Tag Archives: goals

Hitting the benchmark.

I was thinking the other day about some things I’ve written over the last couple of years. Things that said, essentially, “I’m going to do something”. I started listing those things in my head, then started assessing whether I had met each goal, and whether I had met the goal within the spirit that was intended when I wrote about it.

What I’m finding is that I am completing most of the things I’m starting. Almost all of them. I’m completing them, and as a result I’m able to feel good that I did something I felt was important enough to write about in the first place. What’s disturbing is the feeling that I’m often not as successful as I think I could have been when I first started out on these goals. This kind of thing is really gnawing at me right now.

Did I run that 5K? Sure. Cross it off the list. In a quiet moment of reflection, however, I lament the fact that I didn’t really train to run it hard; I just trained to be able to finish it in the first place. Big difference. It leads to the feeling that I’m not doing things big enough, or with big enough success.

You might think it’s good that I completed the 5K in the first place. Not completing it is the alternative, and that’s definitely not good. And hey, we’re all busy, and blah blah blah. I so appreciate the sentiment, but there are times when hearing that sounds more like a reminder that I didn’t do well enough, rather than what it should sound like, which is support, which I so desperately need. I want to hold myself to a higher standard. And it’s not about trying to be as great as [fill in the blank]. I don’t generally compare myself to others, because I find I feel better if I celebrate what others accomplish instead of comparing my accomplishments against theirs. Plus, I know there’s a good chance I’ll feel like I don’t measure up anyway, and feeling like I’m not measuring up is enough to make me hesitate to try anything new. Insert recipe for inertia.

Yet I have to root myself in the knowledge that much of our success in life comes from trying, not necessarily succeeding, in every new venture. And I must admit to giving in to the feeling that if I write about it, I’d damn well better do it. More than once, that’s kept me from giving up on something entirely. Maybe you think that’s a poor way to go about achieving things. But I don’t feel this way about everything. And if the end result is positive, who cares?
As in all things, I think there has to be a balance.

I need to hold myself accountable. I need to give myself a break once in a while.

I need to keep trying new things. I need to not be disappointed if it doesn’t always go perfectly the first time.

I need to try for the best possible result every time. I need to be happy that there is a result of any kind, even if it doesn’t always meet my expectations, which are generally pretty lofty anyway.

Side Note: I need to learn from every experience, and be open to learning from everyone else’s experiences.
What I most want to remember is:

1. Celebrate the success of others
2. Look for opportunities to make a positive difference, even if the difference only affects one person
3. Take advantage of those opportunities and actually make a positive difference
4. Never stop learning
5. Never stop trying

I might also add: Keep some perspective. In reality, it’s been a good year so far, and the future looks brighter all the time. I could have done more, or done what I’ve already done better perhaps, but it’s only okay to feel that way if I stop short of regret, self-pity, and future inaction. I’m not perfect. I will keep trying to be helpful, in as big a way as I can muster.

DSMA Blog Carnival. Ideal Diabetes Support Group?

This blog is so new I probably shouldn’t be doing this, but I’ll give it a try anyway. The April DSMA Blog Carnival topic is:

Describe your ideal diabetes “support group”? What would you discuss?

Both of these questions are hopefully answered below.

My ideal support group… well, first of all, it would exist (more on that later). Assuming it does exist, I would want my ideal support group to have 4 qualities:

1. Inclusion. No haters in this group. I know that people don’t always look at the world in the same way, but support means accepting someone on their terms, not mine. Same for conversation. Everyone needs to feel free to be themselves.

2. A sense of humor. Diabetes is a daily struggle for all of us. Not taking ourselves too seriously allows us to focus on what is really important (and who is really important), when it really matters.

3. Flexibility. Let’s face it: things change, people change, diabetes changes all of us. Having the same agenda or focus at every get-together is the kind of rigidity that turns me off. Being flexible means keeping things new and fresh rather than old and stale. Flexibility means acceptance to change, and even embracing change that helps a group’s evolution toward a more perfect union.

4. Goals. Read: Advocacy. The primary goal of any support group should be support of group members, right? If that’s your only goal, okay. But you’re not part of my ideal support group anymore. Because there are always people who need more support than ourselves (well, almost always). My ideal group sets goals that will help make the world a better place for PWDs. That’s not reaching too far, is it? Okay, goals need to be attainable. But I would really like my group’s support to be larger than just the group.

That’s my ideal support group, and at least a basis for discussion. But I have to admit that I’m just guessing here. I’ve never attended a support group meeting since my diagnosis. In fact, in 21 years with diabetes, I think I’ve met maybe 15 other diabetics in a a live setting. And about 10 of those were at a local event for adults with type 1 a couple of months ago. I only found out about that because I had volunteered with the local JDRF chapter the week before.

To be honest, I share much of the blame. I haven’t been a particularly social creature in the past (I’m getting better, I think). Also, I was diagnosed and spent the first few years with diabetes in one city, then moved to another city where I knew virtually no one. I haven’t signed up for a lot of JDRF or ADA walks or rides. And, for various reasons, I’ve pretty much shared my D-story with people on a need-to-know basis.

I haven’t attended events, lectures, presentations, or conferences, mostly because, until recently, I didn’t even know these things existed. As it is, these things rarely happen in my part of world anyway. Wait a minute… Hey! I think I have our first discussion topic! Our first goal! Who’s with me? Let’s goooooo!!!!!

Author’s note: Looking for my first support group meeting… more to come.

This post is my April entry in the DSMA Blog Carnival. If you’d like to participate too, you can get all of the information at http://diabetessocmed.com/2012/april-dsma-blog-carnival-2/

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