Goodbye to 2010

I’m not a person who makes resolutions as one year ends and the next begins. Never have been. In my twenties and throughout most of my thirties, the rather constant self-criticism daily, weekly, and monthly to be better at x or do more y or make sure to z usurped any one-time, end of the year resolution, so I never saw the point.

Are you a New Year resolver? These days I’m much better about not beating myself up over the be betters, do mores, and make sure tos. Still, though, no resolutions for 2011. Oh, I have no criticism of the practice of resolving, so if you’ve a long list of things you’re going for in 2011, power to you. I definitely see the attraction of a one-time jumping-off point from which to begin the progression toward a goal, or the start of new, healthier habits.


As a person with diabetes, and as someone who’s had several weeks this holiday season of gustatory overindulgence, resolutions seem like a good way to go. However, for me, I’ve been in relatively good practice most of 2010. I did go into Thanksgiving with the knowledge that I’d let down my guard, and let into the house and into my body, foods that for eleven months out of the year aren’t even on my radar. Did I earn it? Do I deserve it? Who knows. It doesn’t matter. It wasn’t an incremental, unaware slide into bad habits for which I now need to find some way to pull myself out. It was a conscious decision, and I’m fine with higher average blood glucose for a couple of weeks. I’m curious about what my HbA1c[1] will be, which I’ll next find out in January, but that’s about it.

For the most part, the holidays have been guilt-free and a great cap to a mostly great 2010.

Mostly great. The end of 2009 and beginning of 2010 were marked by my bout with thyroid cancer[2]. Last year at this time I was steeling myself for a total thyroidectomy on 01-07-10 (I think that was the date). Little did I know that the first few months of the year would be marked by almost total voicelessness — complication from the surgery — and that my spring would be marked by the most miserable lethargy I’ve ever known, due to the hypothyroidism I endured for radioactive iodine treatments to blast any remaining thyroid tissue.

It wasn’t enjoyable.

But the past six or seven months have been wonderful. Life with family (wife Kathryn and dog Ellie) is beyond words. (Really. When I rhapsodize abstractly about being in love with Kathryn, loving our life together, and she presses me in the moment for specifics, I get quite tongue-tied. Overload? Short circuit? Whatever it is, it’s beyond words.)

I’ve been working out consistently, and as I’ve written often this year, quite enjoy going to the gym now and lifting or spinning or running; I feel better than I have in more than a decade.

We love the city in which we live, and find ourselves overwhelmed by the generosity of friends and neighbors.

I thoroughly enjoy my career and find my job rewarding, and the changes we’re undergoing at work (the department for which I work became a joint venture with a small college from the other side of the pond recently) are exciting, and I’m curious to see what happens in 2011.

As for the diabetes? It’s there. I don’t love it so much, but I do embrace the fact that I have it, and rather than woe-is-me my condition, I use the diabetes to help shine a brighter light on all the aspects of my life I do love. Damn the condition, but why not use it to motivate me to work harder to keep healthy so that I can get more out of the days I live and breathe?

Happy 2011!

  1. HbA1c:
  2. my bout with thyroid cancer:

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Eric Lagergren: Eric Lagergren was born in 1974 but didn’t give much thought to diabetes until March 2007, when he was diagnosed with Type 1. He now gives quite a bit of thought to the condition, and to help him better understand his life as a person with diabetes, he writes about it. Eric is the senior editor for the Testing Division at the University of Michigan’s English Language Institute in Ann Arbor. (Eric Lagergren is not a medical professional.)

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