In 2012, I was a bit quiet on my blog and even online within the diabetes online community (DOC). I spent the majority of 2012 offline with diabetes, working in real life with groups like Students With Diabetes, and spending the bulk of my time professionally in my job as a medical librarian. Now that 2013 is upon me, I want to get my voice back, realizing that time and
puberty experience may have changed some of what I have to say.
I get frustrated when I see folks posting so many “woe is me” blog posts, Facebook statuses, and even Tweets about how awful life with diabetes is. I get that, believe me. We all have our bad days, and I’m no exception. The frustration I feel is when that seems to be all that they are sharing, as if living life with diabetes is like walking around in a cloud of filth like Pigpen from the Peanuts gang.
I don’t want to be someone who parades around in a sea of hate because I have diabetes. Diabetes doesn’t own me, and I work extremely hard to never let it. Diabetes is not all bad. It’s a challenge, certainly. Life with diabetes is not going to always be easy, but it’s not going to always be the thing that demands every single second of my attention either. The same can be said for life without diabetes. If diabetes took up every single minute of every single day, none of us would have time for jobs, families, hobbies, or any other activity that is really what makes life worth dragging our carcasses out of bed for every morning.
I like to think that diabetes is more like a sleezy landlord in my body that I have to pay rent to (insulin, time, attention to details) and deal with quarterly walkthroughs of my proverbial apartment (trips to the endo) to continue living in its good graces. If I want to renew the lease on this walking shack of mine every year, then I have to do my job and take care of the things that were featured on the lease agreement that was forced upon me.
In 2013, things are changing. I’ve taken the first steps by completely redesigning Diabetically Speaking so that it is available to everyone via their mobile phone, tablet, or computer. All of the old posts are still there, but I needed to give my site and myself a refresh.
2012 was an election year, and it seemed like there was so much hate flying around. People that I thought I knew better showed (and in many cases are still showing) a side of themselves that I simply can’t support. It really made me feel like I couldn’t trust people, or myself, because I had made such a mistake in my judgement of their character. I’m not a hateful person, and I can’t operate with disdain toward people just because they don’t match my politics, religion, sexual orientation, skin color, income level, education level, gender, or any other measuring stick that people seem to choose when comparing others to themselves. In 2013, I am not going to tolerate that nonsense in my world. It yields no good. I am all for free speech and sharing of opinions, even if I don’t necessarily agree, but I believe we can do it with some human decency and respect for each other. Type 1 diabetes does not discriminate based on any of these things, which tells me that a stupid autoimmune system malfunction may have more sense than some of the rest of us walking around. Like diabetes, I want to give people an equal opportunity, because we all need someone who gets it, and gets us.
Finally, I’m not going to set specific goals for myself in 2013. In previous years I’ve set a list of goals, and some of them I accomplished, and some of them I didn’t. In the grand scheme of things it didn’t make a bit of difference. This year, I feel like I need to leave some room for the unexpected, and paint with a broader brush. I’m not going to force myself to lose X number of pounds, pay off X number of bills, pedal X number of miles, or write X number of blog posts. I’m going to set myself up for success, not failure, and I’m going to do what I can in hopes that it will be enough. I’m going to lose SOME weight, I’m going to pay off A bill, and I’m going to ride SOME miles and work my way back into riding shape, and share everything that is going on in my world WHEN I can.
This year, I want to find happiness, be kind, and seek greatness. I want to practice random acts of kindness, because despite appearances and our own biases, you never know just how bad the person sitting next to you may have it. Above all, I want to approach the world in 2013 like it’s an adventure, and let that lead me wherever it may.