I’m Right, You’re Wrong: Debating with T1D

This blog post was originally published by Hugging the Cactus on September 12, 2018. I’m reposting it today because it is still incredibly important and relevant: We ALL must work together and treat one another with respect. Life with diabetes is hard enough on its own! Diabetes online community, I love and value you so much…please just remember to be kind to others. Continue reading for my thoughts on why I think it’s fruitless to debate one another regarding diabetes…

I found the diabetes online community (DOC) a few years ago – or perhaps it found me – and to this day, I’m incredibly grateful for it. It’s introduced me to new friends and it’s always been a reliable source of information. Whether I’m lamenting a low blood sugar at 2 A.M. or asking if anyone has advice on a pod problem at 2 P.M., odds are I’ll have someone reaching out to me within minutes in some form or fashion. That kind of on-the-fly support is invaluable.

That being said…the DOC is not always a perfect safe haven.

I'm Right, You're Wrong_ Debating with T1D
It isn’t productive to argue over who is “right” and “wrong” when it comes to diabetes care and management because it’s highly individualized.

In fact, if there was one thing I could change about it, it would be to make it a judgment-free space: because all too often, people are unfairly judged for how they choose to manage their own diabetes.

I’m not saying that people aren’t entitled to opinions. Of course they are! But what happened to respectfully disagreeing with people?

I’ve seen situations like the following across different social media platforms:

  • People getting attacked for following low/medium/high-carb diets
  • People getting criticized for sharing “good” and “bad” blood sugars/A1cs
  • People getting judged for dealing with diabetes burnout – as well as people getting judged for sharing their diabetes triumphs
  • People getting discouraged from posting only the pretty parts of diabetes

We can’t keep doing this to each other. Just because a certain diet or T1D management strategy works out well for one person, doesn’t mean that it will work the same for another. That’s because diabetes is not a one-size-fits-all condition.

And we shouldn’t be judging one another for our differences. In fact, our differences can teach us so much more than our similarities can. We should celebrate one another for living with diabetes: doing the best we can, day after day, whether it yields “ideal” or “not ideal” results. Because it’s damn difficult to manage, and anyone who says otherwise is being judgmental.

We can learn and grow from one another, which is pretty powerful, as long as we refrain from this “I’m right, you’re wrong” attitude.

27 Acts of Kindness: Days 25, 26, and 27!!!

The 27 acts of kindness challenge is…COMPLETE!

Wow…this was truly such a special way to celebrate the weeks leading up to my 27th birthday.

I’ve spent time this weekend reflecting on how my thoughts and feelings about this challenge have changed over the last four-ish weeks. Some days were easier than others. I grappled with doing my best to make a true difference while also staying safe and maintaining social distance guidelines.

That was probably the hardest part – not being able to interact with more people throughout this whole process. It was really hard to feel like anything I was doing had any sort of impact. But given the limitations of the circumstances, I can end this challenge knowing that I tried my hardest to do something unique each day…and like I said at the beginning, if a single act made someone feel good or inspired someone else to commit an act of kindness, then I feel as though my mission was accomplished.

With that said, here is what I was up to this weekend:

Friday, 5/1 – Act of Kindness #25: I wanted to make sure I made another effort to support small, local businesses as the week drew to a close, so I purchased a gift card for future use as well as ordered takeout from two separate places. Yes, I’ve done that a couple of times since my challenge began, but I feel strongly about supporting my community as much as possible these days.

Saturday, 5/2 – Act of Kindness #26 and Sunday, 5/3 – Act of Kindness #27: Lumping these together may seem like a copout, but I swear, that’s not what I tried to do with the last couple days of the challenge! Instead of focusing on very specific/deliberate acts, I decided to just…be. I wanted to be there for family and friends, whether it was in-person or virtually. I had conversations with loved ones. I helped out my parents as much as I could. I started to learn more about my new role advocating for T1International (more to come on that). I enjoyed the outdoors and tried to reduce my overall screen time. I soaked up the sun and appreciated a beautiful birthday celebration for what it was, not what I wished or thought it should have been.

I just…wanted the people and things that I care about to feel some of that in a more pronounced way. I admit that I wasn’t perfect the entire time – I said some things without thinking and could have done more – but I’m now reflecting on it and trying to learn from it so I can be the kind of person who doesn’t have to think long and hard about certain acts of kindness that I can do each day: I want it to come naturally.

So even though the formal “27 acts of kindness” thing is done, the meaning behind it is far from over for me. I want to continue to do things that make people smile or that have some sort of impact going forward.

The only difference between the start and the end of the challenge is that I now have greater insights on how I can do little things on “ordinary” occasions that mean something, to someone, somewhere.

And I think that realization is a great gift to receive for my 27th birthday.

27 Acts of Kindness_ Days 25, 26, and 27!!!
One last fun GIF-image hybrid to round off the challenge.

Thanks for following along with the challenge, Cactus Huggers. There’s a recap of the last 27 days below, and I’ll be publishing new blog posts again starting Wednesday this week.

The 27 Acts of Kindness Round-Up

  1. Sent some money to a loved one as a special treat
  2. Wrote and mailed a card to a hospitalized child
  3. Emailed a hardworking coworker to let her know she’s appreciated
  4. Donated to a fundraiser that was delivering pints of ice cream to essential workers
  5. Gave a large tip when ordering takeaway from a restaurant
  6. Sent a thank you message to my church’s priest
  7. Invited friends to join me for a virtual yoga session with an instructor
  8. Posted Instagram shout-outs to some of my favorite accounts
  9. Donated to my community’s food pantry and got a double match from my employer
  10. Reconnected with old friends virtually
  11. Made coworkers smile and laugh by dressing up as Dwight Schrute for meetings
  12. Gave half of my CWD FFL 2020 registration fee back to CWD after it was canceled
  13. Spent the day helping my parents
  14. Reached out to a friend who is struggling
  15. Visited fellow diabetes bloggers’ sites and left comments on posts
  16. Filmed a video to spread some cheer to those living in nursing homes
  17. Volunteered virtually and talked to high school students about my career
  18. Wrote a special thank you card to my father, who is an essential employee
  19. Made a sign for the yard thanking ALL essential employees
  20. Made digital greeting cards and expressed words of encouragement and appreciation to essential employees
  21. Virtually adopted a red panda
  22. Purchased and sent requested supplies to a local animal shelter
  23. Signed up to become a digital advocate for T1International
  24. Donated in my mother’s name to a cause that she supports
  25. Bought a gift card to use at a local business at a future date
  26. Tried to live in the moment and be more mindful…
  27. …and reflect on what this challenge taught me!

27 Acts of Kindness: Days 24 and 25

It is officially the month of May! Say what?!

This means that I’m rapidly approaching the last few days of my acts of kindness challenge…though I certainly do have some ideas on how to keep the positive vibes going in the near future.

Speaking of, I think that Wednesday’s act of kindness will definitely help me make that happen…

Wednesday, 4/29 – Act of Kindness #24: So this one’s really special to me. For months now, I’ve expressed to many people how I want to become a better diabetes advocate. Sure, I have this blog and it’s one form of raising diabetes awareness, but I want to do more. I started looking into some options on Wednesday and it brought me to the T1International website. I’ve had a vague awareness of T1International and their work for some time now – that website is where I purchased my awesome #Insulin4All sweatshirt – but I wanted to understand what they do to a greater extent.

Turns out, they have a pretty awesome mission: T1International works to support local communities by giving them the tools they need to stand up for their rights so that access to insulin and diabetes supplies becomes a reality for all.

After clicking around their website some more, I found out that they are seeking digital advocates who can help spread the word about their organization and its goals…so I decided to sign up to become a digital advocate for T1International and I couldn’t be more thrilled about it.

I’m learning more about what I will specifically be doing this weekend, but as for now, I’m just excited about the chance to advocate for a cause that I’m very passionate about, which is access to insulin for all. Because like it says on the T1International website, life with diabetes is complicated enough…nobody should have to worry about access to vital insulin, diabetes supplies, or medical care on top of it.

Travel Buddies
Water and insulin are two very important liquids that not all people have access to…and that’s not okay.

Thursday, 4/30 – Act of Kindness #25: You know what else everyone should have access to, but unfortunately, many people in the world do not? Clean water.

Access to clean drinking water is absolutely something that I take for granted…and it’s simply unfathomable to me that 785 million people – which is to say, 1 in 9 – lack access to safe water. How wild is that? Water is crucial to so many aspects of life, and there isn’t one single human on this planet that can survive without it.

So after a conversation with my mom yesterday about causes that are near and dear to our hearts, in which she reminded me that for years now she’s been hoping to build a water well in a place that it’s greatly needed, I donated to water.org. Talking with my mom and hearing the dedication in her voice made me want to do what I could to help her support a cause that means a lot to her, so I happily made the donation in her name and even got to send her an eCard notifying her of it. Hopefully, it makes her smile and reminds her that she does have the ability to get that well built one day because those closest to her will support her every step of the way.

Whether it’s insulin, water, food, shelter…there are simple basic needs that all human beings deserve to have access to, and its an injustice that they don’t. Fortunately, there are amazing organizations out there like T1International and Water.org that work tirelessly to change this, and it’s humbling to be able to support them in any capacity. I linked to their websites in this post – hover over their names above – I encourage you to check them out and consider the ways you might be able to help them, too.

 

27 Acts of Kindness: Days 22 and 23

I love animals.

I can’t remember a time in my life that I didn’t. In fact, as a child, I was convinced that my future profession would be a veterinarian (a marine biologist was also in the mix at one point). I went as far as shadowing a real-life veterinarian during my 8th grade career day, and I took an Introduction to Animal Science class in college when my major was still undeclared.

Alas, I decided that a career with animals wasn’t in the cards for me when I realized I probably wouldn’t be able to handle the emotional and physical challenges associated with caring for them. Interacting with animals is all fun and adorable until one gets sick and may need to euthanized (I witnessed such a thing on shadow day in 8th grade…it was so sad). Or when a large, strong billy goat charges you because you have his food and he’s hungry (true story, it’s a miracle I got out of his pen uninjured). But just because I don’t deal with animals professionally, it doesn’t mean that my love for them is any less.

So I focused on how I could help them to kick off this week’s acts of kindness.

Monday, 4/27 – Act of Kindness #22: I adopted a RED PANDA on Monday!!!

…I wish I could say it was a REAL panda who was going to come and live with me and frolic around the backyard with me and my dog, but that’s just too good to be true – this adoption is just virtual. But I’m excited about it nonetheless. I love red pandas because 1) they’re adorable 2) they’re hilarious and 3) they’re seriously photogenic – really, I’ve never seen a bad picture of one. Sadly, they’re also an endangered species: According to the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute, there may be fewer than 2,500 adult red pandas living in the wild today.

So as I thought of how I could combine my love for animals with an act of kindness, the idea came to me that I might be able to support one of my favorite exotic species via virtual adoption. I chose to make my donation to the Smithsonian National Zoo in Washington, D.C. because I was lucky enough to spend a handful of treasured days there last year. The zoo is incredibly gorgeous and home to countless fascinating animals, including two sweet red pandas. During my last visit to the zoo, I was able to see one of them very up-close through a window. I was so charmed by the little one that I practically had to be ripped away so other people could take a look, too. It’s really neat that I’m able to support them, in some way, now through my virtual adoption (and I get a red panda plush sent to me as a thank you…I’m not gonna lie, I can’t wait to receive that in the mail).

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Just look at it how cute and funny they are!!!

Tuesday, 4/28 – Act of Kindness #23: Of course, I was looking for a way to help out furry friends a little closer to home yesterday. Specifically, I wanted to do something to help out dogs.

Dogs have always been and will always be part of my life (even though I am allergic, LOL). I grew up with two Shetland Sheepdogs and my parents have their third, Clarence, now. My aunts and uncles always had dogs, too (Labradors, Dachshunds, and some mixes are among them). Life is just…better with a dog. The more dogs, the merrier, in my opinion.

The second Sheltie that my family had was from a shelter. We never knew too much about her history, other than she must’ve suffered some sort of trauma before she was rescued. Even though she had major challenges to overcome behaviorally, my family cherished the time she was with us and we were always grateful that we’d connected with the shelter that we rescued her from.

So she was on my mind yesterday when I decided to visit a local animal shelter’s website to see if they were requesting any special support during this time. That’s when I found their Amazon wish list – literally a list of items that the shelter needs that can be purchased on Amazon.com – and went about purchasing some items that could be shipped directly to them. I bought some collars, leashes, and harnesses that they will be able to provide to new pet owners as animals are adopted. I wanted to do more, but I’m hopeful that when it’s safe to do so and when the shelter begins accepting new volunteers, I can maybe continue my support in that fashion.

Animals are awesome. I know that my pets and any that I’ve seen over the years at zoo have taught me so much. Giving back to them in any way, shape, or form is humbling and almost as nice as getting to hug a smooshy fluffy pupper or red panda…almost.

27 Acts of Kindness: Days 19, 20, and 21

Is anyone else remotely stunned, like I am, about the fact that the month of April is almost over?

Time certainly doesn’t seem to be passing in a normal way these days…and let’s face it, “normal” isn’t easily defined at the moment.

Rather than dwell on what’s normal and abnormal, though, I’ve had this challenge to focus on, and it’s helped immensely. In keeping with the “time is flying by” theme, I’ve already completed three weeks of it! I’m thankful that this is keeping me grounded and making me feel slightly more useful lately, and that’s what inspired this weekend’s acts of kindness…gratitude.

Friday, 4/24 – Act of Kindness #19: My dad is an essential employee. Ever since this whole thing started, he’s gone above and beyond to not only fulfill the duties of his job, but also to take care of me and my mother. He has made every trip to the grocery store for us for weeks now in order to keep us safe at home. He also runs any errands for us that would otherwise require us to go into a store. So I wanted to acknowledge him and express my gratitude for his extra efforts by writing him a card. While that can’t amount to everything he’s done for us lately by any stretch of the imagination, it was the best way I knew how to say thank you, and I think that the small gesture meant a lot to him.

Saturday, 4/25 – Act of Kindness #20: I’ve thought about essential employees a lot lately…they don’t have the luxury of working from home like I do. Medical workers, delivery drivers, grocery store clerks, and everyone in between deserve to be recognized for the hard work they’re doing (and not just during this time – they don’t receive enough thanks under normal circumstances).

That’s why I decided to recycle a cardboard box into a thank you sign for the front yard. As essential employees drive to and from work, I hope that they notice it and realize that there are so many people who appreciate them and want them to know that what they’re doing is meaningful.

hugging the cactus - a t1d blog-2
It took me a full hour to do the lettering for this sign, but it was the least that I could do.

Sunday, 4/26 – Act of Kindness #21: I admit that I’m definitely running out of acts of kindness ideas…so thank goodness for Google. I spent time yesterday afternoon researching more ways I can help, well, anyone while I’m stuck at home.

I got a handful of great ideas from my detective work, but the one that resonated with me yesterday is an opportunity to show gratitude for essential workers – how fitting! The volunteer effort involves making virtual cards and/or greetings for essential employees. It’s a safe way to send messages of thanks to these hardworking individuals. I volunteered and I’m waiting for notification as to how I will be conveying my words of encouragement and appreciation, but in the meantime, I figured I’d share the link to the project here so that others will hopefully see it and will want to participate, too.

There is less than a week left to my challenge…and I’ve saved some special acts of kindness for the end. Stay tuned!

27 Acts of Kindness: Days 17 and 18

Howdy, Cactus Huggers!

Earlier this week, I expressed that I was feeling a little burnt out, and hoped that the week would get better as it went on.

And I’m happy to say that it did.

The acts of kindness from the last couple of days are especially unique, because I’m not sure whether I’d be able to do them if we weren’t experiencing a time of social distancing right now. This will probably make more sense as I explain exactly what they were…

Wednesday, 4/22 – Act of Kindness #17: A few days ago, I saw the sweetest video that moved me to tears: An elderly man living in a nursing facility was gifted a pillow from a nurse with his deceased wife’s picture on it to replace the photo of her that he sleeps with every night. It is simultaneously heartbreaking and heartwarming, but mostly it’s just an incredibly lovely act of kindness that the caretaker did for her resident during these challenging times. (Watch the video here.)

This video, coupled with thoughts of my own grandmother who spent the last several years of her life battling Alzheimer’s in a nursing home, prompted me to wonder about how the elderly in nursing homes and assisted living facilities are handling the current state of things. I can’t imagine it’s easy. We hear news almost daily about different facilities that are directly affected, and I’ve seen and read a number of stories about residents who are sorely missing their loved ones who are unable to visit them at the present moment.

It’s got to be incredibly difficult and painful.

So I wanted to research ways I could help someone, anyone, who is living in one of these facilities and who might need a pick-me-up. I came across this link, which supplied a list of facilities in the country that are accepting letters, cards, and drawings for their residents.

But I wanted to do something more.

On that same web page, I saw the link to www.carenotcovid.com. I learned that I could film a 30-seconds-or-less video that The American Health Care Association and the National Center for Assisted Living will show to nursing home and assisted living residents across the country in order to give them support and hope. An excellent idea, right? It took me fewer than 60 seconds to make my video, upload it, and share it on Twitter. In addition, I made an Instagram story so my followers could see some of the ways they can help, too…because wouldn’t it be awesome if those living in nursing homes and assisted care facilities received tons and tons of uplifting messages?

Yes…yes, it would be awesome.

27 Acts of Kindness_ Days 17 and 18
Does anyone else (besides me) think that these GIFs are just the bee’s knees?

Thursday, 4/23 – Act of Kindness #18: I got to do a really cool thing yesterday afternoon: I attended a virtual meet-and-greet with high school students in which I answered their questions about how my business is handling this challenging time. This neat opportunity was made available to me by my company, which recently launched a special COVID-19 volunteering and giving page on one of its directories.

I had no idea what to expect going into this, and I was worried that I might be talking aimlessly for a full half hour to bored high school students. But that’s not at all what happened. After I introduced myself and explained what I do for my company (and how it operates), I was pleasantly surprised when they really engaged in conversation with me, and asked me thoughtful questions such as how I’ve created a sense of normalcy working from home during this time, what my biggest challenges are, and whether I think these events will change the way business and society operate in the future. It was a very fluid conversation and the students thanked me profusely for my time at the end, which made me feel like it was truly appreciated that I set aside part of my afternoon to talk to them.

And it made me feel really thankful that associates within my company put in the time and energy to make these volunteer opportunities available to us so that we can participate in something constructive to help combat feelings of helplessness.

27 Acts of Kindness: Days 15 and 16

We’re entering week #5 (or is it 6?) of work-from-home life here at Hugging the Cactus.

Truth be told, I’m feeling a bit burnt out this week.

After a decently nice weekend, I entered Monday feeling rather…blah. Which was annoying because I’ve actually kind of enjoy Mondays recently.

But rather than embracing this one with open arms, I treated it more like Garfield the cat would…ew, Monday again.

The bright side was that I still had acts of kindness to do that will surely make my week better as it goes along.

Monday, 4/20 – Act of Kindness #15: I texted a friend today. This friend is someone who I usually only talk to in group settings, but because I know that the individual has really been struggling lately, I wanted to let the person know that they’re on my mind (again, keeping it kind of vague here on purpose to protect this person’s identity). We ended up making plans for a virtual tea party later this week, which I know will be mental health bolster to us both.

After exchanging just a couple of messages with this friend, it dawned on me just how important it is to check in on our family and friends – not just during the hard times, but also on a regular basis. Because who doesn’t like knowing that someone is thinking about them? Or that someone cares about them? I think that a lot more people struggle with feelings of loneliness than we might realize, so if sending a thoughtful text or picking up the phone to call someone is all it takes to make a person feel a little less alone, then it’s a small gesture that could have a big impact on the well-being of many.

Sunshine
In other news, this adorable little sun makes my day so much brighter…and I hope that I help make the days of others brighter, too.

Tuesday, 4/21 – Act of Kindness #16: In keeping with my “checking in” theme, I decided to combine that with my appreciation for the talented bloggers within the diabetes community. There are just so many awesome blogs out there that I don’t get to visit often enough! So I spent a portion of my Tuesday afternoon catching up on blog posts from various members of the DOC from the month of April. After reading them, I did my best to leave comments on each post because as a fellow blogger, I know how much I enjoy it when I receive comments on my writing. It’s always a good feeling knowing that someone out there cares enough to read my ramblings, so I figured other bloggers might like getting a note on their most recent posts.

While I was reading and commenting, it also occurred to me that I could review one of the diabetes podcasts that was kind enough to have me as a guest a couple months ago. I left a rating and a review on Apple podcasts for This is Type 1, and hopefully, the hosts will see it and it will make them smile.

I’ll wrap up today’s blog post by sharing the blogs I visited and left comments on, because I think you should check them out, too!

Ally’s blog: Very Light, No Sugar – “The Sugarhouse”

Frank’s blog: Type 1 Writes – “Insignificance”

Renza’s blog: Diabetogenic – “A COVID-19 food post not about banana bread”

Tracy’s blog: Sugarcoated – “A Westworld of Our Own”

Rachel’s blog: Yoga for Diabetes – “Rest, restore, and get creative”

Briley’s blog: inDpendence – “Details. Lots of ’em”

Colleen and Jessie’s Podcast: This is Type 1

27 Acts of Kindness: Days 12, 13, and 14

In times of sadness, fear, and uncertainty…laughter can be a powerful medicine.

I know that I haven’t had much to laugh about lately. Neither has…well, the world, really.

So my desire to have a good chuckle, and make others laugh along with me, was strong this week and inspired Friday’s little act of kindness…

Friday, 4/17 – Act of Kindness #12: I dressed up as Dwight Schrute today.

Yes, that character from The Office. Two years ago, I dressed up as him for Halloween and it was a hit among my coworkers. I figured I could surprise them on Friday by dressing up as him (I still have the wig, glasses, yellow button-down, and tie) and attending my virtual meetings in the beet farmers’ signature garb.

Despite my concerns that they might think I’m a freaking weirdo, they loved Dwight’s appearance in both of my Friday afternoon meetings. Inspired by their positive reaction, I took my Dwight disguise a step further and uploaded all sorts of pictures and videos to Instagram of me in costume doing funny things for my friends and family who follow my account to see. I got a ton of messages throughout the day thanking me for my silliness because it did what I wanted it to do: make people smile.

And I even walked my parents’ dog around my VERY small town dressed as Dwight. I got a couple of honks, a few smiles, and more confused looks than I could count, but it was all worth it – those who know and love The Office as much as I do got a kick out of it, and that’s what mattered to me.

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Photographic evidence of the Dwight costume. And a phrase commonly associated with his characters with a diabetes twist: Bears. ‘Betes. Battlestar Galactica.

Saturday, 4/18 – Act of Kindness #13: Early Saturday afternoon, I got the disappointing news that the Children with Diabetes Friends for Life Orlando conference was canceled this year. I was saddened because I made plans to be there in-person for the first time in seven years. There were so many people from the diabetes online community who I wanted to meet in real life at this conference, but I know that the right decision was made to help keep our community safe and healthy at home. Plus, the conference is moving to a virtual format, so it helps to know that we will be able to attend it in some form.

Anyways, the cancellation encouraged me to ask for a partial refund (in lieu of a full one)  for the conference registration I’d purchased earlier this year. The money that I didn’t get back went straight to Children with Diabetes to help them fund their mission, and I feel that it was the right thing to do since they need support (and funding) to make these conferences happen in the first place.

Sunday, 4/19 – Act of Kindness #14: New England weather is effing weird. It snowed and rained all day Sunday, and then yesterday it was sunny and a fairly warm 61 degrees! The beautiful weather brought with it a revitalization for me. I had all sorts of energy to help my parents with a myriad of tasks around the home, so that’s what I did. I couldn’t even complain about it, because dare I say, I enjoyed the chance to move around the house and yard so much (if my parents are reading this, they’re probably jumping for joy over the fact I just admitted that). It felt good to be productive, and since my parents have both worked their butts off in the last few weeks (okay, they always work hard, but the last few weeks have been a little different), I was happy to do a little something that helps them out so they could have a bit more time to rest.

My acts of kindness continue to be small, in the grand scheme of things. But knowing that they’ve helped people, in some teensy-weensy way when things have been rough, continues to motivate me to keep up this challenge. Halfway there!

27 Acts of Kindness: Days 10 and 11

Hey Cactus Huggers. How’s it going? Is everyone holding up okay?

(I’d ask if you’re “hunkering down” but that phrase is just overused these days. So I’m just doing a standard “how ya doin’?”)

It’s hard to believe that many of us have been quarantined for more than a month now. Surprisingly, I’m holding up okay. Sure, I miss going places, and I would really like to hug a bunch of the people who I’m missing more and more with each passing day. But I know that self-isolating is the right thing to do for the time being.

Besides, I’ve had work and some personal projects to keep me busy, and that always helps.

And you know by now that the acts of kindness challenge is among my personal projects at the moment! Here’s what we’ve got for Wednesday and Thursday of this week…

Wednesday, 4/15 – Act of Kindness #10: One thing that my family and I have been particularly grateful for throughout this crisis (besides each other) is the fact that we have food. It’s a basic need that so many people in this world go without, and we often take for granted that we not only have it, but we have a wide variety in choices of fresh produce, cuts of meat, dairy products, snack bars, and some treats, too. We’re so dang lucky that we can afford to keep our kitchen well-stocked and to have access to so much in the first place.

That’s why I chose to donate to my town’s community food bank as Wednesday’s act of kindness. I was actually able to double my donation, thanks to my company’s new COVID-19 giving and volunteering program. So not only am I fortunate enough to be in a position to give back to my community, but I’m also privileged to work for a company that’s actively supporting the communities where its employees live and work.

And when it rains on your parade, look up rather than down. Without the rain, there would be no rainbow.
We’re getting fancy now with an act of kindness-inspired GIF!

Thursday, 4/16 – Act of Kindness #11: I admit that yesterday’s act directly benefited me. Allow me to explain.

When I started doing research on different acts of kindness that I could do without in-person contact with others (because obviously it’s important to protect ourselves and our loved ones right now), I was surprised by how many suggestions revolved around things like calling, emailing, and texting other people. I guess I hadn’t thought about it this way before, but setting aside the time to let someone, anyone in your life know that you’re thinking of them is a huge gesture of kindness and friendship. So, inspired in part by the notion of reconnecting with old friends, I helped make that happen last night when I video chatted with three T1D pals who I literally haven’t seen in years.

It was awesome to reunite and catch up on everything that’s happened to all of us in that span of time. And it was a major reminder to me that I know some extremely cool people! One biked across the country a couple years ago with another group of T1Ds (you may have heard about a little thing called Bike Beyond), one has participated in the Boston Marathon not just once, but multiple times (!), and the other has helped an amazing nonprofit grow from a wee tiny thing into a pretty huge freaking deal. It’s truly an honor that I can say that I don’t just know these people, but they’re friends, and friends that I’m glad I made time for (and hope to hang out with, virtually and in-person, more often).

Things have been strange lately, and are strange now, and will continue to be strange for some time…but at least the company we keep, whether it’s physically under the same roof, a few miles away, or across the country, can keep us in positive spirits and make things feel…well, a little less strange.