Four interesting things happened recently that made me think about how much of a struggle it sometimes is to live happily and passionately in spite of a lifetime of health issues like diabetes, and how critical it is to throw yourself with passion into doing the things that make you happy. Things that bring joy into your life. Activities that are so consuming that they make you forget, even if just for a little while, the burdens of trying to stay healthy and all that means.
First, my sister had a birthday and turned, well, three years younger than me. Nope, not telling! But I was thrilled to read her post at http://Beanygetsablog.wordpress.com and feel her growing happiness and appreciation, post-breast cancer, of everyone and everything in her life. She epitomizes what life’s all about–greeting every day with zest, loving her time with family and friends, immersing herself with gusto into cooking and city life, travel adventures and singing. Yes, my sister, I’m proud to say, is singing once again. That says it all: I am happy enough to sing my heart out and share my passion with others.
Then, I read an article on the internet that grabbed my attention–mostly because of what is not commonly seen these days in the news. It was about coping with Type 1 diabetes–and the article acknowledges how very hard it is.
Although it gives just a simple glimpse into some of the burdens of this disease, it still made me ponder how often (healthwise) I feel like a “bad” person when my blood sugars aren’t in control–despite my best efforts at maintaining my willpower, managing an insulin pump, trying to fit in healthy meals and exercise, and overcoming the high blood sugar rises that accompany stress. Or how often I fight feelings of sheer panic when I start to envision a future where I succumb to the often-reported scary complications of long-term Type 1 diabetes. I try not to do that too often, but it’s always there. And the best I can do is to keep trying, refuse to give up and live as normal a life as possible.
The third incident was happy and fun. I was on an agility course last week with my 6-year old whippet Zoe. She and I have been in the process of becoming a team where we can interpret each other’s signals, verbal commands and moves. The resulting bond from working together is awesome! When we finished a particular sequence of running several obstacles, the trainer’s words rang out to me. “Party her! Party her really well! She did a great job following you!” That made me smile so brightly that it could have lit up a room. First of all, I love playing with words, and here was a perfect example of turning a noun into the most amazing verb; it was perfect! Then I realized, that this word–as a verb–is so powerful, too. I couldn’t think of a better way to say what needed to be said. I thought later, as I drove Zoe and myself home, we all need to “party ourselves” in the issues and things that matter. We need to recognize the importance of taking the smallest steps forward on our life journey and be sure to celebrate doing so.
Finally, I had the absolute joy of running Zoe in an AKC agility trial last week. My sweet little whippet who is so shy becomes a driving, maniacal force out on the field–so much so that she (and I) often make mistakes (which we learn from) and of course then get disqualified (DQ’d). (It’s humbling, but you have to imagine trying to keep up with a whippet who can run like the wind!) So after a long dry spell of four trials and eight runs over five long months with no qualifying scores at all, on our very last run of the day, we finished the course. I knew Zoe had erred once when she went around, instead of through, the tire. So I’d brought her back and, this time, she soared through it, bounding over the last two jumps to the finish line. Had we “Q’d?” OMG–yes and more! Zoe and I had earned an astonishing FIRST PLACE!
A miracle? Perhaps. But I thought of all of our hard work and the challenges I faced struggling to not give up! That work and passion gave me such joy. I had tried to fly like the wind, too-channeling my beautiful soaring dog–and I was thrown into another dimension where diabetes, for once, didn’t exist, and the feeling of success was so sweet, so tempting, that it moved me to vow that I’ll keep on trying and loving life in spite of all its imperfections.
Power to partying your passions, and your steps forward no matter how big or small!
B well, be happy. Until next time, kath