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Top 5 things about #DBlogWeek

Before proceeding I would like to thank Karen Graffeo for organizing DBlogWeek and everyone who participated.

I began blogging in late December 2013, so this is my first DBlogWeek.

Initially I was hesitant about joining this event. A week or two before I had published posts on 6 consecutive days – my personal record. Would I be able to do it again?

Obviously I did join, and, as it turned out, my initial fears were unfounded. With that said, it wasn’t easy.

Attempting to keep up with other people’s posts was difficult. I fell behind. Although I failed to keep up, in the upcoming days I will make sure to read the ones that I missed.

Anyway…

Here is what made #DBlogWeek a great experience:

  1. It fosters a greater sense of community in the dblog solar system;
  2. It exposes one to different perspectives;
  3. One makes connections with formerly unknown people;
  4. It eliminates the need to find something to write about;
  5. It gives you an excuse to spam your followers with blog posts :p

May good blood sugars be with you all until next time!

Me I My, My I Me, My I My, Me Me Me

Being lost frightens us. Being alone, more still.
Trav’ling the beaten path, you’ll find neither.

Upon the beaten path there lies
a congregation of bandits.
Guard your priceless treasure!

If at a certain point you’re lost,
Let your anxiety subside.
Breathe gently in the summer air,
And in the forest wander.

What was once torn apart has been conjoined.
Two friends have been united!

Should you trust your gut?

As I reached forward, I suddenly felt myself being tugged away.

I could not do it. I was unable to press the button.

Eventually I broke free, and yesterday’s post was published.

I did not trust my gut.

—–

“I am responsible for everything … except for my very responsibility, for I am not the foundation of my being. Therefore everything takes place as if I were compelled to be responsible. I am abandoned in the world … in the sense that I find myself suddenly alone and without help, engaged in a world for which I bear the whole responsibility without being able, whatever I do, to tear myself away from this responsibility for an instant.”
~ Jean-Paul Sartre

—–

To be a blogger takes self-assurance. A great deal of it.

In part, it takes trusting your instincts.

You must believe in the ideas you have. Faith in your abilities as a writer is essential.

When I write, I trust my gut.

—–

“All human activities are equivalent … and … all are on principle doomed to failure.”
~ Jean-Paul Sartre

—–

Fear can be overcome. People with type 1 diabetes – those who previously feared needles – know this all too well.

Do not let fear be your master!

Do not allow fear to hold you back!

Battle Language – an explanation

I need to clarify something.

Heather Gabel’s comment a few posts back has made me realize that I have failed to explain why I use battle language. Motivation is not the primary motivator. My reasons are inextricably intertwined with my history.

Let me (try to) explain.

From an early age I have had a profound need to live a purpose driven life. The circumstances surrounding my diagnosis hastened the advent of this need, while other life experiences were an accentuating influence. This need would, in the course of time, strengthen and give direction to my intellectual curiosity.

Given my disposition, I was, quite naturally, inclined towards philosophy and spirituality. Pope John Paul II passing when I was 12 pushed me further in that direction.

In the ensuing years, I found meaning and purpose in faith. I became religious – extremely religious at times.

These years left an indelible mark on my future unfoldment.

It was during this period that I began to see my life as being a journey. Rising above my current situation was seen as a solemn duty.

The desire for complete transformation and the theme of spiritual warfare have been abiding influences. Due to these influences, I continue to see inner conflict and self-development as being inseparable.

Sun Tzu’s Art of War, which I read when I was 16, proved to be a further influence.

Noting the applicability of Sun Tzu’s advice to life in general, I started to, intermittently, explore the similarities between life and warfare, and began using lessons learned from the latter to assist me in the former.

In the language of war, I found a set of metaphors that were useful in helping me as I moved forward in life. They proved to be conducive to transcending the obstacles I ran into.

To expect the unexpected, the fallibility of even the best plans, the role of fortune, the importance of distinguishing between what is & is not in your control and of focusing on that which you can control – these are some of the lessons that have stuck with me.

These lessons are, I believe, beneficial to us all.

Similar yet different

I am a singular individual. Labels do not assimilate me. On the contrary, it’s to me that labels assimilate.

Labels conceal my uniqueness. They hide my individuality.

At the same time…

Each individual is a circle; a label = where circles overlap.

Labels hint at unity. They disclose my similarities with other individuals.

That is potentially beneficial.

Still…Labels  do not disclose me.

I have type 1 diabetes; type 1 diabetes does not swallow me up.

I am young;  being young does not swallow me up.

I am a New Englander; being a New Englander does not swallow me up.

I am an American; being an American does not swallow me up.

I am a man; being a man does not swallow me up.

I am a human; being a human does not swallow me up.

Labels may accurately describe one of my facets. Perhaps they might even explain an aspect or aspects of myself.

A useful negation they might be. Even so, but a fraction of my self is all you see.

Words to live by:

Cherish unity, but do not let love of unity lead to forced uniformity.

Cherish your individuality. Do not let labels obfuscate your uniqueness.

Be mindful.

These jottings are the result of a process of thought set into motion by a comment that Heather Gabel made.  She blogs over at Unexpected Blues. Check it out if you have not done so already!

Mark Twain was right

There is a sumptuous variety about the New England weather that compels the stranger’s admiration — and regret. The weather is always doing something there; always attending strictly to business; always getting up new designs and trying them on the people to see how they will go. But it gets through more business in spring than in any other season. – Mark Twain

It snowed in southern Maine today! Thankfully it was just a dusting. Still…it snowed. In mid-April. That ain’t supposed to happen!

New England weather is busy indeed! I wonder what other devious designs it has in store?

Mark Twain: a man of wit, wisdom, and…spot-on observations.

Change of Plans

My 12 year old sister was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes on April 1. Needless to say, my thoughts are centered around helping her to transition to her new life. Therefore, I’m going to put the series of posts that I was planning on hold indefinitely. Doing what I can to help her is more important than this diabetes blog.

With that said, I’m not disappearing from the Diabetes Online Community. The DOC is essential for my well-being.

If you want to stay updated, follow me on twitter @T1DME

April: A new month, a new direction

March has been a month marked by indecision.

Although I’ve had a plethora of ideas, they proved to be too many.

Despite having published posts for this type 1 diabetes blog, my work has felt pointless.

Having overcome diabetes burnout, I had lost a unifying theme.

April is a new month. With the onset of a new month, my indecision will melt away. The seeds of a new theme are about to take root and, over the upcoming days, weeks, and (possibly) months they will bloom.

The pointless pomp, the alliteration, the flowery language. All of that ends here; henceforth, I shall be clear.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • I’ll be starting a new series of posts relating to diabetes and loneliness;
  • The first post in the series will be published sometime next week;
  • I’ve been in the process of writing a guest post for a well known diabetes blogger;
  • The vagueness of this post is intentional;
  • For more information, follow me on Twitter @T1DME
  • I hope that you’re having a good day 🙂

I’ve got 99 problems and insomnia’s one

“To me, success is the ongoing process of striving to become more. It is the opportunity to continually grow….while contributing in some positive way to others. The road to success is always under construction. It is a progressive course, not an end to be reached.” – Anthony Robins, ‘Unlimited Power’

Insomnia has reared its ugly head. I’m feeling tired…oh so tired.

My mind is enveloped by a thick blanket of fog, but my eyes are as dry as a crisp winter day.

I hate insomnia. It’s an obstacle to that which I hold dear. Like diabetes, it makes everything more difficult.

Writing no longer comes with ease. It has become an arduous task. I had intended to update this dblog on Monday, but my tiredness sabotaged my attempts to write.

My intellect has been hit by insomnia as well. I love to think. I love intellectual stimulation, and seek it out. I love to ponder the mysteries of life, and dream about the possibilities of the future. Insomnia is an intruder. It gets in the way of these things.

Socially, I feel inept. Like my energy, my sociality has melted away. Face to face social interaction has become a chore. Conversations have become impossible to follow. Manners have disappeared.

I’d be a dishonest SOB if I plastered on a smile and claimed everything was going well. Insomnia’s making life less than ideal; however, things could be worse.

Although insomnia’s making my life less than ideal, having to deal with blood sugar problems in addition to insomnia’s much worse. Remarkably, my blood sugars remain at an acceptable level. This is atypical.

In every situation, positives and negatives can be found…

Although insomnia’s making my life less than ideal, it isn’t causing me any dire problems. It isn’t getting in the way of my day to day life. In the grand scheme of things, it isn’t a big deal.

In every situation, positives and negatives can be found…

Although insomnia’s making my life less than ideal, there are worse afflictions. Impoverishment, oppression, harassment, HIV/AIDS, cancer, etc. are all more extreme afflictions. Insomnia doesn’t prevent me from actualizing my self to the same extent as those other afflictions. Eudemonia is still possible. I can still flourish.

In every situation, positives and negatives can be found… How we interpret our circumstances is a matter of perspective. Our mood, our standards of judgement, etc. all mould our interpretation. The mind is not passive.

I’ve dealt with insomnia for years, but my approach hasn’t been fruitful. This has been a common theme in my life. More often that not, I’ve taken a pessimistic view of things. I’ve always had a knack for criticism, but a lack in my ability to see the bright side of life. My perspective on my life has often lacked balance.

For the past 4-5 years I’ve been rectifying this…

This post is but one component of a greater process that has been going on for years, and will continue to go on indefinitely.

Self-improvement has been my telos and moving beyond pessimism is a necessary goal if I’m going to accomplish my purpose.

I have a choice in how I will accomplish my goal.

My strategy is this: to focus on developing new habits rather than fighting old ones.

In effect, this means that I’m going to allow myself to continue looking at the negative side of things. Rather than expending my finite energy on fighting this habit, I’m going to focus on getting into the habit of looking for positives after I’ve looked at the negatives. I’m going to cultivate a balanced perspective.

By moving beyond optimism and pessimism, I’ll be able to take a more realistic view of life. By taking this perspective, I’ll, hopefully, allow myself to flourish.