Our Diabetes/365 Community IS our cuppa!
“Tag, you’re it!” “Hey, I am just minding my own business & did not ask to play in these games & besides that, I have a plan” you & I may be saying. Still, we are in “it” neck deep.
For the past three or so years, I have really looked forward to six weeks that happen over part of the winter season. It is one of two times of the year where I actually assess how things are going & I do it quietly & plan fully. If my path has become crooked then I try my best to straighten things out to the best of my abilities. It is a process of seeing how my current habits are serving the important areas of my life like physical, emotional, spiritual and intellectual. It is asking whether things are going forward in a healthy direction or if a course correction is needed.
What happens though when we have the plan, the commitment to the plan & we are determined to do it & ready, set, derail, poof?
How many days in a row can we wake up & claim that this is a new day & it will be “the” day that things get on the right track? How many days can accumulate before we throw our arms in the air at times in frustration at it not being yet again the fresh start that we had hoped for? It is one thing I find if my intentions are admirable yet my actions are lacking. It is then the person staring back at me in the mirror that I then hold accountable. What if though, the plan is in place, the intention is there & the actions are put into place & yet the outcome is basically the polar opposite despite best efforts? That to me feels like the definition of exasperation.
Type 1 diabetes taught me a long time ago that the best intentions don’t always find the results that are deserved. It is an exasperating disease. So many times I have mentioned that with type 1 you can do everything right & still get stinking results. You can make plans & they can go the way of the doo doo bird for a time because when type 1 screams at me it is ear shattering. Type 1 can feel like we are carrying an one thousand pound boulder around & it crazy glued to us. Type 1 sometimes leaves me feeling like my life is in limbo especially when the fight against it is grueling & my spirit tells me each evening before my head hits the pillow that tomorrow will be a fresh start. It is a fresh start for sure & I will always feel this way yet it is at the same time a fresh start with the same boulder. The thing with boulders though is that the load is bearable with love & compassion & hope I have found. I know with every part of me that on no day have I ever carried the heaviest part of the load of the boulder on my own & I am deeply grateful for this. Some days I go ahead & get sad or angry or feisty or any range of emotions about having type 1 diabetes yet there is no giving up. Our youngest son has a beautiful way of saying so naturally every time someone is an outlier, “there’s nothing wrong with being different.” To add to that, I have seldom been afraid of feeling the full range of emotions so I think having type 1 has definitely magnified that. As Alex says, “we share sensitive hearts.” There is everything right with that in my heart & I love this.
Here it is three weeks into the six week time period that I had previously found so medicinal, peaceful & grounding & I am at best at the stage of “ready, set, set, set, set, set….” It is not for lack of trying & that is what bugs me the most. The plan was to go deeper into reflecting on what needs changing or tweaking & taking action to get on the right track in the areas of health & wellness in every sense of the meaning (physical, emotional, spiritual & learning). What I have come to realize at week three is that perhaps my planning, determination & actions are fine but there is a greater lesson for me to learn at this point. Although I cannot be sure, my gut feeling is that the journey & reflection for this six weeks are not going to be on my terms yet there is going to be something strengthening in another way in store. I have made a decision to embrace humility big time for the balance of these three weeks & gulp…patience. Humility is a focus because maybe just maybe I need to realize that just because I have a plan & am determined to see it unfold a certain way does not mean that there is not another way…even a better way. A long time ago, a mentor said to me, “you don’t know what you don’t know because to know & not to do is not to know.” This six weeks is unlike previous years because I have been pretty much continuously really sick not just with type 1 but with other illnesses on top of that. To add to that, I see my calendar full of medical tests, procedures & appointments. It looks like a full time job managing my health & appointments but it cannot be because there is so much,much more to each day. It kind of feels complicated. It will be okay though because the love & support that my family & friends give is indescribable. It is amazing how someone can say just the right thing at the right time or simply smile knowingly or give our hands a squeeze that can give us the parallel feeling of a heavy weight lifter.
Type 1 had a way of getting through to me finally that it is okay to let others in to share in lifting the boulder. Before I was diagnosed with type 1, I used to be the gal that listened to others & helped others yet portrayed to the outside world that I was doing great. It was a one way lean on me. That makes for a loop sided relationship though I have come to realize & it was also selfish, limiting & stagnant of me. It was selfish because it is my feeling that it would have been more generous of me to have shared my struggles versus always seeming to be having a right on day every day. Connections are made within the spirit of the “me too.” To get there, I learned to be okay with being vulnerable, even at times being hurt by others. It has been & it so worth it to feel such heart to heart connections. It was limiting to be a closet perfectionist of sorts because it was like I did not put my whole heart out there fully to the majority of people. In the safety of my home I felt the full range of emotions yet in public, I was perceived as happy it seemed all the time. I realize too that I missed opportunities to do what I really love best & that really is to serve others & connect fully heart to heart with others because I am sure that at times some people felt that my life was too perfect for me to understand his or her current struggle. It was stagnant way to have relationships because I really only allowed others to know a certain portion of me as if the rest was totally unacceptable like failing or crying or being angry. It all became so crystal clear though I admit once I was diagnosed with type 1. All of that became a total waste of time…the holding back. It is obviously not at all good to have type 1 or any health challenge. The lessons though that having type 1 have already taught me are profound. I wish I could have gotten to this point another way but it is what it is.
In the last few days, I started letting the rest of the six weeks be what it is going to be. Please don’t get me wrong, I am still taking incredible care of managing the type 1 beast & still going to all the barrage of appointments & procedures & tests. My attitude & my stubborn willfulness have taken a 360 turn though. The coolest result is that the boulder feels lighter than it has over the past 3 weeks. Today, the nausea that I have been living with for years now lifted for 5 glorious hours while our sons & I went to the movies & then to a favourite bakery afterwards. Over the past couple of months there have been more & more foods that have lead to nausea & pain. Strangely in the last 2 weeks, I cannot seem to keep coffee down & I hope that is temporary. Even my beloved tea over the past 10 days tastes “funky” & undesirable which is big time weird. That I really, really hope is short lived but thankfully water has never tasted so good so that’s an upside. Surprisingly today at the bakery as the boys were choosing their sinful cupcakes, I looked with a gleam in my eye at what I consider to be amongst the yummiest cannolies anywhere & thought what the heck, why not give it a try.
Wholly cannoli, that cannoli against the odds hit the spot so I pressed my luck & married it up with a scrumptious cappuccino. Yay, I caught a break finally & enjoyed the treat symptom free. While we were having our treats together, our sons & I found ourselves breaking out into a natural game of “I Spy” & laughing & then talking about our favourite parts of the movie that we enjoyed together today. We had watched “Mr. Peabody & Sherman” & it was a hoot. I shared with the boys that my second favourite part of the movie was the line in it that said “every dog should have a boy.” It hit me as especially endearing because our family is “owned” by a golden retriever. That’s always the way we have looked at it too & that is that we are “owned” by our golden retriever & never the other way around. Every single day we are grateful to wake up to the smile on our furry goldie’s face & her wagging tail. She is just herself & she is pretty terrific even when she rolls in the mud or tips her water dish over when she is playing in it like a wadding pool or in the summer when she jumps into the boys wading pool covered in mud when they are already in there. Wholly cannoli, it is what it is & we are what we are. Diabetes is what it is. It is okay to let it be what it is & be who we are with or without diabetes I have learned through time & life’s journey so far. And I know that my mentor’s words of “we don’t know what we don’t know…” will forever be true. That’s okay too. The lesson is there for me to learn & be okay with the way it all unfolds. I don’t know what tomorrow has in store yet I do know this much & that is that I choose to never carry that boulder alone ever.
My heart’s hope for you is that you feel the compassion & love of others helping you carry boulders along your life’s journey too. We are not meant to do anything of any real significance alone I believe. Just as every dog should have a boy, every person should have a battle buddy.
Smiles, Saundie :)
Have a delicious week & see you next Monday for the next blog sharing :)