Lessons Learned… (A.)

Saturday, April 30, 2016

My last post, I believe, was written on April 3.  It was a period of time during which I was feeling beyond stressed out. From that point until today, I haven’t been able to write a word. Nothing.

My brother was very ill and passed away on April 6th. (R.I.P., Joseph D. Masterson). My life came to a screeching halt. Those of you who have experienced profound loss, know that there’s a fog that seems to descend upon you and engulf your very being. You walk, talk, function, but it’s amid a bubble that seems to envelop you — at least that’s the way it’s been for me.

My “writer friends” told me to write it out; I couldn’t. They said it would be cathartic. I didn’t want that — I wanted him back.  Now.  For just one more conversation, one more laugh. Of course, that’s not going to happen.

In the part of his eulogy that I wrote, I thanked him for the impact he had on my life. It was huge.  He taught me not only to understand Shakespeare, but to LOVE him. I mentioned Hemingway, Steinbeck and a host of other authors to whom he “introduced” me. He taught me to fight AGAINST discrimination and FOR feminism. Respecting the opinions of others is a great lesson to learn from an older sibling.  There was that — and SO much more.

My brother was a Type 2 Diabetic  (insulin dependent) who chose not to control his diet. I only hope that I learn from his mistakes. I promised myself that I will follow a healthy diet and exercise, in a effort to control my diabetes — as a tribute to him.

This segment of Lessons Learned (A.) is about the impact of the loss of a loved one on the monitoring of my diabetes.  Maybe I should say the LACK of monitoring. No appetite. NONE. I forced myself to eat to the best of my ability during these weeks. I learned that sadness robbed me of my appetite, my everything. I kept telling myself that I HAD to eat because of this damned disease — and I did. Not much, but I did.

24 days have passed since my brother left this earth, and as I write this post, I realize that I’m doing exactly what he would NOT want me to do. So, as of tomorrow, May 1st, I will do what I need to do to stay healthy.  I’ll do it, with tears in my eyes; but, I’ll do it.

#luckylittlesister

Lessons Learned (B.)  will be posted tomorrow…

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BELATED HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Happy that 2016 has arrived?  I sure am.

My last post was December 4th.  I’ve been slightly distracted — a brief hospital stay (thanks to my wacko heart), and side effects of a new medication, kept me from posting.  BUT, I’m back in action and really happy and grateful to be writing again!   IMG_3344

So, dare I bring up Resolutions for the New Year?  If you made any, have you kept them?

Many moons ago I stopped making resolutions.  Why, you ask?  Simple. I rarely kept them and then suffered remorse, which resulted in doing MORE of what I had resolved to do LESS. 🙂   I decided that a more positive path would put more balance into my life. Focusing on BALANCE — that’s the answer!  Every area of our lives, food, exercise, family, work, all require balance.

The question is, How do we manage this juggling act, we call life?  I have some ideas on this topic. I’ve tried many methods to get this miss-mosh of a life in order. Some have been somewhat successful, others might be referred to as a dismal failure. What’s imperative is that we KEEP ON TRYING!  Here’s a suggestion, based on something that I always need to do:  MAKE A LIST…

There’s no way to have balance in our life, if we don’t know what it is that we value. So…

1.  MAKE A LIST— not in any specific order.  Do you value Work, Fun (recreation), Health, Friends, Spirituality, Family?  Any others?  Write them down.

2.   O.K., now take another sheet of paper and place it next to the list you’ve just completed.  Write PRIORITIES, at the top of this page.  Don’t rush.  Think carefully.

3.  Now, take your first list and write those things that you value, on your PRIORITIES LISTin order, of course, of priority! How important is each one to you, and where should it fit in on the list?  Don’t worry, you can’t make a mistake — this is YOUR list.  [Actually, I found this the most difficult part — What?  You don’t want FUN to be your #1 priority???]   🙂

4.   Next, take your list of priorities, and and create a chart that will allow you to manage your time in relation to your priorities.  Write the amount of TIME (hours, minutes) that you are willing and able to devote to each. Hmmm, is this exercise starting to make you feel uncomfortable?  Don’t panic, you’ll figure it out, and nothing is written in stone. Time is fluid, and sometimes we’re forced to make adjustments.

At this point, you’ve carefully examined your list of priorities — you’ve committed, in writing, those things, tasks, and people that you value the most AND, you’ve established the amount of time that you’re able to devote to each.  GOOD FOR YOU!        

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I CAN DO IT!

For ME managing my diabetes HAS to come FIRST on my list, and I imagine on yours, as well.  Most of us Type 2 diabetics have learned that, if we don’t put management of our diabetes first, nothing else falls into place.

Reflecting at the end of the day (I journal) has helped me to see what area(s) need to be improved.

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My journal helps to keep me on track!

Making time to do those things that make us happy, bring enjoyment to our life, is IMPERATIVE.

We only go this way once, folks!  At least, I think so…

HAPPY NEW YEAR, dear readers, and may 2016 bring laughter, love, and good health into each of your lives — Oh, and BALANCE too!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Resisting Temptation — YES, I AM!

It was a great weekend.  I met my siblings for dinner on Thursday night at a cozy restaurant on the north shore of Long Island.  Just LOVE doing that.  Sauerbraten caught my eye, as I perused the menu.  I haven’t had it in ages, so I dove in.  Mashed potatoes on the side, no butter; gravy on the side.  It was really good — I skipped the red cabbage except for two small forkfuls.  I love red cabbage, but it’s usually made with sugar so I’m careful.  Thankfully, it was thickened with something that screamed, Kathy!  Skip it. So I did.  No dessert, as usual, so all in all, dinner met my diabetic requirements.

I’ve been preparing myself (here’s a good tip!), before I go out, to remember what the purpose of the meal really is. Of course, it’s about having a nice dining experience, but I could do that at home. Mostly, the purpose of the gathering is to enjoy friends and family. This time — just family. I’m the baby, so I adore being with my elders 🙂  I always feel…protected. I’m sure that sounds crazy, because we’re adults, but feelings are just feelings, right? We have wonderful, interesting conversations, catch up, and have lots of laughs.  What could be better? If you haven’t done it lately, I highly recommend making a date to “break bread” (o.k., maybe NOT bread) with your siblings, cousins, any extended family members.  You won’t regret it.

YES I CAN!
YES I CAN!

When it comes to diabetes, support from family and friends is imperative. Oh, and it makes dealing with it a LOT easier.   🙂

Just know that, no matter what, YOU CAN DO IT!