Sunday, April 25, 2010

My 3rd Blogiversary!

I have been told that blogiversary is a word, and this is the third anniversary of my first post at Anna's True Thai News. (Hmm, seems to be very similar to a post I just wrote....)

Coincidentally, it is almost exactly sixteen years to the day since I started working for Ramsey County as a Public Health Nurse (PHN). While I am glad that True Thai Restaurant makes our diners happy, I feel a greater sense of pride and accomplishment with my achievements with Ramsey County. There are many good Thai restaurants in the Twin Cities now, but there is still a very real need for more public health personnel to work with young mothers, vulnerable seniors and individuals with mental and physical development issues.

When I started working for the county, young mothers and moms to be would see my designer purses and Mall of America makeup and they'd tell me they wanted to be a nurse like me so they could dress nicely. They saw a connection between the clothes and makeup and the job.

Later, after True Thai opened, many of my clients told me they wanted to be just like me because they thought I was rich. True Thai has given many people a good living, but it has not made me rich, just very, very busy. Again my clients were making assumptions not warranted by the facts. Young people often do that. They saw me standing by the cash register and thought my job was to take money from people. They did not see me arguing with vendors over shipments, scheduling staff or managing personnel disputes, but they always noticed my jewelry.

Lately, things have changed. Suddenly the pregnant teens and teen moms I'm working with are complimenting me on my physical fitness, and telling me they want to learn how to eat healthier food. This makes me very happy. I'm glad to tell them that yes, there is a connection between eating the right food, exercise, and success in life.

Not everyone who dines at True Thai is in great shape, but when you're there every day, it's hard not to notice that many of our customers who are overweight become less so over time. Thai food is healthy food. I also like to think that because we're just a few blocks from the Mississippi River, our customers sometimes take a nice long walk after eating. Thai food and a long walk? That's one secret for living a long and healthy life.

There are two kinds of success in America today. I have experienced both of them. When True Thai opened I actually gained weight. I didn't have time to cook and ate out way too often. I didn't have time to exercise, and drove everywhere because I was in a hurry.

Then Carla and the gang at Los Campeones Gym came into my life and I learned that by making time to work out, I had more energy and got more done. Instead of eating out, I ate only food from True Thai's kitchen and started carrying healthy snacks with me to eat while on the job for the county.

When the girls started asking me about diet and exercise the other day, I almost cried I was so happy. I hope this is a new fad and that more and more teens start worrying less about their clothes and financial success, focusing instead on their health and well being, and the health and well being of their children.

Yes, I have been blogging for three years now, but I have been giving sermons to young teen mothers for sixteen years. Best of all, those sermons are finally starting to pay off.

[As for the picture on the left, no, these are not my clients! They are my coworkers. And the county does not make us wear Red Cross signs on our heads! (Usually.) But I am including this picture because I know you like pictures, and because I thought it was time you saw one of Nurse Anna instead of the usual "Anna holding food" pictures.]