One of the things that living with D has taught me - or is teaching me - is to not sweat the small stuff.
Priorities. Ya' know?
What's really important...
And how different our lives really are...
Since diabetes entered our lives, I have a whole new idea about what is really important. Diabetes changed me. It forever altered my life. It forever changed the person that I am. I wrote about it in my post Broken. And my post Imposter.
And I'm not the only one who feels this way. Meri has had One of Those Moments. Lora is 2 Years In and can see how living with D has changed her life - and how it will continue to do so. Laura wrote about What I Wish I Could Say. Heidi has lived over 1, 095 Days with D and knows how much of an impact it makes on your life.
It's been brought to my attention many times. Small moments where I glimpse a life not including diabetes. Moments when our reality smacks me in the face.
A few of these times have happened recently at school.
The other day I was talking with a friend. The friend had sent a note to school - during the first week of school - stating her displeasure with the fact that her child had not washed his hands before lunch the previous day.
Now I know a little about the start of the school year! The beginning of kindergarten is a crazy time - especially at lunch. Getting all 30 children from a special class (like art) to the lunch room, with name tags on, lunch boxes in hand, lined up according to lunch selection, and hands sanitized on time is close to impossible.
My guess is that part of the routine is sanitizing hands. But it's just that at the beginning of the year, it's hard to get it all done. VERY hard. Maybe it had slipped through the cracks the previous day.
My friend said that the teacher felt bad. She wants the kids clean before they eat,too.
As I was talking to her about this, it just hit me like a ton of bricks.
I was thinking to myself...
Seriously? You're pissed because your kid didn't wash his hands ONE DAY before lunch? Maybe you should come live MY LIFE. Handwashing -while important - does not make my Top 10 List of concerns for my child at school. I worry that my kid will make it through the day safely. As in ALIVE. Handwashing. Really. I WISH that was at top of my list of concerns.
Last week I had parent teacher conferences. One mother that I spoke with was wondering how her child got along with others. She wanted to make sure her child had friends, got along with others, etc. Totally understandable and a very important question. It was what she said that got me. She said, "I just worry about bullying. I think it's my biggest fear for my child at school - being picked on by a bully and not having friends. But I think that every mother feels that way. It's every mother's biggest fear."
There is nothing wrong with that statement. Nothing.
Except.... it's not MY biggest fear for my child at school.
My biggest fear is a miscalculated insulin dose. A missed low. Passing out. Coma. Death.
I was talking with someone the other day who was telling a story about a place she used to work. The people at her previous job all ate together in the lunch room. And if you did not bring in the most "healthy" of choices, you were judged. Looked down on. Snarky comments were made. You were made to feel like a big loser. A big, FAT loser.
Another friend works with someone who is always negative. This person complains about everything and has her nose in everyone else's business. And if how YOU do things does not meet up to HER standards - she's mean. She bullies. She tattles to the boss without ever mentioning it to you. She talks behind your back and trashes people's reputations without blinking an eye.
Another friend has had issues with the people she teaches with being jealous that she is able to bring her kids to work with her. It's a policy. This other teacher had the same opportunity. And chose not to take it. But makes life difficult whenever possible because others made different choices.
Yet another friend has told stories of how her brother-in-law COMPLETELY flies off the handle at waiters or waitresses if his food or service does not meet his expectations.
And we all know the stories of the parents who go all kinds of crazy at their kids sporting events.
There are times when I listen to things like this that I wonder if maybe I somehow I was abducted by aliens and I'm on some kind of weird, parallel planet. Or if everyone else was abducted by aliens who rewired their brains to worry about trivial nonsense.
But the thing is... I get that it's not trivial nonsense to them.
Handwashing. Customer service. Health food. School policy. Kids sports.
It's important to them.
And I really shouldn't judge. Because I was one of them not so long ago.
Back when my biggest concerns were my clothes. Or how my hair looked. Or what I ate.
But all that changed on April 27, 2009.
I don't have the time or the energy to care what someone else is eating at lunch or wearing or the choices they make.
If I have bad service, yeah, I get frustrated and impatient. But I also wonder if maybe they have a sick child at home.
If my child doesn't wash her hands before she eats at school.... Well.... She'll live.
Maybe I'm the alien!
Sometimes I wish I could shake these people and make them see what's really important.
It's family. It's friends. It's God. It's loving. It's living.
I wake up every day and the most important things for me are to love my family and my God and to keep my girl ALIVE and as healthy as possible.
The rest is small stuff.
I don't sweat the small stuff. Or at least I try really hard not to.
Thanks to diabetes.
(Maybe it's not always so bad..... Maybe....)