The things that matter ARE GOOD
Off the Diabeaten Track by Jennifer Sweeting
I am not usually one for New Year’s resolutions, as they often fall by the wayside days after the year has begun and I’ve recovered from the celebrations. However, the start of a new year does make me think about new goals I’d like to set for myself. One of the small changes I’ve made in my life is practising gratitude.
When I wake up in the morning, I’ve formed a new habit of acknowledging five things I’m grateful for. I keep it super simple, and literally say them out loud: “I am grateful I have feet to stand on and eyes to see, a warm bed, a roof over my head, and healthy children who, even though they often drive me crazy, are healthy and happy.”
And it all comes back to this thought – the things that matter are good. I don’t know when I started saying it so much, but I seem to say it more and more. It has become a standard response when engaging in conversations. Whether you have children or not, there are so many things going on in our lives. We are constantly bombarded with information through social media, text messages and emails, so it is easy to feel overwhelmed.
Personally, I often feel rushed and stretched thin – racing from home to work, sport to shops – fitting in “me time” wherever I can! Many nights, I can’t imagine doing one more thing beyond dinner, dishes, books and bed – and yet I still fall prey to the allure of ‘one more episode’ when I should be sleeping.
That said, it is important not to get bogged down by the little things and the challenges life throws at us. While my role at Diabetes WA is in the primary care space, I also deliver the DESMOND type 2 diabetes self-management program once a week. DESMOND is about empowering people to self-reflect on their journey with diabetes and make an action plan towards one small change around how they self-manage their diabetes. One. Small. Change. That’s where it all starts – with one small change, leading to another, and so on.
Delivering DESMOND has taught me so much about my world and the way I move through it. It has taught me to be a better communicator and to self-reflect. I am so grateful I have an amazing husband, who is a hands-on dad, supporting me in all my endeavours.
My boys are healthy and happy, and we live in a beautiful beachside community where we feel we actively belong. I moved to Australia 12 years ago and this is truly my home now. I am grateful for that every single day.
This is the first of many columns I am writing for Diabetes Matters. It is my hope that, each quarter, you’ll join me as I explore a thought or idea that makes you laugh and brings you to the present moment. Let’s not sweat the small stuff. Because the things that matter are good.
Jennifer Sweeting is a primary care coordinator and DESMOND facilitator at Diabetes WA. She holds a Masters in Anthropology and Public Health. As an American anthropologist ‘Down Under’, Jennifer can often be found prattling on about the importance of human connection. She is a sleep evangelist, radio host, and writer who spends heaps of time beach combing and bush walking with her two young boys.