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Important birthday and wishes

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We had a big birthday this week. It was a wonderful time. I was spoiled by gorgeous family and friends, beautiful dinners, calls and messages from faraway friends, and special deliveries. BIG’s birthday is strange, isn’t it? There seems to be an expectation that we have great feelings for them. Some people have great negative feelings towards them. Some people are surprised. Some people experience a crisis and suddenly feel like they are on the verge of death. I wasn’t feeling any of that, but people were asking. So, I was a little confused as to how to answer.

I don’t think getting older is a bad thing. I like that the cliché that a woman cares less about other people’s opinions as she gets older rings true for me. I like that I feel more confident now. Because of this, I developed the ability to recognize bouts of impostor syndrome and quickly ignore them. No matter which table I sit at, I’m sure I’ve earned the spot. I like to simply look at misogyny and condemn misogyny. And I’ve gotten better at identifying misogynists who hide their misogyny in false alliances. I have a group of strong, sassy, ​​amazing women around me who love to lift each other up and celebrate each other’s wins. I like my work to be respected, and I especially like that I’ve learned to distance myself from situations where I don’t get it.

The only big feeling I have is that growing older is such a privilege. I realized this this week when I celebrated a big birthday. I’ve been thinking about friends who weren’t able to celebrate this important birthday for a variety of tragic reasons, as well as friends who recently suffered some pretty serious medical emergencies. I remembered that her beloved sister was very unwell last year and realized that around her next big birthday there would be fireworks to celebrate her being with us. I did. And I thought to myself, if I had been diagnosed with diabetes a few decades earlier, I might not be celebrating this week.

Diabetes has been a constant and unwelcome companion for more than half of my life. There are big feelings about it, and none of them are good. It entered my life and reshaped it in ways I could never have imagined. Even though my job, the job I love, is impossibly intertwined with diabetes, I feel that so much of my brainpower, energy, and finances have been cheated. And for the most part, my time was taken up by diabetes. I’ve never supported the toxic positivity of diabetic superheroes, but I’ve never fully attributed the discipline and resilience I’ve had to forcing myself to manage my life to diabetes. I refuse. I take credit for that.

And this is what I’ve been thinking. Aging is a privilege, but growing older with diabetes feels like a miracle. That belief focuses on our brothers and sisters with diabetes who may not be able to celebrate important birthdays because their diagnosis is missed entirely or they receive inadequate medical care. or lack of access to drugs or technology. Over the past few years, we’ve heard more from our vast community about their experiences. We need to hear more voices and do more to support them. So, on my big birthday, I would like to take this opportunity to appeal to everyone reading this.If you can, please donate to either life for children or insulin for lifeTwo charities are going to great lengths to increase the chance of celebrating a bigger birthday for people with diabetes in resource-strapped countries. That sounds like the perfect celebration.

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