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Out with the Old, In with the Old

Monday, January 01, 2018

It's New Years eve and I'm not out ringing in the new year with friends. I've done that many times in many years before. In fact, this year I'm home with a rotten cold. Still, at -10 below temperature here in Iowa, not including windchill, It's a sensible place to be, rotten cold or not.
In fact, I'm rather enjoying sitting here in front of the fireplace, sipping a little hot tea, with a cat on my feet. At age 61, I'm at the time in my life where I've lived a lot but, God willing, still have a lot left to live.
I'd like to close out with some reflections on 2017. It was a stressful year in many ways. Rather than pour over all the details, let me say that it was a year of learning, accepting, and realizing the importance of optimism and a positive attitude.
Career changes, personal health concerns, and more importantly my husband's health have proved to be a challenge. At age 63 he suddenly developed diabetes -- with a vengeance. Not overweight to begin with, he lost 24 lbs in four months without trying and had a raging thirst that wouldn't quit. His fasting blood sugar was almost high enough to land him in the hospital and necessitated insulin for him.
He has adapted quickly to monitoring his blood sugars and giving himself shots. His biggest challenge was learning to eat six times a day. He never used to eat breakfast and in fact, rarely before noon. He's been a real champ at adapting though.
I've been watching my weight since forever it seems, and generally eat a very healthy diet. He has more or less come along for the ride with some exceptions. When I have him grill salmon for me, he'd grill steak for himself. When I ate a palm full of walnuts for a snack in the evening, he snacked all evening long on popcorn and candy. Now we are counting carbs for him and tailoring his eating to control his blood sugars.
I have tried not to hover over him and to honor his request not to treat him like a child. Of course I bristled at that and asked that he give me an example. "Like asking if I had my snack" he replied. Okay...
Bless his heart, we talked about the importance of exercise so I heard him go downstairs and turn on the treadmill. I couldn't believe my ears so I went downstairs and couldn't help but burst into laughter. There he was on the treadmill wearing blue jeans and LOAFERS holding on going under 2 miles per hour. Baby steps, he told me. Baby steps.
He has a ways to go to be in good control, but that's going to be a matter of tweaking his meds. He's done great and I've learned that patience and a positive attitude go a long way.
I look back, though, and have so much to be grateful for. I want to carry those very things - patience, acceptance, positivity, into the new year with me. Add kindness, humility, and learning to relinquish old habits that impact us negatively and replace them with new habits.

In fact, I am going to try and make it up to see the new year in tonight, but after this, one of those new habits is going to be less electronics in the evening and an earlier date with the pillow for me!

Happy New Years to all who read this! May you start the new year with a feeling of optimism and enthusiasm. Accept what you can't change but make the best of it and appreciate what you learn along the way. Be kind to others, but be kind to yourself as well!!
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