Category Archives: Beginnings

It’s January. Start the resolutions!

Happy New Year! This is the time when many people make resolutions that we do our best to keep as we go through the year.

I’m not one of those people.

There are a number of reasons for that. To begin with, I’m not very good at thinking up good resolutions. What good is a resolution that isn’t great to begin with? Second, I’m not very good at keeping resolutions when I make them. It’s not that I don’t make headway toward my promise to lose weight, exercise more, etc. In fact, even if I do make headway, I’m not good at closure. I always think that there’s more to do, so I can’t even let myself feel good about keeping my resolution. And that’s when I’m really good at keeping my resolutions.

Instead, I’ve tried to come up with a few simple ideals at the beginning of the year. Then I try to remember them throughout the year, and review how I did at the end of the year. Does that make sense? I guess you could still call them resolutions, but that wouldn’t feel right to me.

So here are a few defining ideals that I hope to remember throughout 2013:

– Be a better person
That’s a pretty big umbrella to stand under. It means a lot of things to me. It means remembering birthdays and anniversaries. It means asking people how they’re doing. It means smiling more and groaning less and opening myself up to new ideas. I love new ideas, so that part’s easy. It means looking for the good in people instead of remaining a cynic searching for the dark side of someone’s personality. I’ve gotta keep reminding myself of that last part, but I think I can do it.

– Do good things for people who need something
No matter how little we have, it always seems like there is someone who has less. I want to help that person. With a meal, with a handshake. By shoveling snow or mowing the grass or raking leaves for a neighbor who’s under the weather. By supporting worthy causes, like JDRF and ADA and others (some of you know who I mean). By participating in walks and rides and runs that benefit some of these causes and bring together like-minded individuals who also want to make a difference. By giving ‘til it hurts, but in a completely unnoticed way because giving is most meaningful when it’s anonymous.

– Be as healthy and as active as possible
This is a more recent ideal for me. Simply put, I can’t help others as well as I would like if I’m always worried about how much getting older sucks. So I’m going to be as active as I can. I have four athletic goals in mind—more on that at another time. And I really mean it this time when I say I’m going to check in with my eye doctor and my podiatrist, who haven’t seen me in almost two years.

So mostly, my goals are the same as every year: To feel good and do good. And to never stop. What does your ideal 2013 self look like?

100 Blog Posts! Meh… Big Deal.

I mean, who cares, really? Compared to all of the advertising copy I wrote many years ago, and compared to the pages and pages of technical documentation I’ve churned out over the last 16 years, one hundred blog posts is nothing. Compared to other D-bloggers, the heroes I read every day, who have written thousands of posts and who are way better than I am, one hundred is nothing.

Spoiler alert: I need to get some thoughts out of my head here. I won’t think less of you if you don’t read any further.

To be honest (with both the reader and myself), I have to look at the big picture here. When I started writing this blog, I had the fever: I was stoked about everything DOC-related. I probably went a little overboard. Or a lot. Lately, I’m not enthused about every last thing I read, every experience I see depicted in writing, photos, podcasts, and video. Sometimes, I’m less than enthused. What does that mean from a big picture point of view? It means that neither extreme is the norm. I suspect I’ll move a little more toward the center of the spectrum again soon.

How about the writing? There have been some good posts, and some not so good. Strangely, some of the things I’ve written that were well thought out, carefully worded, about timely subjects, were among my least viewed posts. Some other things (recipes, for example) have generated more views, likes, and comments than they probably deserved (three likes for fish tacos?). Maybe I should change this to a cooking blog. Maybe. But that’s not where my passion is right now. Big picture? I need to be thoughtful and measured, and always try to improve.

At the outset, I had three goals:

1. Don’t expect to be read. Don’t expect to get comments. I’m doing this to keep a written record of my life, not to be a web star. Stay humble. Rinse. Repeat.

How am I doing? No problem. I’ve gotten what seem to me like a lot of views, but not very many comments (note: I wrote this before yesterday, where I got the most comments I’ve ever gotten in a single day. Thanks!). I enjoy keeping a written record of my life with diabetes, and I think about that often when writing.

2. Where I can, be an advocate for others. Not a necessity as a blogger, but I need to remember that it’s not always about me. And there are always people who need help more than I do.

How am I doing? I’m trying to remember that I’m very, very lucky, and I’m trying to keep my fellow PWDs in my thoughts all the time. I’ve also been looking for opportunities to advocate where possible, and to that end, I have this to show you:

Gotta admit… I’m kinda jazzed up about this. I may not get to mentor someone for a while yet (unless you count the time I spent on the phone Sunday night with my sister-in-law… newly diagnosed with Type 2). But I’m glad that I’m at least on the road toward doing something positive.

Aaaand, 3. Enjoy

How am I doing? I had forgotten how much I like to write. To be honest, there were 14 Like These Links posts, so you could say that this is only my 86th post. But who’s counting? Anyway, I’m definitely enjoying the process, whatever it is. Or however it’s counted.

There’s still more story to be told, I think. I’m still finding my voice. It must be around here somewhere. Maybe the next hundred posts should be focused on that.

Hello from Baltimore

Welcome to another blog from a type 1 diabetic.  I’m not sure I’m doing the right thing in starting this blog, but after posting comments on several sites in the last few months, I started feeling strange about remaining an anonymous face in the crowd.  So here I am!

My goals are modest.  My rules are few:

1. Don’t expect to be read.  Don’t expect to get comments.  I’m doing this to keep a written record of my life, not to be a web star.  Stay humble.  Rinse.  Repeat.

2. Where I can, be an advocate for others.  Not a necessity as a blogger, but I need to remember that it’s not always about me.  And there are always people who need help more than I do.

3. Enjoy

I’m starting this on my 50th birthday!  Not only that, but my closest living relative, my nephew, became a father today!  Let’s celebrate all of our milestones.  It’s great that we’ve all gotten this far.  And we’ve all got a lot more to give.  Let’s try to keep the proper balance between the highs and lows in our lives.  Let’s keep searching for, and when we find it, keep living in, the happy medium.

Stephen Shaul
April 9, 2012

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