Another year, another top 10

As we near the end of 2013, I thought I’d try to summarise this year. 2013 has been yet another year, filled with challenges, tears, moments that I will remember for the rest of my life, and points that have made me realise that 2014 will be a much better year.

Top 10 of 2013:

10) Pay rise at work! Apparently, I’m good at my job, hurrah! It’s always nice to have some reassurance from the boss. I was given this reassurance, this year. This no doubt has made saving, that bit easier. It has also given me something to aim for next year, when I am in a position to start a new challenge.

MOERebuilding the company website, definitely a big achievement for me, this year

9) Completing my first knitting project. It took about 4 months, and I wasted a lot of wool, but in March this year, I finished knitting my first jumper. Up until now, I’ve not been very creative. My hobbies consisted of ‘reading’ and ‘going to music gigs’. Now, I can add knitting and sewing. I taught myself to knit, last year, through YouTube, and just didn’t look back. I admit I’ve been laughed at for knitting (I’m an old woman trapped in a young person’s body), but I really don’t care. Knitting is therapeutic and a form of escapism. My longest ‘shift’ for knitting was 6 consecutive hours. I have to admit, I did feel like I’d gone mad after that.

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8) My sister’s 18th birthday. I always get so excited for my sister’s birthday. I love being the (supposedly) big sister, and love to fuss over her. With Em turning 18 this year, it did make me feel slightly old, but I’m so glad we were there to help celebrate. I think my sister thinks I’m joking though, when i say she’ll always be my baby sister.

P1030481My baby sister, reenacting a photo taken when she was 7…

7) Completing the DAFNE Course. A whole week dedicated to my diabetes management. I honestly wish I could have done the course as soon as I was put on insulin. Since completing the course, my diabetes has been so much better. Now all I need is to get my hypo awareness back!

6) Seeing Muse live. Without a doubt, the best gig I have ever been to, and possibly will ever go to. Being staged at the Emirates Stadium, made it an even better night. I had to wait 7 years, but I finally got to see them! Thanks, Mr Paul Sinclair!

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5) Diabetes UK Collection Weekend. This weekend stands out to me, because it was the first time I really felt like I was doing my bit in raising awareness of diabetes. It was really quite inspiring, having people approach me, to have them want to share their experiences of diabetes, with me. It’s quite shocking to know that so many people know next to nothing about the condition, yet there are about 85,000 people in the UK who have diabetes, but haven’t been diagnosed.

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4) Peer Support Scheme. I really do believe that by getting involved with Diabetes UK, I have helped myself in relation to how I treat my own diabetes. Finally, I have found a way to help other people. I will be a lot more proactive in 2014, and hope to make the burden of diabetes, that bit easier, for those who are struggling.

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3) Getting a tattoo. I have for some time, wanted a tattoo. However, I’ve been anxious to get one, as Paul quite rightly points out on a regular basis, how indecisive I am. Bearing in mind a tattoo us permanent, this was a big step for me. What makes my tattoo even more special and relevant to my top 10 moments of 2013, is that it shows who I am. Many people dislike the term ‘diabetic’. It insinuates that the diabetes defines a person. I can understand this. However, my diabetes has made a lot of things in my life, better. I take better care of my general health, I have regular health checks, and I really believe it has had a positive effect on my relationship with my family and Paul. They have been there for me, every step of the way. My tattoo is a reminder that I have the strength to survive diabetes, as I do every day of my life.

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It’s bigger than my mum was expecting, but I absolutely love my tattoo.

2) Meeting wonderful people. I have met some absolutely stunning people, this year. I’ve always said it’s not how many friends someone has that matters, it’s how good those friends are. I can count my ‘true’ friends on one hand, and I am grateful for this. Through the doc, I have met the Lovely Lizzie, Andy, Vicki and Nicola. These people are amazing, and not only because they put up with my diabetes-related rants!

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1) Joining the diabetes online community: Since I was diagnosed with diabetes in September 2011, it has been a rollercoaster. Despite the support I have from my wonderful family and boyfriend, there have been times when I have felt completely alone in my living with diabetes. However, in the past 5 months, this has changed. Without the diabetes online community, I would not have known that there were other people who struggle as much as I do, sometimes. Knowing that I’m not the only person who feels like crying because of diabetes. Knowing that I’m not the only one who some times cannot explain highs or lows. Knowing that my ‘silly’ questions about my diabetes, have already been asked. These are instances in which the doc has massively helped me.

When I started writing this blog post, I was concerned that I didn’t have 10 highlights from the year. It made me realise how pessimistic I can be! Maybe something I should work on for next year, be more optimistic?! I’m so happy that I’ve made it through yet another year. I’ve had a lot of not so great things happen to me and my family, but this blog post proves that there have also been a lot of things to celebrate and be grateful.

I’m hoping 2014 will be an even better year. Of course, this is something we say every year, but I’m hopeful it will be better. Big plans are in the pipelines, and myself, my family, and Paul all have something to look forward to.  As is the tradition every year, I have decided to come up with new years resolutions, but ones that are realistic.

– Read at least 24 books. That averages out to 2 per month. Last year, I did 52. This year, I have managed a measly 12. In my books, this is a pitiful number. 24 books is manageable, I think.

– Maintain an acceptable level of fitness. With diabetes, much of the control comes with regular exercise. I’m going to try my best to go to zumba as often as possible.

– Cook more! This will be money-saving tool. I really should cook more, but I never seem to have time. I find cooking quite therapeutic, so this will hopefully benefit me in more ways than one.

 

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