Our Diabetes/365 Community IS our cuppa!
Missing Part of the Banquet (For Now)
The sky must be falling since there has been no singing of the tea kettle & no sweet aroma of dark, rich, bold coffee brewing for this gal for 4 days now. A day without tea I have found is like a day that the sun forgot to shine. Tea is my favourite food/drink & every cuppa is an experience. You don’t merely “drink” tea. Many other folks have shared their stories of favourite tea stories. There was a short interview on television with Thich Nhat Hanh not so long ago. What an incredibly peaceful person this gentleman is. The interview was specifically about how he experiences tea. It was in the way that he gazed upon his tea, breathed gently & deeply, appreciated the beauty of the nectar& took his time savoring his tea that was peace personified. He went on to explain to the audience that he finds that it takes a full hour to experience his cup of tea. Now you or I may be thinking a myriad of thoughts about taking an hour to enjoy 1 cup of tea. The logical side of our brains may be saying that the liquid would be cold in that timeframe. You know what I would say? There would be two things that come to mind. One is that in an hour, I would tend to drink a whole pot of tea no problem. The other thought is that this gentleman is really using the example of tea to teach something much more profound. All that I can say right at this moment is “I miss you tea & look forward to your speedy return” whether it is a cup or a pot.
What is your average per day capita for tea or coffee enjoyment? My favourite combination is about 8 cups of tea per day plus one perfect cup of coffee. That may mean that if you or I were to skip our coffee or tea or favourite beverage for many days in a row that we would miss those steamy cups of joy to say the least. There are many reasons why we may miss our cuppa. Perhaps if we have type 1 diabetes or another “365” challenge we have an early morning lab appointment & we have been directed to fast for that. Maybe instead we are running late & the thing that we don’t have time for is our cuppa that morning. Another possibility is that we have been advised to give up our coffee or tea for a period of time by one of our medical team members. Or, just like this week for me, the reason may simply be that we have the flu & we have zero desire to consume our cuppa.
When are we most likely to come in contact with the flu? Naively, my thought was that I did not need to give flu a single thought until at least November & maybe even later. Guess what, I was wrong this year big time! Beautiful September, my favourite time of the year & boom the flu snuck up on me & got a hold of me. Whether we have diabetes or another “365” challenge or not, the flu is a stinker. All our plans suddenly are out the window until we recover from the flu. Our “go to” blankies may be both our cherished comfort & loathed entirely at frequent intervals as we go through hot & cold flashes throughout the flu. It can be a monumental task trying to keep blood sugars in decent range at the best of times but during the flu it can be a rapid moving & ever changing target. Thankfully, I have been fighting the good fight & having some luck with blood sugars this week even with the flu. It is a dash of experience & a pinch of luck I believe seeing the blood sugar results this week not go completely amuck. Thank goodness for my buddy, my insulin pump since I have been able to make some adjustments to manage sick days. To this day, I still remember the very first time that I had the flu while I was on multi injections. It was like a runaway freight train trying to manage that first flu I found. It is in the little bits of good news that can make a difference when we have diabetes as well as additional illnesses to fight I think. Decent blood sugars have kept my spirits up this week. Had it not been for this, I would have found something else to be grateful for.
Do you find that it can become more difficult to be in self propelled “quarantine” after a few days? Some folks refer to this feeling as “cabin fever.” It seems that we were made for one another & to live as a community so being on our own may at times feel unnatural. Everyone is a beautiful original so some folks will feel differently about this. Moving towards my own personal balance, I have found that an hour a day if possible in the “classroom of silence” is golden with the remainder of the day in the company of others. Let’s face it though, when we have the flu, we make the wise decision to keep others at bay so that they do not catch the flu from us. That means that we end up spending a great deal of time on our own. Does it remind you too of not being at “the” banquet?
In 2004, I heard & embraced a definition of banquet that stays with me profoundly. I was in my RCIA preparation classes & our teacher was someone profoundly principled, fearless about teaching right from wrong, was clear about learning expectations and was bold. There’s still a shadow of that little girl that I have described before that lives within me especially in new situations. My natural state of being is to try to help others to be comfortable & happy. My name literally means, “Peacemaker.” Our journeys in so many areas of life continue until our very last breath I believe. This teacher taught me so much. Have you found yourself in a situation where you are communicating with someone with a very different personality style from your own? Of course you & I have. What do we do with this? My thought is that we have an opportunity to learn from the other person. Perhaps we learn even more because we are outside our comfort zones. Every so often, I find that I really need my thoughts challenged or broadened in order for growth to happen. It is uncomfortable yet I have found that it is worth it. Let me share my teacher, Father Bernard with you as I share one of many priceless values that he instilled in me.
Perhaps you share the natural way of having a sentimental heart too. Maybe you too like others to get along & be joy-filled. Has someone come across your path that was meant to provide more strength to you for the rest of your journey? Maybe even at first glance, you may have wondered why this person was on your path & thought that things felt pretty uncomfortable. One of my traits is that I don’t like to “bother” anyone. That is really code for I don’t like to ask anyone for favours or basically to ask for help. That is a work in continuous practice reshaping that tendency. I love to help others yet when it comes to asking for help, I put huge effort in being completely independent to a fault. Through difficult lessons well into adult hood, I have learned that I was misguided in that tendency. That is another writing sharing in & of itself. The point for our time today is that I was 3 weeks into the studies before I meekly approached Father Bernard & let him know that I did not have a sponsor (Godparent). Father Bernard looked me squarely in the eyes & said, “Why did you not say something about this 3 weeks ago?” He is a bold presence & I was pretty certain that my response of “I did not want to bother you” was not going to cut it. Thankfully, only a few seconds went by & then he said in a matter of fact way that he had the perfect sponsor for me. That intimidating conversation put me on the path with my Godparents. For that alone, I will be forever grateful. My Godparents are amazing & more. During each & every class, Father Bernard made sure that each & every person in the room understood the decision that they were making. He piled on the homework each week beyond what I had even experienced in University & the questions were brutal. He accepted no excuses for unfinished homework or answers that were not thoughtful. He expected us to be the “deluxe versions of ourselves” & to push beyond. These classes have stayed with me & always will. Father Bernard described our faith as being a banquet & never a cafeteria. There is a huge difference between a banquet & a cafeteria he taught us & then asked us whether we wanted to experience a banquet or not. In extrapolating from that talk which was faith based, we can look at life this way too. In a cafeteria, we pick & choose what we like & we don’t like. It is a ho hum experience at best. At a banquet, it is magnificent & there will be some portions of it that some people will like better than others but the parts they like, they actually love & so we embrace the whole banquet. That is life & that is type 1 diabetes. It is a part of life’s banquet. Does anyone like having diabetes or a “365” challenge? Of course we don’t. Have we allowed diabetes or “365” challenges to teach us anything about ourselves, and about the banquet of life? Have we found out that we are stronger than we ever knew we were? Have we found our voices? My heart hopes so.
In April 2004, I was welcomed to my faith banquet. Then in July 2004, Father Bernard baptized our second born son with a huge smile on his face & we invited him to our family banquet. It made me smile that this person who I had been profoundly intimidated by was now a friend.
It may surprise you to be thinking about banquets when you have the flu. That is exactly where my thoughts are going to. I realize that yes, we do get the flu or colds and things like this even on top of diabetes or other “365” challenges yet it is part of life’s banquet. It is a tiny part. After the flu goes away, you bet I will be back involved in all the great parts of the life’s banquet in full force. I am resting up so I will be “super energizer bunny” again.
My heart’s hope for you is that you never lose sight of the beautiful parts of life’s banquet that you hold dear to your heart.
Smiles, Saundie :)
May this week be a banquet filled with gratitude in countless measures & next Monday's sharing is, "A Space Beyond, I'm Sorry" :)