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Approaching 40

Gabrielle Kaplan-Mayer

June 10, 2010

Today is my 39th birthday, and it’s been a really wonderful day. I’ve heard from friends and family near and far by phone, e-mail, mail, and Facebook. My husband and I both took the day off and went for a long walk in our favorite park and ate lunch outside at a romantic inn. It’s been the kind of day that my usual work and parenting routine doesn’t allow for that often, and it has reminded me of the importance of making time and space for these kind of days, even when it’s not a birthday.

A lot of my friends who are also turning 39 this year have been talking about approaching the big 4–0 and what it means to them. Turning 39 today, I feel myself thinking about next year and imagining what turning 40 will be like.

Mostly, I am grateful to reach birthdays complication-free and to be managing my diabetes pretty well. I go through my shares of ups and downs, and I am definitely working to gain even more optimal daily blood glucose control. Turning 39 today, I’ve decided to make five “resolutions” to help me reach 40 feeling great and in even better health than I am today:

  • Time to go electronic for my bg log. Even though I rely on the technology that my computer and cell phone provide for much of my writing/work life, I’m still using paper to record my blood glucose/insulin dosing. I have no idea what has been keeping me from going paperless, except for habit. I’ve been photocopying the same sheets from my endocrinologist for years. While they’re good logs, it would be so much more efficient to enter my numbers into an online program that I could access from anywhere. It would certainly avoid the moments when my doctor and I sit and puzzle over my handwriting. Do you have any suggestions for great log apps or Web sites? Let me know!
  • Time to end the exercise excuses. I don’t have the metabolism that I had twenty or even ten years ago, and I am still carrying some of the weight that I gained during my two pregnancies. Knowing that carrying extra weight is preventing me from optimal health, I want to reach 40 in better shape, and that means ending my exercise excuses. Most of mine center around finding time, but I know that I need to prioritize exercise. I would love to hear any tips from parents balancing work and kids — when do you get in your exercise?
  • Time to eat those super foods. Luckily, I love fruits and vegetables and generally eat pretty well. But this year I want to pay extra attention to getting into my diet some of the foods that have been noted for their super antioxidant strengths: blueberries, beans, salmon, and oats. I want to get rid of my afternoon coffee in exchange for green tea. Do you have favorite super foods recipes? Let me know!
  • Time to try a continuous glucose monitor. When the first sensors came out, I was resistant to trying them for a number of reasons. I was already plugged into my insulin pump and couldn’t imagine dealing with one more device. But now, especially since insurance has come along in terms of supporting the sensor’s cost, I’m thinking it’s worth a try to see if wearing one can help me reach more optimal blood glucose control. I may slide into 40 with my sensor on.
  • Time to laugh, time to play, time to connect. As with so many of us, my young adult years carried a number of sources of stress — from beginning my career to getting married to having children. Approaching 40, I think I’ve gained some wisdom and perspective on my life and am not willing to get stressed out by the small stuff in the way that I used to. Making time — on a daily basis — to laugh, play, and connect with my husband, children, and friends is essential to my mental, spiritual, and physical well-being. I want to reach 40 with a sense of balance and joy.

Whatever age you are — whatever stage you are in managing your diabetes — tell me about your resolutions for well-being.



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