As a little “Thank You Thursday” inspiration, I want to introduce the concept of a “Grateful Wheel.”
You’re probably more familiar with the concept of the “Squeaky Wheel.” You know, that’s when we try to affect change by being very vocal and squeaky about our opinions and complaints.
Unfortunately, when we’re being squeaky, it’s often when we’re fighting *against* something instead of fighting *for* something.
The thing about being in Squeaky Wheel mode is that we often confuse noise with movement. We end up squeaking in place to make ourselves feel like we’re doing something, but we’re just filling the space with our noise and negativity and causing others to squeak even louder to try to be heard.
Sure, there are times when when we need to squeak, but let’s try to balance out our squeaks by also being “Grateful Wheels.” It’s a gentle shift of going from just fighting against something to also supporting the opposite of that thing.
– Instead continually complaining about the clothes all over your kid’s floor, thank them for clearing their dinner dishes without being asked. (I need to work on this one.)
– Write a thank you letter to let a business know about an employee who went above and beyond. Maybe they’ll get a bonus and that other employee you wanted to complain about will be inspired to do better.
– While you’re boycotting a company which has policies you don’t agree with, be sure to also say thank you and show your support for a company that you do agree with.
Basically, while you’re squeaking about important things that need to be heard, make sure you’re taking time to say thank you for the things that are already rolling in the right direction.
The government is a mess, kids are getting shot in schools and the world just feels like a scary and dangerous place.
Unfortunately, the justifiable anger from some of these big-world-issues seems to be spreading into our small, every day personal interactions.
Cursing the guy who cuts you off in traffic and speeds off.
Starting a fight with the person who is being a “Sancti-Mommy” online.
Snapping at your kid because they forgot something important at school.
I’m not above it. We’ve ALL done it before. Heck, I have probably done it today.
Recently, I have been listening to Jenny Nash, Book Coach, on the Mom Writes podcast. One of the main points she brings up frequently is that when it come to writing a story, it’s not about the WHAT, it’s about the WHY.
For example, if someone posted on Facebook highlighting the “WHAT” details of a story about a teenage girl who snuck out at night to go to a party, even after her mother expressly forbid it, the comment section would be on fire.
“Teenagers these days have no respect for their parents!”
“Where were the parents? My kids would never be able to sneak out because I pay attention to my kids!”
“I bet that girl is having sex and doing drugs!”
Now, what if the original poster of the story clarified, “actually, the story is Cinderella.”
When you know the WHYs about the evil step sisters, the prince and the pure, kind, innocence of the girl that you just branded a slut in the comment section, you’re able to make judgements based on the whole story not just a few select details.
I think that a lot of us could take this book-writing concept of what vs why to heart in day to day life.
The guy who cut you off in traffic was distracted because he just found out his wife was taken to the hospital and he’s rushing to get to her.
The “Sancti-Mommy” on Facebook is overprotective of her child because she lost a sibling when she was young.
Your child forgot their book at school because they were distracted trying to help protect a friend from a bully.
Now, I’m not saying that there’s always an excuse for bad behavior – sometimes people are just jerks. But perhaps the next time you feel a rage building about the “what” that someone just did, take a few minutes to consider there just may be a “why.”
The most simple interpretation of Thank-Full Thursday is to say “Thank You.” Last week, we practiced saying proper thank yous to people during day to day interactions, (instead of just mumbling thanks while staring at our shoes), but this week we’re stepping it up a notch: there’s postage involved.
How much would you love it if you went to the mailbox today and there was a card in there from someone who you haven’t seen in months (or who you saw yesterday) that just said a simple “Thank You.”
Thank you for picking up my kid from school that time.
Thank you for telling me I had something in my teeth.
Thank you for always bringing your amazing cheese dip to parties.
Often we only say thanks to people when they buy us something. Or in my case, I *intend* to say thanks, but then put off writing the notes for so long that my kids have been known to pass out thank you cards for the previous birthday at the current year’s birthday party. (Wrote all about that here.)
But today, let’s start a plan for saying thanks “just because.”
Today’s (and February’s) goal:
Put together a list of 4 people you would like to thanks to this month.
Pick out some super cute cards that you’ll love sending, or make them yourself. Target always has tons, and I found some great Amazon Prime ones too. http://amzn.to/2rZlq7Q
Dig your stamps out of wherever you shoved them after mailing your holiday cards.
Write (and MAIL) one card a week for the rest of February.
Thank yourself for brightening someone’s day.
This post is part of my Dusting Off My Parachute Facebook Group. You can find the original post here.
January is thyroid awareness month. Despite the fact that I’ve been taking daily thyroid supplements for almost thirty years, I was not aware of awareness month. Even worse, like 60% of people who suffer from thyroid issues, I spent years not even being aware that I had an untreated thyroid condition.
So, although I’m writing this on the very last day of thyroid awareness month, I encourage you to be aware of thyroid symptoms all year-long because although thyroid conditions are so common (12% of the US population will develop one) that we often talk about having them like having a cold or a bad knee, the health implications of having being hyperthyroid (overactive) or hypothyroid (under active) can impact every part of your body and every part of your life.
According to the American Thyroid Association:
The thyroid’s job is to make thyroid hormones, which are secreted into the blood and then carried to every tissue in the body. Thyroid hormone helps the body use energy, stay warm and keep the brain, heart, muscles, and other organs working as they should.
Every tissue in the body. That sounds pretty important, huh? Yet many people suffer from vague, misdiagnosed symptoms for years before getting the proper treatment. For me, that meant spending over a year during college confined to the space between my couch and my bed.
Here are some of the symptoms to look out for
Fatigue? Brain fog? Weight gain? Mood swings? That sounds like just about every mom I know, so you can see how easy it is to carry on daily life while attributing symptoms to getting older or being busy.
As I mentioned earlier, I’ve been taking a thyroid supplement called Levothyroxine for almost thirty years. I go in every six months to get a blood test to make sure my levels are good and although I wouldn’t describe myself as a bundle of energy, I’m far from the days in college when I couldn’t walk more than ten feet without having to lie down. Problem solved, right?
That was until a couple of years ago when I started suffering from horrible anxiety symptoms, (I wrote about it here.)
I started anti-anxiety meds and have been virtually symptom free for the past two years. Hooray! But then in the past year I started gaining weight and last month finally went to my doctor about it. It went a little like this:
Doctor: What are you here for today?
Me: Well, I’ve gained ten pounds in the past several months and I wanted to see if there’s a medical reason.
Doctor: Actually, you’ve gained FIFTEEN pounds in the past year.
Me: You’re a mean doctor.
She went on to try to tell me that, “I’m getting older” and “I’m not technically OVERweight yet” and since my recent thyroid labs looked normal, I should probably just lay off the queso and margaritas for a while. But then while she was giving me a quick look-over, she noticed some lumpiness around the right side of my neck and suggested that I go get a thyroid ultrasound and meet with an endocrinologist.
Aside from having a lab tech squirt KY lube all over the neck, the thyroid ultrasound was pretty uneventful and in the end just showed what I’ve known all along, that I have Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis (a fancy way of saying that once upon a time, my body’s immune system decided to attack my thyroid, and now it doesn’t work any more.)
The real exciting part was meeting with an endocrinologist – and even learning that there’s such a thing as an endocrinologist. In addition to confirming my doctor’s discovery that I have a “very easy to feel” thyroid gland (thank you?) she informed me that studies are now showing that some people’s bodies are not good at turning T4 into T3. To which I responded, “I don’t understand the words coming out of your mouth.”
In the most simple (and potentially inaccurate) terms: The medication I’ve been taking for thirty years gives my body T4. Most people’s bodies take that T4 and turn it into T3, and T3 is the stuff that all your organs actually want and need to work properly. Well, some of us semi-defective humans’ bodies don’t do a good job of turning T4 into T3, so although thirty years of lab tests have shown that I have the right amount of T4 in my body, NO ONE HAS EVER THOUGHT TO CHECK MY F*ING T3 LEVELS, which, as you can probably tell by the all caps, are not optimal.
If you want to learn more about this in official medical terms, I recommend reading this report by Dr. Gary Pepper (there are other similar reports available, but I chose this one because how often do you get to refer to someone named Dr. Pepper?)
Now, in addition to my T4 supplement, I’m on a new T3 supplement, which may or may not make a difference in my weight gain and overall health. But at the very least, I finally have information about a condition that has impacted me for more than half of my life.
So, in honor of this final day of Thyroid Awareness Month, I encourage you to be aware. Be aware of the symptoms of thyroid disorders and just be aware in general when you don’t feel “quite right.” And if your doctor waves you off or just says “it’s what happens when you’re in your 40s,” get a new doctor, or at the very least, stand up for yourself and your body and get a second opinion and more information.
Be aware. Be informed. You’re the only YOU that you’ve got.
Soooooooo, I went to open my “Emergency Kit” to update any expired food, etc and instead was greeted by a poof of black moldy dust that appeared to be a result of a can of black beans getting in fight with a Gymboree sundress.
Because I am the worriest worrier who has ever worried, I called poison control to make sure I wasn’t going to be patient zero for some new airborne plague, which resulted in a visit from an ambulance and a fire truck full of nice men who kept offering to “check my vitals.”
I tried to bribe them with fresh banana bread to forget this ever happened, but surprisingly, they didn’t want to accept fresh baked goods from the crazy mold lady wearing 10 year old maternity yoga pants and no bra. (Yes, I did have a shirt on too.)
When they make a movie about my life, here is how this scene will look.