They didn’t tell me about the weather…

I’ve been doing the diabetes thing for about four months now and it seem like I’ve gotten a handle on a lot of stuff. It especially seems like I’ve gotten a handle on the day to day stuff like testing blood sugar. And then, a day like today happens. I go to test my sugar. I prick my finger (one of the good, always bleeds enough fingers) and… nothing… Now I check through the usual stuff am I dehydrated? Nope… Is that finger “adjusting” to frequent pokes? Ok, I’ll try the other hand… Poke and… a little blood but not enough. The it hits me, it’s cold. The blood is closer to the core of my body because my body is trying to insulate it’s self from the cold!

Most of the testing I have done is in the summer… day temps most of this time have been in the 80’s and 90’s today the expected high is 63 and it hasn’t made it out of the 50’s at 1:00 in the afternoon and It was still in the 40’s when I tested (and being the half German half polar bear that I am I had the windows open…) yes… a thirty degree shift in temperature just might affect doing a simple sugar test. I’d never thought of that before.

Straddling the line between both sides of life…

I’m working on starting a Kickstarter campaign to get a diabetes log book published. It’s one of those projects that most publishers aren’t interested in but I think it is worth while. My version includes a few things I wish the others hand had. So, I’m looking over stuff on doing a campaign and I find a graph that’s showing how social media posts and interactions affect Kickstarter contributions… There’s that old sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach… Yes, I knew there was a link and that I will eventually need to talk about the campaign on social media, but I’d never seen how strong the link really is. In spite of my blog and the quest for publication I’m actually kind of a private guy…  Am I really ready to be blasting my ideas all over the social media world. Will anybody listen?

Putting it all together…

Yeah, I think people will listen. And, yeah I figured the cold thing out and know to warm up my hands before I test. The thing here is no matter how much we think we’ve learned, there will probably be something new out there that surprises us; something where real life doesn’t meet our theory; something we’ve never encountered; something that’s just plain weird. This actually isn’t a bad thing!

When we encounter something we didn’t know we have an opportunity to learn and grow. We have the opportunity to know more and do more than we could before. As you learn more there is a chance for these opportunities to get rarer, so it’s a real gift when one happens.

If you decide to stop and not touch the edges of what you know the chance to learn becomes even smaller. That is really sad, because learning is a key part in how we become more than we are. Whether it is learning a new quirk or trick of your diagnosis, learning a new way of doing dialog or story structure, or learning something not even attached to what you usually do, learning makes you more able to be and do as you will.

So, don’t let these little moments of scary or weird get to you. Cherish them! Use them! Grow and be strong!

And, if these learning moments don’t come to you… go out and find them!

It’s not that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks… It’s that the old dog knows most of the available tricks, so you have to find something new before you can teach an old dog new tricks.

Nope, wasn’t kidding

Not kidding at all, teachable moments and learning experiences are how we become and grow stronger. Sometimes you need to go out and look for them.

I was also serious in that I have an idea for an improved blood sugar log book that I’m setting up a Kickstarter for. I’ll tell you a bit more about that in the next couple of weeks as I get closer to the launch.

In the mean time,

that’s it for today dear reader.

Until next time: find the new in everything and use it for good.

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Back on the blog!

Ok, so, I’ve missed writing here for a few months… In that time I’ve celebrated Christmas, visited a lot of family, totally re done the system on my computer (OS and all), ended up with two new assistant clerks at church, and made progress on several projects (including reinventing one from the ground up). None of this actually excuses not writing here; the reality is I got out of the habit, and then got scared about trying to pick it up again.

It’s a fumy thing about habits. Some people feel that all habits are the same kind of self sustaining animal. But, good habits require maintenance while bad ones seem to take care of them selves (sort of like my garden… the ‘matos need to be looked after but the weeds do just fine without me). Also, good habits seem to be scary to try to pick up again when you stop. Bad habits (especially addictions) can be really scary to leave.

It helps to be aware of, evaluate, and manage all of our habits. A habit that some label as ‘good’ can be harmful, and one that they  label as ‘bad’ could actually be helping you (if you’re gluten intolerant the ‘healthy’ habit of eating lots of grains could be poisoning you, on the other hand the ‘bad’ habit of leaving the TV on while I’m doing other stuff helps me focus (by the way who are ‘they’ and what business is it of theirs what our habits are?)). The point here is to evaluate all of your habits and really look at what they are doing for (and to) you; not just to stick them in piles labeled good and bad. Ask yourself: is this habit helping me to achieve what I want to do? If it is, keep doing it and ask yourself can I tweak it to help more? It the habit isn’t helping you, then it’s time to look at the advantages and costs of dropping the habit.

The classic “look at how much money you can save by not (insert appropriate: smoking, drinking, gaming, what ever)” comes to mind, but dollars aren’t the only way to measure a habit. the biggest benefit may be time, or psychological satisfaction/wellness, or something else.

Smokers sometimes get breaks that others don’t. That’s a time or psychological benefit, from a habit that also has a real health downside. Can you work breaks into your schedule without smoking? If it’s the break you want ,make that the habit and leave the smoking behind.

What we are talking about is being in control of yourself; not doing what others tell you. Make choices and take actions because it is what you feel is right and they support what you want to be and do.

This isn’t always easy (sometimes it’s downright scary). It is something that can benefit from the help of others (family, friends, counselors, life coaches, clergy, stray writers… (who or what ever you need as long as you stay away from the unknown ‘they’)). Just remember, no matter how much help you get, you have to do for your self. Those other people come in in helping you figure out what and how to change. They can also support you in doing the changing, but only you get to choose what you will do. That is for you to do and nobody gets to take that away from you.

As for me, I’m back now and this blog will be updated on a regular schedule again. I think it helps me, and you may find something that helps you.

One new wrinkle in this habit, I’m also starting a news letter that will be coming out once or twice a month. It will talk about the things I talk about here, but it will include more stuff that isn’t included here… There’s a sign up form here. I do intend the news letter to talk more about things that commenters/newsletter readers find interesting and important.

Till next week…

2015… Starting up again… Time for more fun!

Changing your environment (probably part 1…)

Nope, I’m not wading into the global warming debate… my daddy told me you can never win an argument about politics or region… and global warming is both politics and religion.

I’m talking about your personal environment.

My wife and I have been talking a lot about research lately (she is working on a doctorate…). One of her concerns is that a lot of people at the university get stuck in  a particular journal or database and if the research isn’t listed there, “it doesn’t exist”. This is yet another flavor of the dreaded “not invented here” syndrome.

I’d like to think psychologist and artists (my areas of interest) aren’t as stuck in this rut; but it can happen here too. Actually, speaking of psychology, some of the places I really see being stuck in a rut (or one’s personal environment…) are problem solving and depression.

Some times, whether it’s your next research paper; next novel; next business deal; next painting/sculpture; next math problem; or just feeling better about yourself, the answer is to change where you are mentally or physically. I’m not going to try to cover all the ways this change can go right now, so for this post this is the main point folks: sometimes a change (even temporarily) is good.

Changing where you are, something about where you are, or what you’re doing does several things for you. It creates an opening for new information and new thoughts. It gives the part of your brain that is working on whatever a chance to rest. It gives you a diversion that can allow your mind to bring down the doubts, barriers, and blocks that are keeping you from finding the answers (why do you think so many ideas happen in the shower and not at the desk).

Having your work/living space (both mental and physical) is good and can be optimized for the way you work, but sometimes you need to get out (Hard to have a voyage of discovery if you never leave the dock).

You might want to empower yourself to change your space too.  Just changing the lighting around in my office or workshop sometimes makes a difference (not to mention putting stuff away, taking our the trash, or just opening a window).

If what your doing is working keep doing it, but sooner or later change is needed.

The change may be big or small, but if you’re stuck change something (right here I was going to put another quote, but I was stuck on which one to use… I changed plans and used my own words). The changes don’t always have to be big… unlocking a door isn’t a big movement but it’s pretty important to actually opening the door. Some times it is the little changes that make the big ones possible.

You have the power to affect and control your life and environment. Sometimes it’s a step at a time thing. Some times you have to figure it out before you do it, but you do have the power.

 

Well dear reader, that’s the post for this week. More to say on the topic but for now it’s time to change to another project.

See you next week