Those who are friends with me on Facebook have probably seen that I recently cut my hair off. This was a huge deal for me. I love(d) having long hair. When the stylist cut it, the first swoop through was to the tune of 8-10 inches. The first clump that fell in my lap had me taking a quick intake of breath with thoughts of "Oh God, what have I done?" After- I think it looks really cute. It's easier to care for, that is certain and that was the goal. You see, courtesy of the herniated disc in my neck, I keep having my shoulder and arm fall asleep. It's not painful, it's just the pins and needles thing, but it is very irritating. Especially when it happens every time I try to brush my hair or if I lean on my desk or lean against the car door. It usually involves a few minutes of trying to shake it out because the strength drains as the numbness sets in. So- I chopped off the hair since I could not properly care for it in a reasonable amount of time. I then sank into a bit of a funk because I felt like I had sacrificed my slow-growing, long, straight hair to the Gods of Chronic Illness.
Another issue that I have been dealing with is a LOT of Acid Reflux- especially at night. I cannot tell you how many times lately that I have woken myself up coughing and choking on acid and the burning in my chest. The doc has put me on Prilosec and it helps- but it's not an "every day for the rest of your life" drug so shortly after tapering off, it comes back with a vengence. Sunday night it was so bad that I woke my poor husband up almost every time I woke up. Now, himself normally sleeps like the dead and is cranky if woken in the middle of his sleep but he really came through. I sat up in the bed, groped around for TUMS and in tears because the acidity was so bad in my throat and I didn't realize that I had woken him. Without a word, he got up went downstairs and grabbed me a bottle of water. Each time after- he woke up and made sure I had water available and stayed up with me until I could get back to sleep.
Neither of these things are earth shattering. While I understand that, it came as a revelation that it's the little things that can make a huge difference. Something as simple as a haircut can spiral you down, down, down while a gesture of kindness can make things all better.
So I ask this of you. When you are out and about today, in interactions with others or even when you find yourself facing self-doubt, stop. Think about how your actions create a ripple effect. All it takes is a pebble to form ripples across a pond. All it takes is a kind word or gesture- or a careless word or thoughtless action to make or break your day or that of those around you.