Project Blue November is sponsoring an Instagram challenge for diabetes awareness month. Today's theme is inspiration.
What image would I post? What inspires me in this diabetes life?
There's the obvious choice: a photo of my kid. For so many reasons she's my inspiration. Neither of us chose this path but the way she's treading it inspires me every day.
Another choice would be a photo from one of our JDRF walks. I'd choose one with some friends in it but also with the sea of people surrounding us. Those are the images I conjure up after a long night of Dexcom alarms. It's inspiring to know how many other people are rooting for and working towards the end of T1D.
I have lots of pictures of my 'happy places' I could use, like an ocean shot or a picture I took from my seat in a kayak. Being in these places gives me the opportunity to disconnect from the everyday and gain the perspective and inspiration I need to move forward with renewed energy.
I could post a favorite spiritual or philosophical mantra. There are plenty of quotes and verses which inspire me to keep going even when this diabetes road gets rocky.
What about a word collage with names of people who inspire me? It would begin with my kid but also include my husband, family and friends. It would especially include our friends whose lives are touched by diabetes. It would include doctors, nurses and other medical staff who've encouraged us along the way. It would include famous people living with this disease and raising their voices in encouragement and advocacy. It would include names from the diabetes online community whose voices have kept me going on many long days.
Fortunately, I was able to turn this into a written exercise and lay out a collection of possibilities instead of choosing just one. But I worry that there are people out there who wouldn't be able to think of even one.
Which brings us back to diabetes awareness month and my goal of considering awareness from lots of different angles. I am so fortunate to have abundant resources in my life from which to draw inspiration. That awareness leads me to wonder what else I can be doing to help other families with diabetes to find sources of inspiration in their own lives. It takes a variety of resources to live well with diabetes: insulin, knowledge, patience, medical care, humor, adequate equipment, and, especially on the toughest days, it takes some sources of inspiration. Everybody should have at least one.