27 Acts of Kindness: Days 3 and 4

One of the best parts about doing this kindness challenge during an, um…pandemic is that it requires me to think creatively.

I’m trying to avoid doing acts of kindness that prevents direct contact with others, because hello, social distancing!

So this means a lot of my efforts aren’t exactly tangible. But I’ve already started to feel that warm-‘n-fuzzy feeling that often comes with doing good for others, and it’s truly lovely.

More specifically…

Wednesday, 4/8 – Act of Kindness #3: I had an incredibly frustrating and mostly nonproductive work day – and to make it even more maddening, it wasn’t my fault; rather, there were various technological issues going on with my machine. I had to seek the help of my company’s IT person in order to resolve it. We spent a full hour on the phone, and during our call, I couldn’t help but notice that she wasn’t only juggling her job responsibilities, but she was also doing what she could to take care of her three young children. I was in awe of her ability to stay cool, calm, and collected throughout the entire troubleshooting period, so I decided to express my gratitude for her via email. I sent her a note in which I thanked her for her efforts, and also told her that I know I’m not the only one in our company who recognizes her hard work (in a meeting earlier in the day, the entire group on the call was singing her praise). She responded to my email and let me know that she really appreciated my kind words after a tough day, which put a huge smile on my face.

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“This is the best way we know how to bring a little respite to those fighting to keep us safe and healthy and remind them that we are thinking about them.” -New City Microcreamery

Thursday, 4/9 – Act of Kindness #4: So I had noooo idea what I should try to do for my fourth act of kindness. I have a list of ideas, but I’m also open to spur-of-the-moment acts inspired by the events of my day or observations that I make. And wouldn’t you know it, I had a major stroke of inspiration when I opened my personal Instagram profile.

I was scrolling through my feed when I noticed a post from a local ice cream shop that I adore. They were announcing a fundraiser called “Scoops for Heroes”. In the post, the team explained that the purpose of this program is to deliver pints of ice cream to our heroes on the front lines; specifically, individuals who work in hospitals and first responders. The goal was to raise $2,000 to start deliveries next week, with 100% of the proceeds going directly to employing team members and purchasing the goods needed to provide pints of ice cream to our hometown heroes.

Delicious ice cream and support for a local business, its employees, AND the amazing people who work to keep the community safe…what’s not to love about supporting a fundraiser that involves all of that? I was more than happy to contribute and I have total faith in my community’s ability to come together and meet (and more than likely, surpass) the creamery’s goal.

If you’re interested in contributing, too, here’s the link to the GoFundMe page.

Where I’m From and What my Diabetes Community is Like There

It’s November 18th which means that it’s Day 18 of the Happy Diabetic Challenge! The prompt for today was fairly simple – state where you’re from – so I decided to delve a little deeper and explain what my diabetes community is like at home…

Home is where the heart is, and it just so happens that I’ve got quite a diabetes community there, too.

I spend most of my time in Virginia these days, but I’m originally from Massachusetts. Growing up in that state shaped me as the human being that I am today, and it’s also where I had a total change in perspective when it comes to diabetes, community, and support.

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A map of Massachusetts, with a few diabetes accessories sprinkled in there.

I’ve said it many times here, but throughout my youth, I had my mom and my aunt as my type 1 influences in my life – that was it, and that was all that I needed and wanted.

Or so I thought.

When my feelings on diabetes support changed in college, I quickly discovered the value in fostering a sense of community wherever I go. So I made it a mission upon graduating to make sure that I maintained diabetes connections at home. It felt especially important as I was about to undergo another major life transition: joining the workforce full-time.

And I’m glad I fulfilled that goal. Through the power of social media, I attended a handful of diabetes meetups in the last few years that provided that sense of belonging that I yearned for and introduced me to many local T1Ds.

So as you may be able to imagine, it’s been tough for me to still receive invites to events and gatherings that I can no longer readily attend since I’m in a different state most of the time.

This is why I finally decided to do something about it. Feeling inspired by the spirit of National Diabetes Awareness Month, I found a group that meets up semi-regularly in my new location. I was nervous about it, but I made an introductory post on their page. I explained that I work from home; as such, it’s hard meet new people. And not only would I like to connect with other T1Ds, but I’m also interested in volunteering in the area.

My “bold” move paid off. Within hours, several people had commented on my post and made it known that I could reach out to them whenever to arrange a lunch or explore the city. I haven’t taken anyone up on it yet (with the Thanksgiving holiday being so close and all), but it’s really nice to know that the offers are there when I’m ready to take them up on it.

Even though the concept of “home” has been a little shaky in the last year, I know this much: Wherever I wind up, I’ll find and nurture a diabetes community there because people who just get it make even the strangest of places feel a whole lot more welcoming…and like home.