Our Diabetes/365 Community IS our cuppa!
Sure, ho! ho! ho!
Ho! Ho! Ho! Ho-ly shit it is almost Christmas. Not to sound too Grinch-like however to be totally real, sure, are parts of Christmas that I would love to keep from coming. Are you coming up to the point where you look at the list of Norman Rockwell type items on your Christmas to do list and kind of just shrug? Who is going to do all that stuff? How in the wide world will it get done on time? What if most of it does not matter in the least iota? Please don’t get me wrong…I actually love Christmas (if I can catch my breath )the pure Christmas spirit versus the less than magic other world nonsense. My job is to not get sucked into the nonsense. Some days I wonder how that would look. Does that mean that it would be better not to set foot inside a mall? Realistically speaking that seems unlikely yet I could sink my heels in & make some parameters my positive thinking self says. It could mean just 1 trip to the mall with a comprehensive list & completion of said shopping by no later than December 15th. That is my plan this year so please wish me luck just like I am sending you luck too.
In turning over my wall calendar to December I felt hit with a not so great feeling. Look at all those days already spoken for…appointments for my bratty diabetes & appointments for our son and other stuff all over the first couple of weeks of this month. Rats! The word “simplify” comes at me in neon lights in my mind. It is exactly the right time to get the right attitude about what matters & what is silly nonsense. I don’t need to listen to the thoughts in my mind about what an ideal Christmas looks like. My messy, beautiful real life holidays are enough. They are more than enough I realize. In the front of my mind it is great to know that any picture of perfect has been erased etch a sketch fashion from my brain and that does not mean that I suck at entertaining or all the rest of it. I am going to enjoy guests & heaven forbid I am going to let Mr. Costco help me out with goodies…something that I would have never given myself permission to consider in previous years. Also it is ever simmering on the front burner of my brain that every stinking day every single day and night is being recorded for my next 2 visits to the Endo. That means that I cannot put diabetes management on the back burner over the Christmas season like frankly I have in the past. This year the brat of type 1 has made its point of insisting on being looked after compliments of my last scary lab results. Okay, diabetes, you are the one that is finally giving me permission to get more assistance & more simplification finding short cuts for the holidays because the time & effort needed to manage the hell out of diabetes this time of the year is brutal. Something has to give. The fun cannot be what has to go. The fussing over decorations & food though could get largely eliminated without shortchanging fun. It is beyond a gift that finally I have begun to embrace the fun of being unapologetically myself. That means that when I am a total klutz & drop stuff (especially in public) I get to laugh. It also means that if company shows up I am not going to judge myself as less than if what I have on hand to serve as an appetizer is bagel bites or whatever. Finally I am just plain okay with not being the cat’s ass entertainer. It is about the sense of community after all & I know I have missed out on that by being a Martha instead of a Mary. More & More I have found myself in natural situations with other gals & admitted to being one flawed human. Then we have laughed & others have shared their feelings of being flawed too. The definition of being flawed varies for each of us. Take a bad mood that I might have. My husband will always say there are very few people out there that would ever pick up on one of my bad moods. He says that my bad moods are better than a lot of other people’s good moods. Well, that is a relief. That also means that I get to be exactly myself. How great that feels. I don’t suck if I admit to being far from perfect & refusing to participate in that myth.
Time is short so that means that things have to start getting stroked off the holiday to do list. I don’t want to get to be a super curmudgeon by trying to do it all. Who is this myth who is pulling off the doing & having it all? That sounds like a pet unicorn to me. There may be an intersection of “me too” that adds to a sense of community by letting the cat out of the bag about our real selves. If we are not loved for who we really are then what is the point anyhow. When I first met my husband we were teenagers. I have always had a love of reading. One of the books I noticed his parents had on their bookshelf was “You’re Okay, I’m Okay.” The myth starts there. I rarely feel like I have my shit together much less like I am okay. I have fleeting moments of joy but not really a sense of okay. Then it dawned on me that none of us are likely okay anyhow yet who wants to be merely okay…surviving anyhow. The joys of life are indescribable & the lows of life in my experience have led me to where I have become comfortable in my own rascally skin. Some people never get to that point so I am grateful. It is very cool that without fail whenever I have spilled the beans about not being okay, not being or having or approximating anything other than a chaotic, messy beauty within my life others have been frigging relieved. The jig is up. I don’t think I can have it all by the world’s standards. That’s okay, the world’s views have proven to be upside down in my experience. I have nothing to prove because I just get to be unapologetically myself whether it is the holiday season or anytime of the year. I do give a tip of the hat to type 1 for getting me to that point sooner. When you literally fight for your life every day you “get it.” I have had 5 very scary lows in the night during November. That had to get my closest attention & I got my resident process engineer on my team to help me out because I don’t want to me an idiot & not ask for help that is so available. Sometimes I need the extra brain power to figure the shit out of the stuff that is baffling about diabetes lows & highs. Thankfully I have not had a night time low for a couple of weeks now so hats off to my resident mathlete. I hate math but math saves my life. I don’t have to pretend to be an Einstein. That is what the math gurus are for. The point is that night time lows can literally be deadly. It has to scare the hell out of me. It does not mean that I choose to live in fear though. I just have a healthy respect for the power of insulin to do good or harm. When you are hit with life & death choices & responsibilities you “get” what is bullshit aka nonsense & what is of any value at all. The great news is that by writing this story, I have accumulated enough contributions to my swear/coffee jar that I can easily go out to my favourite coffee haunt for a double espresso later today. Do I have time for that? Who cares! I am going & have zero guilt about that.
What is on your Christmas list? In the early years of life with type 1 diabetes I would idealistically hope for a cure for diabetes. Of course I hope for a cure always all year long but I don’t wait for it to be fully engaged in life. And well, my own Christmas list now is pretty down to earth. There are the usual list of too many books because I love, love, love to read. I also love the smell & feel of books. As an aside when I was in university I made several trips to the rare book section of the arts library to simply smell those books. It was awesome. I probably looked like I was stark raving mad but I am just fine with that. Okay & the other thing that is on my wish list honestly is gingerbread & lemon cupcakes from Kelly’s gluten free bakery. They are only available in December & they are my favourite favourite & I have a lot of favourites from that bakery! I feel like a little kid when I eat that cupcake. It is a lemon cupcake with lemon icing & spices & then a wee gingerbread man cookie on top. The coffeecake cupcake is a close second favourite with the espresso in the cupcake & icing & a wee cinnamon sugar donut on top. That bakery makes the best espresso I have ever had. Hopefully I will make the nice list because my mouth is watering thinking about my favourite bakery. Speaking of books, I have read at least 6 new books in the past month. Thankfully, I was given the gift of speed reading so when I go on a learning binge via books, I can accomplish a lot of reading. I don’t know what I don’t know so I embrace being a lifelong reader. If you are looking for a wonderful book for a gal on your list, one book that I enthusiastically encourage you to give is “Carry on Warrior, The Power of Embracing Your Messy, Beautiful Life.” When I read it I felt like I was listening to a dear girlfriend share the real deal & provide a big nod of sisterhood giving us each final permission to be exactly ourselves. There is enough fake stuff out there so how utterly refreshing to have all the veils removed & realize once & for all that real is messy beautiful big time.
Merry Christmas Battle Buddies. Whatever your holidays look like may you be the hero of your story. Let go of perfect which is a messed up myth anyhow. Oh & get as much humour infused into your holidays as possible. Last week my family sat down to watch “Christmas Vacation” which is one of our annual traditions. There is so much humour in real life so let’s go right ahead & laugh our asses off. As always I am cheering for you.
Have a gentle Christmas season & celebrate the meaningful every day. Please join me in not participating in the nonsense that myths are made of…trying to do & be it all. Be unapologetically yourself. Listen to your very own laugh. As a wise loved one says to me all the time, “If you think you don’t have time to take a 30 minute walk, take a 60 minute walk instead.” Well, I will take a walk to the local coffee haunt for that double espresso. Merry Christmas & may the new year be filled with hope, love & laughter for you xo
The next story sharing will be on Monday January 23rd.