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Life's Triplets: Exasperation, Contemplation & Determination
Each morning we wake up to some sort of natural state of being. If it is a positive state of mind, we are most likely going to do everything within our human power to keep that perspective for as long as possible. On the other hand, if for some reason we wake up in a negative mood, then we are going to have the opportunity to change that mindset.
There will be countless moments throughout the day where externals cross our paths & again, we may find our thoughts going in either a positive or glass half empty kind of spirit.
Isn’t it funny in life when we realize that along the way, we have grown fond of particular colours, flavours, textures, sights, sounds, numbers & a myriad of other favourites? The number 3 as I have shared with you previously is my favourite number. It became the favourite number by chance.
Can the feelings surrounding exasperation, contemplation & determination all be positive ones? I think so. You & I have probably shared oodles of times of exasperation surrounding either our diabetes or other 365 challenges. This morning my insulin pump went off during what was meant to be quiet time within a community group that I was participating in. It may seem like the sound of our pumps is at the pitch of a megaphone or one of those air horns at a hockey game. In reality, the sound is not really that loud at all. It is the perception though that makes the sound seem like it is magnified during quiet times. We have no way of knowing when our low battery alarm is going to go off on our insulin pumps. The alarm seems to sense though when we are in situations that require quiet. Do we find this annoying or exasperating or disappointing or do we choose a different reaction from the menu of emotions? You will already know at least one of the reactions that after pausing I will choose. It will be one of, 3 possibilities. Either, it will be humility, humour or honesty or hopefully all 3 in unison. That does not mean that I don’t find myself initially feeling a reaction of agitation but rather that I choose not to remain that way for long. If we have diabetes or another 365 health challenge, we have likely found that we have had a great deal of practice responding to misinterpretations surrounding our health. How many times have you found yourself explaining or correcting your health challenge to others? Chances are that we share that misconceptions are in full force surrounding our diabetes & we get to pass through exasperation directly to a positive & genuine emotion & action that works for us. Some folks who do not understand diabetes or another 365 challenge will find humour to be a unifying way of sharing the truth. Other people prefer a polite yet more detached, shortened yet honest version of explanation. Humility, I find goes a long way in relating the information to others. When we truthfully share that frankly before we had diabetes or another health challenge that we did not understand the challenge either makes us human. It helps us to be more approachable & hopefully others will want to more accurately understand our health challenge. We can let go of initial exasperation in other words for the greater outcome of dispelling myths & building relationships where we can educate others with understanding. If we choose to get outwardly exasperated with people who have been unfortunate enough to say something that is inaccurate that we have heard for the hundredth time, then we are missing an opportunity. Put another way, if we become frustrated with the person’s question, then the person is not going to want to probably take the time to understand what the challenge is like in reality. Here’s another idea to ponder. If others are asking questions or making statements about the health challenge, then we have an opportunity to keep that door opened & correct misconceptions & educate with the truth. If we close that door to conversation, then we have opened up another door that we may not enjoy & that is the one where others don’t voice their thoughts but rather choose instead to make silent assumptions. Let’s go ahead then & pass by or through exasperation to an emotion that will keep our relationships progressing on a more positive track.
The second “triplet” of potential impediment to building understanding amongst folks about our health challenge is contemplation. That is the over thinking that can sometimes happen in life. It can be the sense of we need to think about something more or research something greater prior to becoming fully involved. Initially, that makes great sense. Do we ask ourselves though if we are perpetually studying our thoughts & then not prepared to ever move forward with action? Are we in a state of perpetual, “I’ll think about that” or “I will do something about that soon?” I know that I have fallen into that cycle myself. Have you for example as a wee aside found yourself voicing these words, “we should get together soon?” When is soon? I have asked myself that question & realized that it is basically “out in the ether.” There will be opportunities to educate others on what life feels like with health challenges. Are we advocating or “thinking about it” or “getting to that soon?” The antidote that I have found that works wonders for over contemplation is enthusiasm with a purpose. Each person will have his or her antidote that works best.
The third triplet is determination. Determination can be viewed most obviously through a positive lens. To have a determined spirit & a steadfast plan are admired characteristics. Determination without action though may equate to planning out a holiday however neglecting to go on it. We often hear the words, “I am determined to do that” or a variation of this. What does that mean? It depends on the circumstances in all likelihood. Some folks voice these words to make a positive impression on others. Other people don’t find the need to posture or make grand announcements but rather live an active life of determination. Then there are many others including myself who are partway on that journey in between those 2 extremes. My personal antidote for unactioned determination is accountability. I find that if I either write down the goal that I am determined or committed to action that the discipline needed is realized. In other situations, I tell either a mentor or family member or friend what it is that I am devoted to completing & attach a completion date as well. That works wonders. Again, what works for me will not necessarily be the way that best meets you at your needs. You will know what works best for you.
If we believe Margaret Mead’s words, “never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has”, then we may look at the triplets of “exasperation, contemplation & determination” more fully. We may ask ourselves if these triplets are roadblocks to making a positive difference in the world or if they are propelling us to positive action. Ultimately, it is the action that we take, the example that we set through action that leaves a personal legacy.
My heart’s hope for you is that you go ahead & put your positive purpose into action. One person does make a beautiful difference. One small group of devoted people makes a difference.
Smiles, Saundie :)
Have a super weekend & Monday's sharing is entitled, "Bring on the Hook & Ladder Truck!" :)