While I don’t think it’s actually a requirement listed in the blogger handbook, many bloggers do a thankful post right around Thanksgiving.
I could buck tradition. Heck, it’s not too long until I hit a year of blogging and I could wait until then to be thankful and therefore not be quite so cliched.
But there is a reason cliches are cliches. There is some truth to them. And since Thanksgiving is right about when I became a vegan last year I figure this truly is a good time to be thankful.
In many ways, of course, I am the same person I was this time last year. But there have been big changes too. The first picture was fall of 2010 and the second was fall of 2011.
Without “dieting” I’ve lost about 30 pounds and gone down about 3 dress sizes. I’ve given up artificial sweeteners (except for the 3 sips I had tonight. Yes. I’m admitting it.)
I’m still on meds. I still flare. But I feel “better.” I realize that is not a quantifiable term but it’s true. My “bad” time is now shorter than it was. This doesn’t mean I don’t have work to do. The first of the new year I’m going to give up gluten to see if that moves helps more. But as Dacia from ThirtyThreeAndCouting said on Twitter today talking about a doctor’s appointment:
She wasn’t critical about how much I had left to lose but instead proud I had come so far. Made me so happy!
In my case it’s not primarily about the weight but about getting to a healthy place to deal with my auto-immune disorder. I need to not focus all the time on “how far I have to go” and instead be thankful for how far I have come.
Over the last year there have been lots and lots of small victories.
- Like the night I woke up and was hungry for something sweet so I had a pear
- Like the fact that I have stopped hounding my children about eating well and so they have started making better choices on their own
- Like the fact that I have learned how to make better choices most of the time
- And like the fact that I am working, slowly and surely, to more balance.
I switched jobs this year. Still in the same field but to a position with slightly less stress and less of a physical component. It was incredibly difficult to make the choice and the change because I had invested so much of myself into the other position. But it was the right choice.
I gave up some things I love (like making mosaics – it’s just too hard on my hands) and found some new things to love like blogging. I will never be a famous blogger but this experience helps me. It lets me connect to others in similar situations. It lets me express myself and use some creativity. And in a very tiny way it lets me impact others.
My tag-line for being the RA Vegan is
Living with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) and trying to deal with it through a vegan diet and lots of laughter!
I live my life to do the best I can for others and to try and have the most fun possible. This “taking care of me” stuff is hard. Luckily I have been surrounded by incredible people who help me and look out for me and remind me when I’m not doing the best I can to take care of me. Those people are my family. Those people are my friends. Those people are my co-workers and my students and the amazing people I have “met” online. For all of you who have impacted me in some way I am thankful. And the thing is, that I believe that if you have come into contact with another person then you have impacted them in some way.
While I’d love to think that my life is sweet and wonderful like the first picture was attempting to be, my life is really much more like the second. The dog is licking Mark’s face and we’re all laughing hysterically.
My feet are swollen and I’ve got piles of laundry to do. But life is good. One of my forever friends is visiting. Tomorrow there will be 11 or 12 here for Thanksgiving. The music will be cranked up and there will be lots of talking, laughter, food, football, and Punkin Chunkin. (It’s a local thing but we’ll be watching this year’s previously recorded competition.) There is much to be thankful for.
I’m the same person I was this time last year when I nonchalantly announced to those closest to me that I thought I might give up meat and “oh yeah” maybe dairy and eggs too. But I have grown and I have changed. I’m happy with where I am and excited to see where I will go. There is definitely much to be thankful for.