Lifestyle Change

I saw an alternative doctor today.  He confirmed my Hashimoto’s disease and told me I need to be on a gluten free diet.  Luckily, I have experience with lifestyle change.  I have been trying to find that right types of food for me for years.  I think I am finally getting somewhere.  I went to the grocery store and was able to find a few things to help me get started.  It has been a learning experience and I have only begun.  I am more than happy to give my body what it needs.  I just needed to know what it is.

Music Brings People Together

I was browsing my FaceBook page this morning, which I rarely have time to do.  I ran across a video that brought tears to my eyes.  What was so moving, was watching the effect music has on people.  It has an emotional effect on the individual and it brings a group together.  In addition, it brought me closer to the people that experienced the video as well.

I am attending an Easter rehearsal tonight.  I am looking forward to the human connection it brings.  I barely know the people I will be singing with, and I know it will bring us closer.  And it does it in an instant.  I am looking forward to singing on Sunday because I get emotionally charged and feel connected to those I am singing with, as well as to those for whom I am singing. 

Alternatives

I went to a workshop tonight to see an alternative doctor who I am hoping can help me manage my hypothyroidism.  The workshop was primarily about Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, and included other related topics.  My oldest son went with me.  He was diagnosed with thyroid problems a few years ago and has some other health issues.  I was thinking about how often we do what we know to solve problems rather than seeking out alternatives. 

My son and I got into a funny conversation about sandwiches.  We both see them as a sort of “cop out,” as opposed to eating real food.  (I’m talking about the quickie lunch meat on heavily refined bread.)   It’s a choice.  I can put something in my body because it is good for me, or I can put just anything in to satisfy my hunger (or boredom) and to fulfill my need for convenience.  It is a choice.

At the beginning of the school year a sponsor asked me to name  something I needed for my classroom.  I had a choice here as well.  I could ask for something that would be helpful or I could be bold and ask for something that would really make a difference.  I have old desks that aren’t conducive to group work.  I wanted round tables, but then I would also need chairs.  The total cost was over $3000.  The tables have already been delivered and the chairs will be at school tomorrow.  I could have kept quiet .  I’m glad I chose the alternative – to dream big.

Full

My life is full.  I am happy about this.  I met with a potential tutoring student tonight, after a full day of work and cooking dinner.  I am working on this post and then will call my accountability partner to let her know I completed it.  Tomorrow night I am attending a workshop for people with thyroid problems.  That of course will be after work and a chiropractor appointment.  Friday night is rehearsal for the Easter choir.  Saturday I have a meeting at 7:30AM in preparation for a seminar for which I will be assisting next month.  Later that day I will be cooking for Easter dinner.  Then on Sunday, I will have rehearsal around 7:00AM and will sing at the 9:00AM and 10:30AM services.   Afterward we will go to my daughter’s house and cook for our family dinner. 

This seems like a typical holiday week, and most of my weeks are quite similar.  I hear people complain about how busy they are (and yes, I even do it on a rare occasion), and I am happy to have such a full life.  When I leave this world, I will truly be used up.

Dreams and Taxes

Last night my ex-husband (#2) called me and asked if I was still into interpreting dreams.  I have always had an interest in dreams and keep books on the subject, referring to them when I can’t figure out what a particular dream means.  I told him that I was and he proceeded to tell me about a dream he had recently.  It bothered him enough to ask me about it, so I listened and helped him sort out the details.  I was a little surprised at how open he was to my thoughts about his dream, since it had a lot to do with being unhappy with where he is today, having made lots of bad choices along his path.  I was kind and helped him see that the dream as a good thing since it could drive him make some positive changes.

This post isn’t really about that incident.

This evening, while visiting my grown children, their father (ex-husband #1) asked me if I would prepare his tax return for him.  I thought this was quite funny on the heels of my “dream interpretation” for ex #2 the night before.  When my ex was out of earshot, I told my daughter-in-law about the back-to-back requests.  She laughed and said that I must be significant in their lives.  I thought about this and was reminded to be grateful for the relationships I have with my exes.  They each have their issues and both owe me a significant amount of money (one for children’s medical bills, the other child support).  I have chosen to let the courts do what they do, and maintain kind relationships with the fathers of my children.  This is not to say that I am okay with the things they do.  I simply have chosen to be accepting of who they are.    

This post is really about gratitude.

It is easy to be grateful when there is such a sharp contrast between the relationships I have with my exes and the relationship my current husband (the last one… I got it right this time) has with his ex-wife.  Their relationship consists of quoting from their divorce decree and splitting hairs over every little expense the kids incur.  It is hard enough being divorced parents without the animosity, and much worse with it. 

Today I am grateful for peace in what could be a difficult relationship.         

My Temple

For several years I have struggled with symptoms that I now recognize as those of hypothyroidism.  It took some extreme circumstances to get me to insist my doctor test my hormone levels.  After several months of minor improvement, I began to push the issue more.  She finally tested me for Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis.  It took two weeks of the results sitting on the doctor’s desk before I finally got the nurse to post my lab results on the online site used by the practice so I could see them myself.  I wasn’t surprised that my thyroid peroxidase antibody level was grossly elevated.  This is an indicator that my body is attacking its own thyroid.  My thyroglobulin antibody level was somewhat elevated as well, another sign that my body is waging war on itself.   I am learning as I mature that I must take ownership of my body’s health and functioning.  I have been complaining about various symptoms over the years and then accepting what doctors say as truth.  I have educated myself in thyroid function (and dysfunction), chiropractic, nutrition, exercise, and psychological issues related to thyroid conditions.  Now  I am able to insist on tests I feel are necessary, request specific medicines, and ask for dosage increases if needed.  I can manage this disease with exercise, diet, and supplements.  I am only able to do this because I am not relying on doctors to help me gain and maintain optimal health, nor am I waiting around for them to diagnose disease. After all, it is my body… my temple.

Moving

There is something about moving that lifts my spirits, even when I’m not the one moving.  My daughter and her husband are moving from an apartment to a house.  Her younger brother and I went to help clean the new place and move in the furniture.  Cleaning and moving in personal belongings shifts the energy in the house and in your things.  Moving also gives an opportunity to get rid of things that are no longer useful or wanted.  This rids the house of stagnant energy and makes room for new things to come into your life.  Of course, you don’t have to move for these changes to occur.  General organizing and Spring cleaning can result in the same positive energy shift. 

Willingness

I think the quality that has brought me to where I am today is willingness.  I have noticed that the people that complain most about their circumstances are often the ones who are least willing to do anything about it, or even to look at their circumstances from a different point of view. 

Because I am willing, I see things that I do that don’t work and then I am able to do something about it.  For example, I used to get my feelings hurt very easily.  When I realized that my internal reaction to another person’s words was upset, I chose to notice it, feel it, and not react right away.  Don’t misunderstand, I was not suppressing my feelings, but simply slowing my behavioral response time.  This was very difficult in the beginning.  My thoughts ran wild.  Sometimes I would cycle between hurt and anger multiple times in just a few minutes. It was exhausting!  I paid close attention to the thoughts running around in my head, and realized that the other person (who I had labeled the offender) wasn’t even aware of the turmoil I was experiencing.  Over time I learned to say something (with kindness) if it needed to be said or to let it go if it wasn’t necessary. 

I could write extensively on this topic, but my point today is simply to note that it was my willingness to see my own “defect of character” that enabled me to change.  It was my willingness to look at a situation from from the other person’s point of view that helped me realize that the other person wasn’t intentionally trying to hurt me (and even if they were, I had a choice whether to be hurt or not).  It was my willingness to change that helped me see an alternative to my reaction.  I am now responsible for my feelings and respond appropriately… not 100% of the time, but certainly more often than not.  And I am still sensitive.  The difference is that now I own it and don’t blame others for it.       

Discipline

Wow!  This agreeing to write everyday can sometimes be quite difficult.  I never seem to have a lack of things to say, yet when confronted with the blank screen…  I often forget all the things that have been floating around in my head all day.  (I know I should write them down, but while teaching classes I am not often in a position to stop and write my thoughts down on paper.) 

I often begin routines with enthusiasm, keep them consistently for awhile, and then go into autopilot (keeping the agreement, but sort of just going through the motions).  When it becomes drudgery, I let it drift away.  To keep something on my plate for very long requires real discipline.  I am not a linear person, nor am I naturally organized.  I enjoy organizing, but have more difficulty staying organized.  So I spend lots of time with people who help me stay accountable.  This is what keeps me moving toward my goals in life.  On my own, I would not do it.  With the support of others, I am a much more disciplined person and I accomplish a great deal. 

Shift

Ironically, I have had a shift regarding my job.  The primary purpose for starting this blog was to set the stage for me to become self employed.  The past few days I have felt good about what I do… not because the job is any different, but because my perspective is.  This is what I think it will take for me to leave… becoming larger than my position.  I have been doing that this week.  Oddly enough, it makes me enjoy my job more.