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Okay? Really?

21/01/2013 09:56

Years ago when my husband & I were dating, I would visit his family home located over 100kms away from where I was living.  My husband’s Mom & Dad had a book on the bookshelf in their family room that we will paraphrase the title & call it “I’m Fine, You’re Fine”.  Even with my love of books, I did not read that particular one.  Have you had one of those rare occasions where you have found that you literally were repelled by the title of a book?  We do our best to look beyond that cliché of “don’t judge a book by its cover” yet once in a great while that exact thing does happen.

My then boyfriend (now husband) went to the same university.    They are years that we both remember with a smile well.  The fun “rivalry” that the engineering students had with the “arts” students was a source of humour.  Specifically, the two groups would detail reasons why math or the arts would be needed more in life.  Again, this was done in a humourous way.  If an arts student was dating an engineering student, then other friends would declare that “another one had gone to the dark side.” It was fun banter that was said each time with a smile & in friendship.

One of the smile & a wink things that my then boyfriend would say in reference to the book that I mentioned is that he was thinking about also writing a book called, “I am not at all normal & you have even more challenges.”  In fairness again to the book mentioned, neither one of us have ever read it.  It was just the title that got us thinking.  My husband is a person of few words so when I say that we talked about the idea of people proclaiming to be “fine”…well, it was mostly me doing the chatting.

As life went along, the idea of people being “okay” perceptually always got me thinking.  If we choose to put on a mask for the world that everything is “okay with me & by the way, when I ask you how you are…you need to say fine or okay too”, that troubles me.  Please don’t get me wrong.  I am not suggesting that folks wear their emotions perpetually on their sleeves.  It is just that it seems as though there is a lot of “masking” going on these days.  There is the need for some folks to show a mask of perfection or near perfection, or the “I am extremely busy” mask or “I don’t need anyone ever super strong” mask.  It causes me to be hopeful that if we share time with others in the spirit of “we are all human & that is welcome here”(acceptance of others for exactly who they are) that we can start something of a “new normal” way of enjoying one another’s company. 

Emotions are emotions.  The full range offers a feeling of being fully alive I believe.  I am not interested personally in living a life of trying to  keep some emotions out in order to avoid feeling a perceived negative emotion.  I don’t want to live a life that appears to be a long horizontal line.  There is imagery intended.  When we have our heart monitored, the line is up & down & that is what life fully lived feels like to me too diabetes or no diabetes.

The vast majority of the time, I am a “bring the day on in a big way” kind of thinking gal.  This morning, I had one of those time to time, “it is just fine to feel this way” mornings.  This morning, the boys & I discussed upcoming plans that we have to go to Banting House .  It will be our first visit there & the feeling of anticipation that I have about that experience is indescribable.  I know one thing for sure & that is that this is “exactly the right time” for this upcoming visit.

This morning my “low” followed by a “high” were not in the form of hypoglycemia nor hyperglycemia.  As I talked to the boys about our upcoming Banting House visit, the emotions “overflowed”…in the form of tears.  The tears were first sad ones as I thought of the people that lived before 1922, before insulin was created.  Type 1 diabetes was terminal in those pre-1922 days.  I cried tears of sadness for the families that lost children before insulin was a treatment.  This respectful & earnest” low” was followed by an intense “high”.  The life that insulin gave us back is a gift that I don’t take for granted.  Against the odds, Frederick Banting offered those of us living with type 1 diabetes our lives back.  My choice is deciding how to live this life that I still have 5 years post diagnosis.  I choose to live a life of full “aliveness” & thankfulness & hope & compassion with no masks required.  Each person gets to choose how he or she lives life too.  You know what, I don’t want to be “okay” but rather choose instead to be “enthusiastically me”, & I don’t want you to be “okay” either.  For you too, I hope that you are blessed with a full & vivid life…use all the colours in the crayon box of your life too!

Smiles, Saundie :)