. Michael was saying goodbye as I was zipping up my rain jacket. He looked me oddly and asked if I was riding my scooter. I laughed and said "no way". We both ran to our vehicles getting completely drenched on the way. I set aside the thought of missing my morning meditation walk. I could just walk inside, but when it came time to get my coffee, the skies lightened and it stopped raining. I walked with my coffee mug out onto my out of the way path. I am thankful for these morning moments of solitude. It gives me time to make lists in my head for daily tasks. I don't need it to be outside, but I'm not going to lie that it helps. As I'm walking I notice how the sidewalk curves here and bends there. I hear the different sounds of the water fountain from the roar of the spraying jets to the trickle of drips that fall over the edge of one pool into the other. I see all sorts of little birds. It is in these moments where I am telling myself to pay attention and be aware. See the details. This practice makes it easier to see the details in the day's tasks and problems.

I am thankful for the two whole days without rain this week. I am thankful for rice noodles. I am thankful for the salad greens, spinach and kale that we ate on this week because it came straight out of our garden. Everyone knows that those things taste sweeter when they come from your own garden. I am thankful for bicycle rides and scooter rides. I am thankful that Mom is coming in for a visit this weekend. Saturday starts the Corporate Challenge softball tournament at 6:30 AM. There's no dragging Michael out that early on a Saturday. So I'm really thankful Mom will be here to come with me to the games. I am thankful for the small details and I'm thankful for you.

Here's to a fabulous weekend and wonderful Thankful Friday!