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Are Polite Adults Allowed to Say, "Just Get Over It?"
Are polite adults allowed to say, “Just get over it?”
What if everything we are thinking were to appear in a bubble caption above our heads for others to see? In some ways we may consider that to be both a good & not great thing at the same time. For instance each one of us may find that during those times that we meant to tell a loved one that we love them there would be no missed opportunities. In other ways though the rascal within us would come forth if we had that bubble caption. If there is one thing that type 1 diabetes has taught me though, it is to be me. That means that I risk being thought of as an over the top sentimental gal or at other times a feisty advocate. The things said or left unsaid can be haunting I have found. I have done what I can with the past things said & left unsaid & each moment I get to make that choice in the present tense. I love choices big time.
During the month of November (Diabetes Awareness Month), 2 things come to mind that would appear in the bubble caption above my head in a polite yet feisty way: “What?” & “Get Over It.” Let’s start with the “what” first.
“What?” That is my answer to something that happened one year ago on World Diabetes Day (November 14, 2013). My Battle Buddies & I were big time enthusiastic about sharing via social media & with anyone who was breathing that it was World Diabetes Day. It means something to us. We were each encouraging everyone everywhere to wear blue. It was the Blessed Mother Teresa who said that “we do no big things, only small things with great heart.” That is what hearing or seeing non-diabetic friends or family wearing blue on November 14th means to me. It means something & it touches my heart not just for me but for every single person fighting the feisty fight with diabetes day in & day out. What if I told you that the small symbol of support of asking others to wear blue was ridiculed last year? Maybe you too would say “what” or a less polite variation of this too. I have heard it said that dogs see in black & white. When I ask our dog she just won’t say so I am not sure if this is true or not ha ha! Do some people see in black & white on big blue day? This person in particular did I believe. The individual is a fine, fine person who advocates for another cause profoundly passionately. Her cause is extremely worthy & she is passionate about her advocating for her cause & I commend her for this. She became very perturbed though on November 14th when she read several things about it being world diabetes day in her social media news feed. She decided to voice her displeasure about the attention that world diabetes day was receiving. She went on to state that she could not for the life of her understand why people were paying attention to diabetes when there are other things out there that need attention too. “What?” In my mind she missed the point & frankly I felt hurt by her attack on our celebration day…a day we celebrate Sir Frederick Banting’s birthday. Why do we celebrate November 14th? We celebrate because we are literally alive because Sir Frederick Banting created insulin…not the cure yet insulin keeps us alive with type 1 diabetes. I will never apologize for celebrating that! Here’s how I think…I have 3 sons & I know first hand that love multiplies & does not divide. In other words I love each son at 100% vs 33%. It is the same with worthy causes. Just because I advocate passionately for diabetes does not mean that I would ever discount another cause. I support this lady’s cause as well big time. It is not black & white…diabetes advocation does not compete with other causes. I want us all to win. I decided to forgive her in absentia because she just did not want to let go of the way she was thinking. If people were thinking about diabetes then they were not thinking about her cause was the way she was thinking. That is too bad because I strongly do not believe that is the case. I know for a fact that people with diabetes get it…they get what support & encouragement feels like. I have made some of the most compassionate friendships within the diabetes community & I know there is room for every cause to receive support and encouragement. It is not black & white or either or. Black & white thinking I believe leads quickly to separation & it does not need to be that way. I wonder sometimes if some folks come from a scarcity type of thinking. Perhaps they believe that there is not enough love or support to go around. Love though I know multiplies & is renewable for a fact.
Bubble caption number 2 is in conjunction with the “diaversary.” Do you know when your own diaversary is or the diaversary of someone you love? Everyone is a beautiful original so some folks may choose to forget the date of his or her diaversary yet other people embrace the day with joie de vive. Friends within our diabetes community understand the term diaversary & if we are celebrating our own diaversary then it is met with profound encouragement. When I announce my diaversary date to many people who do not live with diabetes they get a wee bit freaked out often. Ah, have we not swept that under the carpet? Is it polite to wish someone a happy diaversary or make mention ever of the beast of diabetes? Oh my goodness, that is where the bubble caption above my head comes out of “get over it.” Yes please wish me a happy diaversary on November 29th because I am freaking alive! That’s what my diaversary means to me. I am of course not celebrating diabetes. I am celebrating that I am fighting the fight, getting back up every time the beast of type 1 knocks me on my butt, growing stronger & appreciating every single day with greater gratitude & enthusiasm. A lot of people are too freaked out by me being excited about my diaversary to think to realize that I am celebrating life. They don’t want to say the wrong thing perhaps so they say nothing at all. That’s a lost opportunity in my mind for a human connection. Getting over our own level of comfort for the sake of someone else I think is a great thing. It’s a choice though. Type 1 has taught me not to be timid about saying what is in my heart to others. I thought this way before I was diagnosed with type 1 & type 1 has magnified the need to connect heart to heart. Words left unsaid are a pity. If we have the chance to help put a smile on someone else’s face, that is a privilege & a gift. How can we not? I wonder sometimes if others have not had to fight daily to sustain life or watch someone they love do this maybe they just don’t get it. I think the capacity to get it is within each of us yet it is a place beyond our comfort zone most likely. There is no point travelling the world I believe if we don’t travel past a comfort zone to a place that human compassion resides. I will be celebrating my 7 year diaversary this November 29th with energy to spare! I guess with each passing year I am turning into more of my own personal type of rascal of sorts & I like that. I like that a lot. I really don’t have time for nonsense or leaving things unsaid. So I am a bolder, zanier, over zealous version of myself with each passing year. I am more than ok with that. And to get very real, my enthusiasm I believe has often lead others to think that I am much younger than I am & I am pretty ok with that too. Smiling, I think, takes at least 10 years off our faces & I smile more than I see a lot of people smile. I smile on days that my blood sugars are cooperating with me (like today) & through gritted teeth on the days where my blood sugars are roller coastering like mad, I smile through tears some days & I smile while chain drinking shameless amounts of tea each day & through belly laughs on other days. I don’t smile because I am a lunatic or in some sort of state of fake out denial. I smile because I am alive for goodness sake. I smile because I love & am loved. That is reason enough. Love absolutely lasts forever. Love absolutely multiplies every single time. As a cute aside, when our sons were toddlers they each liked to watch Winnie the Pooh. I remember the episode where Eyeore is bummed out & Winnie decided to cheer him up by having a “happy tail adversary. They all sing the tail adversary song to him & he gets pretty cheerful. I confess that on November 29th when I celebrate my diaversary the “have a happy, happy tail aversary” song goes through my mind only with the words… “have a happy, happy, happy diaversary!” That would be a strange bubble caption for people to see ha ha! A sense of humour though was given to me as a gift & I have found that it also has multiplied over the years big time. Both my Dad & my Grandpa Brown gave me the gift at a very young age of the appreciation for humour. Maybe that is why I enjoy the thought of the bubble caption in the first place.
Here’s what I advocate…love. Okay, so that leaves no one out. No one gets left behind.
My heart’s hope for you is that you embrace all celebrations with your own spectacular You ness! Let's go ahead & celebrate even through the "what" & the "get over it" situations that come along too!
Smiles, Saundie :)
Happy Diaversary to all of us...we are here...that is worth celebrating...100 years ago we would not have been...celebrate for goodness sake that we are alive! Next week's story is "Gentle Warriors." :)