Posted in Life, Uncategorized

Dark Glasses…

With the recent loss of my best friend’s husband, I’ve done a lot of thinking and ruminating on the status of grief and the people left behind with one’s death. What could I offer to his family, including my best friend, during this terrible time? At thirty-years old and in seemingly good health, the loss of this young, vibrant, and creative man left even me speechless.

Heartbreak is complicated.  Grief more so.  His life was a creative and passionate one, and he had been my best friend’s “person” since their early teens.  Half of her life was spent with him, and I had known him for the same ten years I’ve known her. Being with her was the best I could do, so I drove to Vermont, where they are from originally, to offer whatever love and support I could.

As I drove through the beautiful, rolling hills of Vermont and talked myself through my own grief at his loss, I thought deeply about creating a mental model for grief.  Mental models have been a huge part of my professional and personal growth.  Determining mental models helps humans understand and explain the world.  To understand this, I was going to need a Hell of a lot of mental models.

How could I explain this to myself? I’ve lost several peers over the years, but watching someone I love lose someone they love so much is a new and horrifying experience.  In addition to that, my desire to understand, identifying and experiencing grief in a healthy, productive way is relatively new to my late twenties.  I miss him, and I grieve with and for my friend.

So what did I come up with? Well. Nothing incredible. Turns out the entire situation just sucks, including mental models to try to understand it. But the simplicity helped me cope through the weekend and in the time since.

Grief is Dark Glasses….

Grief is dark glasses.  The edges are so black that it seems impossible to see through; so opaque in their general vastness that you feel certain you could fall in. The deeper the love in life, the darker the hue of the glasses.  Grief is the dark glasses they shove onto your face, that you may only take off once in a while when you sleep. The glasses go back on, often before opening your eyes.  Grief is the sometimes-unintended gift of a loved one as they leave this world.

The dark glasses go on, and for a while, the recipient is blinded.  The glasses are so dark that the wearer moves through things completely blind; bumping into anything and anyone that is in the way.  Sometimes the glasses go on, and the person simply crumples at the loss of this vital sense.  They remain motionless, afraid to move.  Sometimes the glasses go on and a person tries to drive, moving blindly and wreaking havoc and destruction, running over property and people as they scream about moving on and getting out of the way.

With the glasses on, the wearer is blinded, and the other senses amplify from the loss of the one.  Nothing feels the same; there is absolute pain and few moments of anything else. Food tastes different as it is tainted with memory.  Sound is amplified and also silenced; there is no smell that is not a jolt to the system or stabbing sensation.

The recipient continues to wear the glasses. Over time, the eyes adjust. The sense adjust and the wearer feels the pain as normal.  Somehow, the feelings adjust with the eyes.   The world adjusts to the person wearing the glasses.  The adjustment continues and eventually, the wearer is able to see again; moving around, engaging with others, seeing things and feeling.

Eventually, the world even seems bright again.  The sun keeps coming out; the wearer adjusts.  They get used to the world being darker.  They realize the darkness is there because it never leaves, but they also see the sun shining, see the world moving.  They see both, forever.


We miss you Chris. Love to you and continued love and support to those who loved you most. 

Posted in #Future, Diabetes, Education, Life, Uncategorized

Diabetic Ramblings from a Friday

So it’s Friday, and it has been a weird, busy, and highly productive week.  Some days with diabetes are harder than others; some weeks are better than others.  This week has been a little rough.

One thing currently happening; I’m still fighting to get a new insulin pump.  The process has been frustrating and I’ve been denied four times already.  That said, my CDE, doctor and I have worked together to come up with a plan for how to get more documentation and show my insurance company that I really do need this!

The artificial pancreas technology looks AMAZING.  It looks like a new life; like one that makes me a little less inconvenient.  It looks like I might get a better chance at a normal mid-life; something I was hesitant to even day dream about before now. But here we are, and here is this great opportunity…and here is this insurance company trying to take away the awesome.  Sigh.  What is with this people?!

That said, I feel it is so important to remember that these individuals that are tasked with telling me no are not really telling me.  I let myself get out of control with my emotions a couple of weeks ago about it; I sat in my car and sobbed and screamed and interrupted my parents’ date day with a crazed phone call where I told them I was going to be done with insurance companies and just pay for the damn thing myself.

In that moment, my dad (who is notoriously hyper-focused and driven; much like I was in that moment),  shared an important note.  “This is not the first fight.  It’s not the last fight.  They just don’t see it yet.  You’re going to need to do a lot more fighting and make some clear decisions you can live with forever here. ”

He didn’t realize it completely, but I needed him to be my voice of reason.  I needed him to say it was okay to step back.  I needed him and my mom to share that they understood I was doing everything possible and that it was okay for me to refocus, try again, and take the weekend off from the craziness.

They gave me an important gift with that phone call and the ones following.  They reminded me that my ability to stay strong, upright, and kind, even in the most frustrating of situations, is one of my best qualities.

Thursday I was sitting in a meeting with a supervisor of mine, who shared that he could “See the leader in me”.  I like to think that the leader in me is someone who has bad days, but knows when to step back, take a deep breath, and re-assess the attack.

Today, I had to recognize that I was losing. I had to reassess my attack.  I was losing the week. I needed help; managing and trying and problem solving on my own wasn’t as productive, focused, or intelligent as I needed it to be.  I pride myself on getting things under control and on keeping myself focused and here I was, all week, fighting blood sugars that could have sent someone to the hospital. They really could’ve sent me to the hospital.  Thank goodness for a support system, technology, medication, and some solid math skills that kept that from happening!

But I called the hospital today, requested an appointment, explained that it was really important, and managed to get in with my CDE at the end of the day. Together we problem solved and she helped me figure out what tiny steps I could take to regaining control after having no control for about a week.  Tiny steps, but BIG steps in feeling like myself (which I haven’t, in at least week).

One of those steps was admitting that I’m not feeling well and that it’s not my diabetes. Even “normal” people get colds and the flu sometimes; it’s apparently a human thing.  I have been trying to power through.  I have not allowed myself the space, time, or mental relief of admitting that my body has been getting in the way of me doing and being my best self. I’m always just powering through. I’m forever living the “fake it til you make it” lifestyle that comes from a chronic illness others can’t see.  Sometimes I struggle to tell when I “genuinely” am sick and when it’s “just” a diabetes problem.  Today, and this week, it turns out it’s a little of both.

I can’t speak for everyone, but I suspect there are a lot of us who don’t feel amazing every day. I suspect most of us carry on and don’t say anything. I assume some of us feel guilty about complaining because there are so many moments we should be thankful for. I hear you folks! I’m with you!

So here’s to a weekend of relaxing, getting some much needed rest, and trying my best to recuperate and regain control of my blood sugars.  Happy weekend everyone!




Posted in Diabetes, Life, Uncategorized

Diabetes makes me inconvenient…

Diabetes makes me inconvenient.  I know this; it is a fact.  I don’t say that to blame anyone or feed into some idea that this is an injustice of a chronic illness.  It’s simply a fact.

See, diabetes doesn’t care.  It is demanding in a way that makes Meryl Streep’s character in The Devil Wears Prada seem warm and maternal.  Diabetes doesn’t care that I’m out with friends; that I’m standing in my best friend’s bridal party, that I’m the adult in charge of thirty minors in my care.  It doesn’t care that my parents are trying to care for my elderly grandparents and therefore cannot be expected to care for me too.  It doesn’t care that it’s Christmas day and I’m surrounded by friends and family who all just want to celebrate a beautiful, religious, holy day.  It doesn’t care that I met the love of my life and had a terrible low blood sugar on our fourth date and needed assistance (where we were celebrating his thirtieth birthday).  It just doesn’t care.

Because it doesn’t care; because it has a list of demands and needs that must be met immediately, and because it is a huge part of who I am, I am inconvenient.  It’s not just my disease; it is me.  I have to follow the eating and exercising schedule; I have to take the medication; I have to stop and check my blood sugar.  If I don’t do these things, I have to deal with a shorter life span and feeling incredibly ill while I’m living my everyday life. When I travel, I have to take double the amount of supplies for the actual amount of time we’re there, which means I either have to pack an extra bag or give up some of the creature comforts I’d prefer to have when traveling. Diabetes is an “I have to” disease.

It is not lost on me that I have a good attitude about a lot of it.  But again, even this is an “I have to”.  Not because that is expected; everyone I know would probably applaud if I allowed myself to break down and scream into the wind after all of these years.  Instead, my attitude reflects the understanding of what an inconvenient life means for me.

An inconvenient life means that

I’ve spent a lot of my life not talking about there are some things you can’t control, so instead you choose to be flexible and find the light in every situation.  It means identifying that feeling sick and miserable is worse than just feeling sick.  An inconvenient life means having to be confident that the rest of your person is good enough to be worth knowing.  An inconvenient life means remaining positive because if you were angry and spiteful and applied the effect of “why me?”, you might lose the people in your corner.  They might leave you, because who wants to be in someone’s life that is not only miserable, but also inconvenient? this part of chronic illness, but as year twenty-six of this life approaches, it seems important to get really honest about how I got here. As my body ages faster than the time I’m on Earth, it’s more important than ever to share with others the experiences I’m having; to not only crack jokes at my faulty organs’ expense, but then to share the genuine reasoning behind it.

I’m fortunate to be in really good health, considering the twenty-six years of progressive damage caused by type one diabetes. If I’m honest, I attribute some of this health to my attitude towards it; towards my understanding of “have to” and flexibility. I stopped praying for a cure for diabetes a long time ago. I’m able to recognize that some day that will come, and in the meantime I’ll keep being flexible and choosing to be happy despite the inconvenience of it all.

People ask me all the time why I’m so happy; why I’m chipper about having this disease.  It’s because it’s inconvenient.  I’ve lived almost my entire life being an inconvenient person to befriend; to be related to; to love.  The inconvenience has showed me the importance of perspective; of the real meaning behind “life and death” situation. I get up every day and keep going because I choose too, regardless of how bleak it looks.

Inconvenient doesn’t mean bad if we don’t let it ruin things. It’s just a different type of structure.  This life has shown me the importance of choice; the importance of knowing yourself and what you need. We can be upset that it’s raining,  or we can be thankful for the drink. We can be bothered that it is windy, or we can decide to build a sail boat and move on.  This perspective comes from a lot of effort and years and heartache. It has been a battle hard won, but I’d do it again.  I wouldn’t change my perspective for all of the convenience in the world. Fortunately, I can confidently say the people in my life wouldn’t trade me either; no matter how inconvenient it is to have me around.


Posted in Fiction, Imagination, Life, Uncategorized

Pinterest Prompt-1-1-17

“She added a charm to her bracelet for every life that she took.”

(Prompt inspiration from Promptuarium on Pinterest)

Today’s charm was a small, white and black spotted circle.  It reminded her of this morning’s charge.

It never got easier.  The look of life leaving the eyes of a soul that had a family.  Had a purpose; had loved and lost and shared and existed.

She stood washing her hands, looking down at the bracelet.  Some times of the year seemed more challenging than others.  This beautiful first week of May, she hadn’t had any others. It was just the one.

The worst part had been the young woman, sobbing as she’d explained the process. Sobbing as she’d put the needle under the skin.  She hadn’t seen anyone cry like that from her services in a while.  It was evident that the young woman wanted to hate her and didn’t want to be here.

She cleaned under her fingernails with a brush as she thought of how the young woman had held the beautiful soul she’d removed from this Earth. How she buried her face in the black and white spotted fur and told her that it would be okay; that she loved her and it wouldn’t hurt anymore.  That in her thirteen years, she’d been the best friend a human could ask for. That she was so sorry, and it wasn’t supposed to be this way but she never wanted her to suffer. That no matter what else happened in her life, she’d remember her, and this moment, for the rest of her life.

The young woman’s parents had brought them here, to the office, to relieve the old dog’s suffering.  Consequently, they left with a young woman whose heart would forever miss her friend, creating a different type of suffering entirely.

The charm was chosen as a reminder for the life she took.  For the power that her services had to relieve suffering.  For the beautiful soul that loved and left.

Posted in #Future, Imagination, Life, Uncategorized

As good a time as any…

Every year at this time, people make resolutions to better their lives.  I do the same thing.  Recently, I have noticed several articles regarding the concept of self-awareness and accepting responsibility for the things in your life that are not the way you’d hoped.

I think there’s really something to this.  Now seems as good a time as any to determine the importance of taking one’s destiny.

My business did okay this year, but I have been dragging my feet about marketing to a broader range of clients.  I know how to do it, and I train other people how to do it, but I haven’t done it.  Why? Because what if I fall on my face, and the people who think I won’t be successful are actually right?

I’ve not applied as seriously for as many, full time, big human resource positions as I could.  Because I am afraid. I am concerned  that if I take a new position, it will take me a long time to be as confident or comfortable as I am now…comfortable is a killer.

Another year has passed and my book isn’t finished.  Not surprising, as I’ve been struggling to focus in.  But also not surprising because I’m afraid of the rejection of publishers.  Pouring my soul into something only to be told it’s not good enough has long been a fear of mine.  Now is as good a time as any to admit that.

2016 is over, and I still haven’t lost thirty pounds.  I always resolve that I will;  but I haven’t.  I still haven’t run a marathon.  I still haven’t gotten my A1C (a test used to measure blood sugar over a period of time) under 7.0.  I’m still waiting to do those things, because what if I try really hard and nothing good happens? What if I get myself into the best physical condition of my life only to find out that it doesn’t matter and the diabetes has done too much damage to live my life the way I want?

The fact is,sometimes not trying is easier than failing.  Sometimes, it seems like by trying you’re really just running on a treadmill-endlessly wearing yourself out.

Even more terrifying: what if they’re wrong? What if I really do all these things?  What if I’m a huge overnight success and I don’t have to struggle and people hate me for it? Who am I to deserve to meet my goals? What if I win?

The fact is, the posts about taking responsibility are hitting home for me this holiday season.  I did accomplish several of my goals, and that should count for something with me.  I was a better friend, a better sibling and daughter and granddaughter this year. I stood up for myself and took pride in my work.  I did, at least, start my foray into working for myself.  I traveled all over the world and the US with my family and the man I love, and I didn’t apologize for taking care of myself.  I took some pride in me, and I saw progress.

But now is as good a time as any to admit that 2017 looks a little daunting, but like a mountain I want to climb.

I accept that I will have to beat me. I have to win against myself, and that means falling on my face.  I know this. I also know I might fail, but at least some of these things must get done this year.  This time I have to win, and that means accepting responsibility for my own sabotage.

Regular updates to follow. Similar resolutions, because I need goals.  Hopeful progress to share.

(P.S. How cute is this picture of us on our recent adventure to New Orleans? We’re in the Garden District here!)

Stay motivated everyone!



Posted in #Future, Life, Professional Experiences

So it’s been a while…

The past year has been one of the most intense of my life.

I’m not trying to make excuses for not writing on here, it’s just the truth.  Every moment of the past year has been spent trying to accomplish something.  Even in the relaxing moments, things were crazy and busy and painful and intense and exciting and happy and, and, and… overwhelming.

Can you be underwhelmed? Just whelmed? I’m not sure, but I know, without a doubt, that “overwhelmed” explains my absence of blogging.  To recap:

I graduated from Elmira College with my Masters in Corporate and Community Education plus a certification in Training of Trainers AND Human Resource Development.

…and I kept my perfect GPA (not to brag, but I should get to brag a little, right?!).

I went on an AMAZING, last minute, no planning time at all trip with my parents and sister to Haiti & Jamaica and once again, fell in love with snorkeling and cruise ships.

I went on the TRIP OF A LIFETIME with my significant other to Norway, Finland, and Estonia.  Two weeks off work to travel around Europe with nothing but the man I love, a backpack, and some hiking shoes? Yes, please! Sign me up for round two!

I had a few HUGE professional successes, including growing my education program to three times its original size this year, creating holiday joy and building relationships in my office environment, bringing on additional interns from other companies for learning experiences, AND creating another entirely new and wholly successful community outreach program. (Again, sorry, bragging but I worked A LOT for this!)

I lost a few friends, made some more, reconnected with old friends and established friends in every facet of my life successfully, for the first time ever.

My little sister got her learner’s permit and my brother and his wife bought farm animals and established their own business.

My Mom fought diligently for what she believes she and other educators in her district deserved, and eventually came to an agreement at the end of a very long, multiple year battle. She’s so much more vocal and confident than she was when I was a kid, and it’s cool to see her shine and know she’s shining.

My Dad adopted more animals and people, taking employees under his wing who needed coaching and staying a constant motivator in my life.  He’s growing into someone very different, more calm and warm and encouraging, different from who he was when I was a kid, but I kind of like it.  It’s cool to see who he’s becoming too.

I learned a TON about digital media and began blogging and writing for other people. Both fun and scary.

And I experienced some of the biggest health scares related to my diabetes that I ever have.

I’m thinking that covers it.  Again, just a quick recap on everything to explain my absence…in case you were wondering.

Ideally, I’ll be able to keep up a better schedule now that school, my various trips, and my job are starting to settle down or are finished.  I’m heading to a writers’ conference in a few weeks, so ideally I’d like to share this blog if I can at that conference. We’ll see how it goes.



Posted in #Future, Imagination, Life

How Do You Choose A Life?

This post was accidentally placed on This is the official site of A.C.Macx…I was simply outsmarted by my blog before this, which is how it ended up on the other blog name I own.  My apologies!

This week in many ways was stark, emotionally revealing and enriching in my life.  I recognized some patterns and some things about my life that I hadn’t anticipated reckoning with.  It was a great experience, but it was an exceptionally challenging one.

Throughout my life I feel like I have always imagined and envisioned multiple versions of what would happen as I aged.  Would l live on a sprawling farm or would I own a tiny apartment in the heart of a city? I imagined both.  Would I get married young and have a bunch of children or would I wait until I was older, after years of living on my own before getting married and adopting children who desperately need homes?  What would my life look like? How would I choose one?

How would I choose one?

Since then, I still imagine and envision what my life will eventually look like.  Much of this week was focused on my five year plan, what I’m doing professionally, what my personal life is going to look like, etc. With so many options, there was a lot of talk about my past and what I’ve already managed to do.

So what am I going to do?

I don’t know.

I’m infuriated by the fact that I have to say that I don’t know.  There are so many great things, and so many things that I want to change in my life for one direction or another that I am struggling to focus in on one great thing to do.  I’m terrified of not having the answers, but I’m fairly confident that I will end up successful in whatever direction I create because somehow I always am. I’m either really lucky, insanely motivated, frighteningly driven, and consistently insane.

I’m exhausted and wish I could pause, pop in another direction and then come back to this at a later time after I’ve seen other potential outcomes.  There are daily moments where I’d really like to try something else.

But life is not a VCR, so that is not an option. The whole thing just moves forward and pausing is an imagination gone wild.