Posted in Family, Type 1 diabetes

Run, Rabbit, Run

Year of the Metal Rabbit
Image by OnTask via Flickr

January 1st was a rotten time to make New Year Resolutions.  The excitement of Christmas was over, the decorations were losing their charm, and the mornings and evenings seemed darker than ever.  Relentless advertising for the post-Christmas sales rubbed in the fact that it was an awfully long time till payday. It’s no wonder that January 24th was officially designated the most depressing day of the year.  This January had only two highlights for me: the opportunity to write cheques dated 1/1/11 or 11/1/11 and, a week later, my birthday – though, goodness knows, the novelty of birthdays wore off for me a very long time ago.  So this year I decided to be realistic about New Year’s Resolutions: I resolved not to make any.

But then, a few weeks into the New Year, something wonderful happened: I looked up into the sky at 5pm and realised it was not entirely dark.  A tiny tinge of blue was still hovering behind the impending night sky, a promise of the spring to come.  It was enough to make my personal sap begin to rise. Then I spotted in my diary the fact that we’re on the brink of Chinese New Year.  We’re entering the Year of the Rabbit.  It wasn’t too late to make those New Year Resolutions after all!  Before I knew it, I found myself signing up to run the Bristol 10K.  A leaner, faster, fitter new me is just around the corner of 2011…

But it won’t only be me that benefits.  I’ll be fundraising for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.  Every £60 I raise will pay for an hour of research to find a cure for Type 1 Diabetes.  This horrible disease has blighted the life of my husband and my small daughter, through no fault of their own. (Type 1 diabetes is not related to lifestyle choices).  100 years ago, their diagnosis would have been shortly followed by their death.   Decades of research has made it possible to live with diabetes, provided you submit to constant and costly medical intervention, including multiple daily injections or the use of an infusion pump 24/7, plus half a dozen or more blood tests every single day.  The next ambition of researchers is to make it possible for Gordon and Laura and millions like them to live without it.  At present, there is no cure.

So, with my resolve strengthening as the daylight hours are lengthening, I’ve signed on the dotted line for the 10K charity run.  I just wish I had a Chinese bank account.  Because then, when I write the deposit cheque, I could take enormous pleasure in dating it for the first day of the Chinese New Year: Rabbits Rabbits Rabbits / Rabbit.

(This post was originally written for the February edition of the Hawkesbury Parish News.)

Posted in Uncategorized

A Life Less Resolute

“2011 will be the year in which I ….” Resolve hangover cure

Can you complete that sentence yet?  Chances are, you can neatly slot in an answer inspired by your New Year’s resolutions.

Not me.  It’s not that I don’t have ideas for resolutions.  I’m certainly eligible for all the usual suspects:  eat less, drink less alcohol, go to bed earlier, exercise more.  But last year I didn’t actively make any resolutions, yet 2010 turned out to be one of the best years of my life.  It’s a formula I’m happy to repeat.

How did it happen?  Well, a radical resolution actually came at me from out of the blue, several days into the new year.   It was as sudden and unplanned as Newton’s apple falling on his head and, in my small sphere, about as revolutionary. I was in the first meeting of the year with my boss when I suddenly heard myself calmly tendering my resignation. It was unprovoked by her: we hadn’t had a row or a punch-up.   But in a light-bulb moment, I suddenly realised what I really wanted the new year to bring:  a better and less stressful work-life balance.  Amidst the sturm and drang of the Christmas break, spent caring for a very poorly daughter, this idea must have been churning away in my subconscious, but I simply hadn’t noticed.   I’m not sure which of us was the most surprised at my resignation – me or my boss.  But both of us recognised, several months down the line, that I was a happier, healthier person for this impulsive decision, and I’ve not had a single regret since.

So this year, I’m going to take the same approach.   Though I love the new beginnings and the promise that a new calendar brings, I don’t think New Year’s Day is the best time to make resolutions.   In any case, for most people in the UK, the word “RESOLVE” is inextricably associated with the commercial hangover cure of the same name – and probably quite a lot of them have consumed it today.   This doesn’t exactly create the most positive vibes.  Far better to let the freshness of the new year permeate the subconscious and see what surfaces at its leisure.

So watch this space.  Anything could happen in the next 365 days…

Happy New Year!