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Slumps, Bumps & Triumphs
The Slumps, Bumps & Triumphs
What does the end of the tunnel look like? Does that matter if we are stuck mid way in that same tunnel? Most of us at some point or another have heard or used the phrase, the light at the end of the tunnel. Having that natural tendency to look for the light contains so many significant points of imagery. Being stuck though may depict a level of darkness. We each may try to keep at least a flicker lit within ourselves at all times & that really to me is a fancy way of steadfastly knowing with everything within us that there is always hope. Hope may mean different things at various times to us but essentially it is the belief that whatever is trying to extinguish the flicker of light will not succeed. It boils down very simply in my life to my daily need for love, hope & faith. It is the recipe to not only keep the light within us flickering but also ignited in such a way that it illuminates others too. I am always cognisant that there are little eyes upon me. Perhaps you feel that way too if you are a parent. Our kids learn from us about love, hope & faith. If we have type 1 diabetes or another 365 (or several) then we live our hope by growing in strength even on the physically & physiologically challenging days. Lets face it, we get a lot of practice when we have type 1 diabetes because we get thrown a ton of challenging days with blood sugars rollercoastering from what seems like a bottomless list of variables causing these.
Even if you share a natural tendency like me to be an enthusiastic, tenacious, strong person struggles & challenges can sometimes put us temporarily into the stuck in the tunnel zone. When we are in that zone it is difficult beyond words to dislodge ourselves & get to the end of the tunnel so to speak. When might the best time be to have strategies in mind for dislodging from the stuck in the tunnel zone? It could be a little like not maintaining our cars or even filling them up with gas, not having a cell phone to call for help & other analogies if we have not thought ahead about strategies. For instance, what frame of mind do you find yourself in if you are stranded in your car & have to figure out a way to get your car working again but have not thought ahead about this? When your car is not working are you frustrated, negative, and downtrodden? Maybe you are a glass full kind of person who takes it more in stride or anywhere in between. Attitude I believe is extremely important. I am not talking about trying to will yourself to have a better attitude artificially. It takes effort & exercise I have found. Everyone is a beautiful original so you may disagree. The point we always agree on is that we remain friends right. The real point that I am getting at is that if we have strategies for keeping our cars well maintained that does not mean that they will never be in need of repairs unexpectedly. Life is like that too. We get sent curve balls, challenges, struggles in life. Expect them. If we know they are coming what are we doing while we are immersed in the mountaintop times of our lives when we are closest to the sunlight so to speak? I will share with you that I have come to learn that when things are going great that is the time that I set aside a short timeframe to come up with ideas that future me will benefit from. That means that if I know that l can expect struggles from time to time even with all my careful planning then I may as well prepare for challenges to not only keep love, hope & faith in place but even to build them up from the valleys of life. This is hard to do. Difficult is type 1s middle name though so you and I are tough gentle souls. We do difficult 24 hours a day 7 days a week as we do all the heavy lifting of our flawed pancreases. We do the process engineering & that is no small feat.
For weeks I have been struggling with a bombardment of challenges coming out of many different directions. The irony is not lost on me that the harder I try to take a break & work on refueling the more fires need to be put out metaphorically speaking. Have you experienced times in your life where you have set a goal to take better care of your health & made a plan to do this including decreasing stressors & introducing in more breaks & have all your planning go south in a big hurry? Welcome to the months of January & February for me. Ok it is not time for a pity party at any time though. What do we do with & about whatever struggles come our way? We each will answer that question for ourselves. Specifically how do we keep our love, hope & faith strong during time of struggle? Again, we each have our very own answers. How about you? Remember the thing that works for me is that when things are going especially well in my life I take a wee bit of time & come up with that idea list to help future me with struggles? When the valleys of life hit, I go to that list of ideas & I action the ideas. I action those ideas if I feel like it or not because I am an adult. Being adults has given us lots of practice at doing things we don't like for the greater good. Layer on that we are adults with type 1 diabetes & we positively have to do things constantly every single day that we don't like doing like injections, glucose tests, eating in the middle of the night when we have a low blood sugar, at times postponing activities because of significant high or low blood sugars & countless other examples.
Just over a week ago I chose one of the more difficult actions on my list of ideas to implement. It was going to be a 2 day commitment. Who has time for that? If it is important enough the not having enough time excuse melts away though don't you find? To make a long story short I participated in an intense 2 day retreat. The humour within this 2 day retreat is that it ended up taking 3 days. I ran into all kinds of obstacles & distractions & difficulties while I participated in the retreat program. You know I am by nature a feisty, determined rascal though so I jumped over those obstacles & stayed the course no pun intended. There were times during the retreat that I felt like bailing or throwing in the towel on it but my gut just kept saying stay determined in this moment. The point is that ever since I completed the retreat I have felt stronger & more refueled for life's struggles. And by the way the week since the retreat has been even more filled with struggles but my love, hope & faith are stronger so I know it is all going to be okay. My life is a beautiful imperfect mess as always but I remain strong in love, gratitude, hope & faith.
My heart's hope for you is that if you find yourself stuck in the middle of one of life's tunnels that you have that go to list that you can put into action to get yourself right back into the light at the end of the tunnel again. Maybe a list will work for you of ideas to help future you. Have you thought about helping future you when you have been feeling especially on top of the world? We are each beautiful originals so maybe that will work for you too or maybe you have your own help your future self ideas. Either way I wish you ever strengthening love, hope & faith for your journey too.
Have a gentle week. The flu bug hit hard at our home over the past week with it beginning with our oldest son, then our youngest son & today it has hit me like a brute. The previous 4 days of blood sugars suddenly being constantly between 14-17 even with sick day management & numerous corrections & basal resets were my first clue that the flu was coming my way too. When we live with type 1 diabetes we often find out that we are about to get colds or flu days in advance don’t you find? May you stay clear of this awful flu bug. The week ahead is likely to be a tougher one with this flu bug so next story sharing will be in 2 weeks on Monday March 14th. The flu mixed with type 1 diabetes (and additional 365’s) is tough but so are we. Remember to keep your light shining.