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Ten Things of Thankful: Thanks and Giving

Photo: A wooden-framed sign that says simply, "thankful"

When I started this blog, I thought hard about what to name it, and finally decided upon "Thankful Me"--not because I was a PollyAnna, but because I realized how easy it was to complain, and thought that if I described myself as thankful, I would be better at internalizing that trait. With the Ten Things of Thankful (started by Lizzi), I found a community of bloggers who also were striving to look for the good around them. One of the observations I have made as I have read the many posts throughout the years is that those who regularly list things they are thankful for are also those who are regularly giving back--to their families, friends, and communities, whether in-person or online (or both). True thanksgiving isn't about getting up on a rameumptom and declaring how much better off you are than your neighbor; it's humble gratitude with an irrepressible urge to help others. That's what I want to have, so I've been seeking out ways to be more involved in service. There are so many opportunities. While I think it's good to be open to new experiences, I also think it is smart to get involved in ways that play to strengths and interests.

1. I'm thankful to have found Utah Pet Partners, a therapy animal organization, and have started the steps to register Drexel as a therapy dog. I think he would enjoy getting out more and visiting with people, and I know I would like working together, just as we did when he was a puppy-in-training for Guide Dogs for the Blind.

2. I'm thankful for a Facebook group for Red Cross platelet donors, which has given me suggestions and encouragement to do another platelet donation. I donated platelets for the first time in September and didn't have the greatest experience, but I think with a few adjustments, it will go better the second time. I'll report back in a few hours. It's time for me to leave for the appointment right now. Be right back!

OK, I'm back now. Short story shorter, I think I'll stick to whole blood donations. While my body has a good platelet count, even with better preparation, the process leaves me feeling quite icky. 

3. I'm thankful that I can donate whole blood without a problem. I'll make an appointment to donate soon. (Apparently I will be eligible to donate whole blood two days after donating platelets.) I've been on the receiving end before, so I feel good knowing I can follow the example of the unknown donor who helped me.

I think that often, when we have been the recipient of service, we feel a connection and desire to help someone else who is experiencing a similar thing.

4. I'm thankful I can help with a funeral luncheon tomorrow. Two weeks ago, I was enjoying delicious food that had been prepared for our family following my grandma's funeral. Tomorrow, I get to bring dishes for another grieving family. I hope they can feel the same peace and love my family felt during our meal.

5. I'm thankful to be able to help promote RootsTech, and

6. I'm thankful that RootsTech is sponsoring a wonderful giveaway: a 4-day pass to RootsTech 2020 ($299 value). Each Ambassador can give away one pass, which means that one of you lucky readers can win! (If you are the winner, and have already purchased a RootsTech pass, you can receive a full refund.) Stay tuned! I will post the details on how to enter in the next week or two. You're going to want to be in Salt Lake City from February 26-29, 2020, so be sure to enter to win! 

7. I'm thankful for good books. I just finished reading It's All Relative, and realized that the author, A.J. Jacobs, spoke at RootsTech in 2016. I first attended in 2017. I wish I had been there a year before. Thanks to the video archive, though, I was able to watch a clip here:

8. I'm thankful for more good books. After finishing It's All Relative, I learned that Mr. Jacobs's new book is . . . (wait for it!) Thanks a Thousand. Of course I had to order it right away, and though I haven't finished it yet--but will really soon; it's a quick read--I'm loving the premise: to thank everyone responsible for his morning cup of coffee. His inspiration for writing it was similar to my reason for naming this blog Thankful Me.
"I needed a mental makeover, and a gratitude project could be the key to my success."--A.J. Jacobs
 9. I'm thankful for the benefits of gratitude. I've noticed that I am happiest when I'm focused outwardly. I'm fairly quiet by nature, and not really energized by large crowds (Disneyland and RootsTech notwithstanding), but when I am thinking of how thankful I am, and when I combine those thoughts with actions, I am happy. I know I'm preaching to the choir here, but practice thanksgiving, and just see how good you feel!

10. I'm thankful, as always, for John. We're going to see a movie soon (I can't remember which one right now), so we can get in a date night before he heads over to the church to set up chairs before the funeral tomorrow. He has been so sweet all these years to set aside time for date night each week. What constitutes a date is flexible (a trip to Home Depot totally counts!), but what is not flexible is our commitment to setting aside time each week for each other. 

I guess I'm just full of unsolicited advice today: be thankful, be giving, stay tuned to enter to win, and go on a date! 

Thanks for reading! 

Joining me this week:
The Prolific Pulse
MessyMimi's Meanderings
A Season and a Time
A Multitude of Musings
The Wakefield Doctrine
TeachezWell Blog
My Inner MishMash
Backsies Is What There Is Not

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  1. I am so excited that Drexel is going to be a therapy dog. I think you will love going with him and meeting the people and seeing the interactions between Drexel and the people.

    It sounds like going back to whole blood donating is the best plan.

    Happy reading!

    1. The road to being a therapy dog is long, so it will be a while before we're actually out volunteering, but I'm glad to have started the process.

      Whole blood donation feels better for me, that's for sure.

  2. You left me smiling 😃. Lovely post of beautiful thankfuls!

  3. That's such a heartfelt post and so encouraging. It does make a difference to help others and I enjoyed reading about your opportunities. I won't ask what donating platelets is like, though! I'd love to train a dog to be therapeutic. I think many are just born that way! My husband and I really need to up our game re: date nights. We have been hit or miss and I'm encouraged to help us get on track again.

    1. Most people apparently don' t have a problem with platelet donation, or if they do, it can be easily solved with increased calcium intake. I know you didn't ask, but I'll volunteer the information anyway: With platelet donation, blood is taken out through one arm, the blood travels through a machine that separates out the platelets, and the blood is returned back to the donor in the other arm. There is an anti-clotting factor added to the returning blood, and that can cause symptoms of calcium deficiency. Donors who get tingly lips (the first sign) can eat Tums and usually feel better. This time, I was feeling better than I did during the first donation for about an hour or so, then I just felt really icky--woozy and generally "off" again (even with LOTS of Tums). I feel bad that my body won't cooperate, because I have lots of platelets (my donation last week was a "triple," meaning that one donation yielded three units of platelets) and because there is a constant need for platelets. They don't store for long at all--they need to be used within 5 days--and cancer patients are some of the most common recipients. I'm glad I tried more than once, and would definitely recommend it to others. Like I said, from my understanding, most people tolerate it better than I do.

  4. So many thankful things, and i especially like that your dog will be a therapy dog.

    1. Well, it's a long process, but we're starting out on it.

  5. What a wonderful post, Kristi. So very positive and...uplifting :)

  6. Hey! thanks for the new word, 'rameumptom'. (Not a shocking revelation, but the intro sections to the TToT (and most other bloghops) often has reading as satisfying as as the intended content.
    (Because, imho, the unique privilege of enjoyed by those of us who participate in the blogosphere is to be afforded glimpses into lives (aka personal realities) that can only enhance one's life.)
    Drexel would totally rock the visiting dog gig.

    1. Glad you liked it. Besides being the precise word that came to my mind, it's also kind of fun to say. :-)
      From what I've learned so far, it looks like my training will take longer than Drexel's in the process of becoming a therapy animal team, so I don't think we'll be visiting anyone until sometime next year.

  7. It's so great Drexel is going to be a therapy dog! :) I think pet therapy is a fabulous and incredibly helpful thing.
    I've always wanted to be a blood donor but I can't currently as I'm underweight. But it's nice to read you're doing so, though shame that the platelets donation made you feel so icky.

    1. I have signed up to donate whole blood this coming Friday; that process has never given me trouble. It's nice that we have options in how we can help others.

  8. So happy for Drexel! He will love working again! I'm still bummed we could not raise a guide dog puppy. Darn rules!
    I'm not able to donate blood anymore, but I used to be a faithful donor! Such an easy thing to do and helps so many people!
    How sweet that you have always had a regular date night together! With both kids out of the house, we do a lot more together, and it's been fun.

    1. Drexel will need to be patient, as there are quite a few steps between now and actually being able to volunteer.
      I love the fact that the Red Cross has a blood donor app; I can easily schedule appointments on the app. Donating whole blood tomorrow!
      Date nights take less planning for empty-nesters, that's for sure.


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