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Don't Sweat the Small Stuff

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

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.  

And now....  
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.  

That's it.

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....)


  1. I know eaxtly what you mean. We are a rare breed for sure. I take pleasure in things other dont either and cherish the 30 min i have to play with my make up (i dabble in make up) when bgs are behaving or getting excited when supplies come early or look forward to taking a shower without d getting in the way...we are just different. But i love u just the way you are :)

  2. Awesome!!!!

    I was actually thinking the other day about how the small stuff puts me OVER THE my brain is so busy thinking about the setting changes I just made...that thinking about the laundry makes me want to throw up.


    Beautiful post!!!

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  4. I'm with you sister. I totally 100% agree. We are changed. Period.

  5. It is the silver lining, right...that ability to really see what matters and what doesn't anymore....great post, thanks for sharing from your heart.

  6. Funny, I was just thinking this yesterday while some "Adult Friend Drama" was unfolding. I was thinking..."Really?...Honestly, I don't have the time or the energy to be involved in this. I am busy with my family, busy being a full-time pancreas...busy trying to "LIVE" "... Thank you for writing what has been on my mind. Great post Hallie, as always!!!

  7. Absolutely brilliant. I am thankful every singly day that its diabetes and not something even more serious. I too know many people who get frustrated by or worry far too much about the most trivial of things. Sarah - thats a great way of looking at it. I guess we have to feel sorry for those who lack the ability to look at things the way we do, and fight the urge to tell them "it could be worse" !

  8. Great post. Definitely don't sweat the small stuff here!

    Clean hands? LOL! That one made me laugh. My kids and clean hands happens a few times a day, not at every meal. And I am ok with that!

  9. We don't sweat the small stuff either and it's also hard for me not to say to other parents - Why don't you just live a day in my shoes and these things would be so trivial to you!

    We are changed. We are different. No doubt about that.

  10. You nailed this post! You totally tapped into my head once again. I have been mulling over this post, but trying to figure out how to blog it without offending or betraying anyone, who might read it.

    One of my best friends has a son, who recently had a stomach virus. He was sick from 3am to 6am on her day off. That's it- 3am to 6am. She had a crappy night's sleep for ONE stinkin' night. And her kid was fine. She moaned and groaned and whined and complained because he ruined her day off and she was tired and she had to spend the day at home with him. Her kid does not have D. She didn't worry about ketones. She didn't worry about blood sugars. She didn't have to be concerned with how to keep up his blood sugar when he couldn't keep any food down. She didn't fear that this simple stomach bug would hospitalize him. She has NO idea how easy she has it!

    On another day, she told me, "I'm so glad my kid comes home from school alive every day, because he's such a crazy kid." Her kid is a normal, active, seven-year-old boy with NO health issues. He's not overly crazy, rowdy, daring or anything at all. She has NO idea what it's like to truly fear for her child's well-being at school.

    I love her, but I can barely tolerate her comments now, which makes me sad. D is changing our friendship.

    It's all about perspective. D changes everything.

  11. Great post. I too am beginning to realize the power of D (or any chronic illness really). Life takes some crazy turns for everyone I think, but D makes life spin! ((Hugs))


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