Insulin Pump Demystified

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

35 and feeling good

Today I turned 35. It's going to take me a little while to grow into this number. In my mind, I've still been around 30 these last five years. I know it's just a number and that age is all relative to how you feel physically/spiritually/intellectually/emotionally...but somehow being closer to 30 than 40 felt nice. Easier. 35 sounds really grown up to me. Which I guess I am.

It's been a really nice birthday. Fred and I went out last weekend to celebrate, friends threw me a birthday lunch yesterday and today I've gotten phone calls and emails from friends near and far. That has been the best gift. A friend that I went to college with, whom I haven't seen since 1994, who's a filmmaker living in England, sent me the most beautiful, inspiring message over email. My brother called from Western Kenya. My cousin in Chicago whom I've been playing phone tag with for months made sure to call. And that's the beginning. It's just hitting me now, how sweet it is to be connected to all of these lives, to just be alive and to be living in the consiousness of all of these wonderful people. People who hold me and remembered me today.

Is there a way to express the gratitude that I am feeling in this moment through the actions of my life? I hope that I do. I think that for those of us living with Type 1 diabetes, the awareness of the gift of life can be that much more ever-present. Living with the awareness that but for insulin you wouldn't be here can give a sense of urgency and immediacy. It does for me, at least. I mean, mostly, that awareness is tucked away in some recess of my mind, but when I stop and refelct on the big picture, I recognize that the awareness of life's preciousness is always there, driving me.

What I am learning, at 35, is that the drive doesn't have to be to succeed in an external way, to show the world that "I am someone." Someone important and cool. That used to be so important to me, to be someone who impressed people. Now, I don't really give a shit about that. What I want to be is someone who is patient, a humble person, someone open to learning and growing. Someone who gives and recieves love easily. This kind of success is not always easy for me to achieve, but I'm working at it one day at a time.

I got on the scale this morning and I was two pounds above where I had set my birthday goal. But I felt happy--it was closer than I'd come so far. My weight loss goal is symbolic of where I hope to be in all of my growth--and it felt fitting that I wasn't quite there today. It made me remember that life is a every way.

Happy Birthday to me. 35 years old, 25 years living with Type 1 diabetes. I am so very happy to be here, to be alive. I read a beautiful peom once--I wish that I had kept it--about how each of us marks the day of our birth, but that the day we die on goes by us as we live, unmarked. How would we live differently, if we knew that day?

Wishing you peace,


  • At 9:52 PM, Blogger BetterCell said…

    Happy Birthday to you Gabrielle Kaplan- Mayer. Don't worry about the two pounds more in weight. It was probably because of that great chocolate cake you had and enjoyed for your birthday.
    Learning as a part of Life makes for a more fufilling experience.


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