Turns out the topic list landed on an appropriate day, even though it has roots in my recent trip. Many folks are either being the host/hostess or a guest for the holiday: "Appreciating hostesses who recognize you have special needs, and being brave about asking for the kind of support you need! "
When I was a kid, I was one of those sensitive compliant types who never asked for what she needed, instead eavesdropping on the concerns of those around me, and putting their needs first. When I overheard my mom complain about the budget and all the things my big sister needed, I didn't bother to say my underwear needed replacing. Seriously. As a child.
Putting the needs of others ahead, being compassionate and giving is a good thing, but face it, there is a responsibility to help ensure we will be around for others. It is our responsibility to let folks know our needs. My in-town family has got really good about supporting one another in this. My trip was to be with a cousin I hadn't stayed with since we were both children, though.
Last year I had gone to lunch with my cousin and her daughter on race day. They we pre-exposed, and knew that I am pretty careful when eating out. Throughout the year, my cousin would post yummy looking recipes on FB that are totally inappropriate for "everyday" for me, and I had to ask myself whether I'd be "safe" eating at her house. I should not have worried... she and I talked about my dietary needs, and concluded a grocery trip was in order. I simply said, "I'll get what I normally feed myself, and you're welcome to share".
The hostesses hooked me up with shampoo and toothpaste since I packed in a hurry and avoided anything I'd have to hassle with at the airport. They even found me a pair of shorts since I failed to plan for more than one running day!
The cook of the house let me read labels, proposing what she was going to cook, and asking whether it would fit my needs. And as long as I watched my portion sizes, it did. My hosts indulged me and shared in breakfast I prepared a couple of mornings, and I also shared my mid-morning snack on Expo day (walnuts and dried apricot halves) with my running partner. Amazing, amazing, selfless women in that home. Kind of like... the rest of the family.
Back in the days when I never spoke up, who knew the support would be there? If you don't make your needs known, the kind people who want nothing more than to support you won't be able to offer that support!
So this is a pitch to those of us timid souls who "don't want to be a bother" that you never know until you ask. And... you have no idea when you might spark someone else to a healthier choice.
For those who ARE hosting? Make sure your own needs are met today, too. Because YOU are priceless, and well worth it. Treat yourself like a guest, too!
Happy Thanksgiving to all... a grateful heart feels soooo good!