We'll we're officially snowed in today, here in Chicago, and ironically it is also Groundhog Day. For those of you who've seen the classic Bill Murray film "Groundhog Day" from the 1990s, you'll remember that being snowed in following a Pennsylvania storm is what prompted the plot of this film. Bill Murray's character had a bad attitude, was cynical and just generally not very nice. He was definitely a glass half-empty person and all around miserable. He didn't enjoy the little things in life much less the big things and his attitude affected not only his entire life, but the lives of those around him. Ultimately he was stuck living the same day, over and over again. However, when he changed his way of thinking, eventually, he was able to have a positive and bright future. His attitude was the key.
Why am I thinking about this movie with regard to food allergies? Well, it struck me this morning that for a lot of us, (including me, at times, I plead guilty) dealing with food allergies can feel like "Groundhog Day." After all, every day you're living with food, potentially unsafe situations and finding yourself having to constantly explain, over and over again, how to keep your child safe.
Can it get depressing at times? Of course. Sometimes we deal with this stress by getting angry at others or by having a negative attitude towards new people and experiences. Like the Bill Murray character, we think we've seen it all, done it all and may expect the worst from other people because we've been burned before.
Like anything else in life, attitude is key with food allergies. Sometimes, situations or events, like a food allergy death in the news or even an insensitive comment can get you down. But if you view living with food allergies as just part of life and even try to see the positives such as healthier eating for the whole family, you and your kids becoming more compassionate of others, even learning to be more assertive--you will get a better attitude and it will get easier. Also, each time you have a new experience and it turns out well, you'll get more confidence about you and your child's ability to handle life-threatening food allergies. If you are never open to new experiences, your child won't be prepared to life a more full life independently and you definitely don't want that.
Trying new experiences does require caution when you deal with a food allergy that can be life-threatening. You should never take unnecessary risks with food. However, if you are careful and make safe food provisions, you can open up your family's life and experiences. Food allergies just mean that you need to be careful, but you can still live your life.
Happy Groundhog Day, campers!