Our Diabetes/365 Community IS our cuppa!
Brain Curve Balls
Have you ever tried to send a curve ball to your brain? Sometimes we may enter into this on purpose & other times it may be something that just happens. Do we feel comfortable when we are giving our brain a workout that it either seldom or never gets? It is the easiest thing in the world to fall into doing things the same old way & miss out on mini adventures in the process. Here’s an example of the wires in our brains making different connections than usual that most of us will be able to relate to. It is when we use our non-dominant hand for the day either purposefully or as a result of an injury. During the course of my career in counseling I have had some cool experiences that I am sure that I would not have otherwise had. One experience that comes to mind is the day that I got to tour & participate in the non-dominant hand clinic retraining. Some people must make a permanent decision to retrain his or her hands or in other words to take on every task with the non-dominant hand. It is more difficult than it would at first appear to be. I decided the day after I had been to the training centre that in order to have more of an understanding of what my client was going through that I would purposefully only use my non-dominant hand for 24 hours. I had the dexterity at times of a small child just learning small hand movements for the first time. There were extra messes to clean up & lots of awkward physical motions. Additionally, I was reminded that a great deal of the world seems to be made for right handed people. Our oldest son is a “lefty” & I have noticed that it is indeed still a right handed world.
In as much as we can each likely list a number of physical activities that we can do differently to give our minds & bodies a workout, the place that my thoughts are going to today is to more of a psychological brain shift. Each one of us are beautiful originals. We have our very own way of embracing the world around us. Some of us are naturally outgoing (people oriented) or on the other hand task oriented. We may be more prone to be a “Mary” or a “Martha”. Of course we can try to be either one yet there is likely to be a natural tendency towards one or the other. I am most definitely a “Mary” & tasks are easily dropped off from my list if others need me. My husband is literally a “son of Martha” (engineer) & it drives him up the wall if he cannot progress through his to do task list. Okay, back to the point…
Although I like some routine & respect that some semblance of order is required to achieve anything in a given day, I really detest getting into a funk. With Spring here, it just came naturally to me that when I am writing, I always write in our family room. It is a cozy room full of love & homemade art by our sons. I always write with a beeswax candle glowing & some soft music & the telephone turned down as low as possible. On the chilly days, I turn on the fire & make a huge pot of tea & write & smile & smile & write. I love writing. It is a passion. When I love someone or something I really love it big time. That’s how God made me. I like to believe that I live my life in bold colour & with love. I try to do this each day in some small way. Today I thought to myself that it would be quite a brain shift thing to do to write somewhere else. I needed to go to yet another medical appointment in the morning downtown anyhow. Why not bring my laptop & find a cozy café downtown & write there & see how that goes I thought. That’s exactly where I am right now. It took me a lot longer to settle my mind down to write this morning. I realized that I felt a lot like the day that I decided to use only my left hand for the day. I feel a little spun around but in a good way. It is fun to do things differently I think. As Emeril Legasse says, it was time to “kick it up a notch baby!”
The cool thing about the café that I am sitting here writing in this morning is that the last time that I was here was almost 8 years ago. My husband & I had purchased our home but had at that point another 2 months to wait until we could move in. Being in our home was a long shot yet I am no stranger to unlikely odds throughout life. When our home that we live in now was placed for sale by the previous owners the asking price was way outside our “snack bracket.” I saw it in a picture & I felt a pull to go out & see it anyways. I just knew that somehow it was going to be our home. I sent out the photo listing to some family members & was met with a lot of questioning looks & basically remarks of me being off my rocker for looking at a home outside our snack bracket. When my husband & I went out to see our now home we could see vividly that the home had good bones but needed a lot of tlc. That is kind of just right because stirring new love & life into our home was going to be a labour of love & this would make it very much even more a feeling of “we are home.” Sure enough the price came down into our bracket & we placed a bid & eventually it became our home. Once the purchase of our home was official I invited my parents down so that they could take a look through it with us (prior to us taking ownership). After the visit to our soon to be home, my mom & dad & I went out for a celebratory coffee at this same café. I remember looking out over the downtown & feeling like I was exactly where I was meant to be. I hope that you have this same gratitude & peace of heart about your community too. At the time I was not too familiar with the community so it all looked so big & new & exciting. I still look at our town through those same eyes. Here we are against the odds almost 8 years later & I am just big time joy-filled about this.
Long shots or against the odds is no oddity to me. Meeting & eventually marrying my husband is an example of this. We just happened to be with our families who had rented cottages at Sauble Beach one week one summer many many summers ago & we met & fell in love. After that week we both returned to our homes with our parents…my husband to Mississauga & me to Georgian Bay. We wrote one another & called one another all the time & our love grew stronger even though those around us kept saying that it would never last with all the distance between us & our young ages. Against the odds can be either a positive or a not so positive thing though in life. We are not meant to be robots so life gives us each a full experience of things that we love & things that are struggles as well. On moving in day I could not have possibly have known that 14 months later I would be diagnosed with type 1 diabetes as an adult. Our youngest son was 10 months old at the time. Back to the love part of against the odds though. While we have 3 sons, 2 of our sons were & are beautiful surprises. Our oldest son was a beautiful surprise & thank goodness we did not have to wait for ourselves (my husband & I) to find the perfect time to have our first child. It seemed that previous to the birth of our first son that we had been talking for 3-4 years about the following year being the right year to begin a family. Our second born son was a beautiful & planful addition to our family. Then our third son was born a year earlier than we had thought that we would be welcoming him…another beautiful surprise.
I cannot help but believe that life has a way of giving us unexpected gifts just like the ones that I mentioned. Our job then becomes one to cherish these treasures. Of course type 1 diabetes was against the odds especially as an adult yet even the type 1 beast has provided unexpected gifts too. These treasures are the friends that I know that I would have otherwise not made. And like I have shared before, it is in deciding what to do with type 1 that has proven to be the gift. It was & is a choice to live in even more gratitude & bold colour,with enthusiasm & give as much compassion & love to others as humanly possible.
Recently I again read a quote that always brings a smile to my face. I do not remember who the quote was written by. It is, “at the end of my life, what will my life be about & be able to answer, I did love.”
My heart’s hope for you is that whether you choose to change up how you are doing something to give your brain a different kind of work out too that the thing that we always bring in abundant measure to anyone & anything is big time love.
May your week be full of planned & unplanned incredible surprises & kindnesses & friendships. Next Monday's sharing is "The Stripes & the Spots."