Like everyone these days, I take a yoga class now and then. It's at yoga that I learned about the idea of practice. Not just the concept of practicing a pose but also as a personal process. My practice. Like blogging, which has become a kind of a practice for me. A touchpoint. A rhythm that weaves through my thoughts and days. I like the idea of practicing the things that bring joy and health to your life. I like the idea that I have some say and control over the tone of my life.
I was thinking about the idea of practice this morning. I had to change out my set and as usual, I pushed it to the very last minute. I've never liked doing it for some reason. I love the freedom from shots, the freedom for 2-3 days of not having to deal with all the stuff associated with the pump. I don't know why but when that warning beep goes off, I feel more burdened, knowing that I have to change my set in the next few hours. Which is kind of silly when I remember that it only takes a few minutes to actually do. Not so hard to do, yes, but unpleasant nonetheless.
This morning as I assembled all the stuff I needed to change the set, I thought about how this routine was, in a sense, another form of practice. Of course it is a routine in dealing with the mechanics of my pump. But it occured to me, as I was filling the cartridge with insulin for the thousandth time, that it is also a practice in caring for myself. Yes, having diabetes is a drag, but regardless, every time I change my pump, it's me making a choice about the way I live with it. It's me making a practice of caring for myself and committing to a technology that delivers the best management of my disease. I don't love the technology but I choose to use it every day, in spite of that. Because I am choosing certain path in my life with diabetes. It occured to me this morning that I could look at this required chore in an alternative light. I could view it as a 5 minute ritual that reminds me of the choice I'm making about my life and personal care. I could look at it as a practice that is life affirming rather than a chore. I could practice at pulling mind away from the chore view and pushing it toward the affirmation view. And even if I don't achieve this state of mind every time, every time I do achieve it, it's one less time it feels like a chore. And that surely will help me feel a little better overall.