I realize that many people use Thanksgiving to go over their gratitude list but I tend to think about these things more toward the end of a year as I pause to reflect where I’ve been.
After a meeting this morning where I realized that when I get really busy (like right now as I get 5 new products ready to launch in February), it’s easy to forget that I’m one lucky lady who has a lot to be grateful for. Here are just a few things that come to mind:
The health and happiness of my family and friends
The ability to own a company where I feel that I make a difference
Great employees who care about my allergic child and the people we serve
A community that embraces small business and is willing to support us
A warm, loving home to come home to
There are so many more I can think of but those are my basics. I wish you all a wonderful holiday season and may you have many bright lights of your own in 2011.
It’s been one year since we were in the ambulance and to the hospital with Megan’s allergic reaction to kiwi. When I mentioned it to her on Saturday (the exact anniversary date), she was dismayed. In her eyes, remembering the date was the last thing she wanted to think about since she has no desire to ever go through that again.
Believe me, I have absolutely no desire to go through that again either. It was the first time she had a reaction in 9 years, the first time she was without us during a reaction, the first time she had to call 911 and the first time she had to self-inject the epi-pen. And not only did we need to deal with the medical emergency with her, we had to emotionally deal with her older sister who was traumatized by the incident and our friend’s son who had offered our daughter the drink that Megan reacted to even though it wasn’t his fault.
As much as I want to follow Megan’s advice and forget about that last reaction, I can’t, nor do I feel I should. I feel that we had gotten complacent because we had been so careful for so long and that was part of the reason why the reaction occurred. It’s not that we started cutting corners like eating food products that had “may contain” on them or that we stopped checking out ingredients in the grocery store.
The complacency was more about thinking that our “safe” places (as my girlfriend’s house where the reaction occurred normally is), were absolute and that all items provided in those safe places didn’t need another check. A simple check of the Koala brand lemonade spritzer would have quickly revealed that it was a kiwi-lemonade drink. But that didn’t happen.
So I need to remember and also climb down off of my high horse. Our allergist had been surprised that despite Megan’s extremely high test numbers, we had not had a reaction for so long. I wore it like a badge of honour (see how good I am with managing the food allergies). Now, I think that diligence is absolutely necessary but sometimes it’s also about being lucky.
So Rob and I are doing our best to manage the complacency that can creep back in when you don’t even know it. We will continue to remind our children, all family members and others that come in contact with our allergic child. But I’ll also cross my fingers and toes plus pick all of the four leaf clovers that I can find. Whatever it takes to get us through another year.
Last year I wrote a grinchy post. Yes, me, usually overly optimistic, glass is full kinda gal. But I couldn’t help it. It was the first time in a long time that I had hosted my whole family for Christmas for a week plus I had an exchange student from France who couldn’t eat dairy. Add that in to our 6 food allergies, it was liking going back to when the girls were little and we had to avoid dairy too. Plus I’m a perfectionist so the house cleaning, baking, decorating, etc. had to be just so before everybody arrived. My husband and children wisely kept quiet.
Skip forward a whole year and I’m in a less grinchy frame of mind. I’m still trying to get 5 new products finalized this week (for launch in February), am President of my Rotary with 4 meetings this week alone (don’t ask) and hosted our employee Christmas party on Sunday (you should have seen Sandy and Sheila fight over that bottle of wine). But we’re going to my parents’ house for Christmas, yippee!
There are so many things to be said for someone else hosting Christmas, kind of like having your child’s birthday party at the local bowling alley. You have to decorate very little, can leave the house dusty, put up fewer lights outside, struggle with the holly bush less often, bake less and when it’s all over YOU get to LEAVE! Ah, ha, ha (cue the evil laughter).
And since my parents are so good with my family’s allergies, I know that we will only have to check things once. My mom has it down pat and makes sure that all of the ingredients she buys she keeps the labels for so that I can have a quick go over. Now all I have to do is bake some buns and muffins and we’re good to go.
So my stockings are hung, my Christmas tree is glowing brightly and I have a twinkle in my eye. Of course, I still have to do a bunch of shopping but that’s a blog post for another day. I wish that you too can have an unGrinchy Christmas season.