Surprise! This is not the post I had planned for this week. I WAS going to write some snarky post about parenting and feeding kids and share my favorite pancake recipe with you. And I still will. But life threw me a curve ball this week, be it a tiny curve call, and that all changed. My life plan in general tends to be anchored in denial and that really works for me for the most part, but this week my doctor informed me that I would get the privilege of having a biopsy of my thyroid in a couple weeks since they found some beautiful nodules that don’t belong there. The “C” word was even mentioned.
90% of you right now know that this is no big deal, that 30-40% of Americans are walking around with nodules on their thyroids that they don’t even know about. For the 10% of you who aren’t well versed in the sexy topic of thyroids, let me immediately dial the drama of the situation ALL THE WAY DOWN to zero:
- NO ONE actually thinks I have the “C” word. No one.
- Thyroid biopsies, while less fun than a massage or a facial, aren’t a super big deal. They don’t require surgery and are generally very boring.
- 90%-95% of all thyroid biopsies come back benign (benign is a happy word.)
Why then is this even blog worthy? What does it have to do with food? Nothing. I haven’t cooked one stinkin thing in the kitchen this week, but I have learned a couple things this week that have changed my approach to relationships and general adulting. I hope you find them helpful.
Three Things I Learned This Week About Adulting:
1. Your Support System Will Take Their Cues From You
If you act like your news, wether it be medical, relational, etc., is as exciting as the weather, everyone around you will act in accordance. If you act as if you need no one, not a soul, people will act accordingly. I was very deliberate about acting like this whole ordeal was hardly even on my radar, and as such, I later found myself feeling hurt that I was processing this information alone. When I circled back and admitted that I was feeling a little vulnerable and a little scared, everything changed. It didn’t require a dramatic and yet oddly vague Facebook post, “Prayers needed, can’t say what for”. No. And no again. Just no. And it didn’t result in everyone else having to be consumed by the news. It did give me the people in my corner to help me process the information, the fear, the annoyance (this is just stupid timing), and other things.
Bottom line: No matter how run of the mill your stuff is, you’re allowed to acknowledge what you need and until you do, you can’t expect anyone else to magically figure it out.
2. Adulting means letting other people help.
One of my closest friends immediately informed me that she would be bringing us dinner Wednesday night. I knew I needed to accept but I initially felt ridiculous. I am TOTALLY fine. I feel amazing- I’ve run every morning this week. My jeans buttoned. I AM GOOD. But she was right, I needed it. Not because I couldn’t get out of bed but because I need to cross something off my list for the day. After going to the doctor and filling everyone in on what the doctor said, I realized I spent most of the afternoon on the phone. (Lord help us all if anything real ever happens to me, I talk A LOT). When I got home with kids after school and realized I didn’t have to even worry about dinner (or dishes because she brought paper plates, like the angel from heaven that she is), I got to relax. It was so dreamy.
Do I need a meal calendar? Heavens no. Did that meal save my day? You better believe it.
Even more important: adult relationships are 50/50. We like acting like super heroes, we think we can be there for everyone and never need anything in return. Ya know what that really does? It pushes everyone out. It makes you un-relatable. It creates a glass wall in your friendships. I know because I do it. So stop.
If you’re doing all the work in your relationships and no one else is returning the effort, the problem might actually be you. Just sayin.
3. It’s important to let people process their own stuff, in their own way.
I know a bajillion people who have thyroid issues. Yes, a bajillion. And I’ve always been all, “oh that’s no big deal. Thyroids are so treatable. Thyroid cancer is nothing! You just remove it and move on with your life”. As if it was as simple as picking up a thyroidectomy kit when you stop for milk on the way home from work.
Never again. We think that stuff is supportive because it’s positive, but it isn’t. It’s dismissive.
I say this not because anyone did that to me, because they didn’t. Here what people did say:
- “That really sucks. I know that’s really scary and a lot to deal with. I’m praying for you.”
- “I have had that done too, it’s no fun and I know the stuff racing through your head right now. How can I help?”
- “I’m glad you got some answers but I hate that this is on your plate right now. Are you ok?”
I didn’t think I needed any of that, but I did. Because yes, MOST of these things come back totally fine. MOST of the time it’s no big deal. But if it was fine 100% of the time, they wouldn’t even do the biopsy.
Adulting means we give each other the space to process information the way we need to, we ask questions and we listen for cues about what people need from us. We share our concern and we offer our support, not the one tiny nugget of knowledge/advice we think we have on the topic.
So there you go. Adulting 101. These three things, popcorn, and some boxed wine and you should be good to go. Infinite wisdom right there.
Next week I shall return to terrible parenting advice and recipes that make my Beachbody friends cringe :)