Sunday Question – How Happy Are You?

In my opinion, people are either happy, sad or comatose. Within those 3 categories, there are plenty of levels one could choose from in helping to get closer to the truth.

Overall, I think we would all agree that being happy is the best out the 3 emotions I mentioned. Depending on your makeup, it’s either the easiest one to reach or the toughest one to get to. I tend to believe the things that determine how well you can do this have to do with how you grew up and your present environment.

For instance, if you grew up relatively happy with parents who didn’t argue all the time, even if your present circumstance is bad you can usually pop back into a happy mode faster than someone else can. If you grew up in a depressed family with a lot of problems, you’ll be happy if you’re in a great environment, but it will be pretty easy to fall back into a depressed mode when things don’t go right.

So then, it begs the question of just how happy are you most of the time? I’ll answer first, with a little bit of explanation. I’m not as happy a guy as I used to be. I think it’s because working for myself has not only been much harder than I had expected it would be, but I don’t get to see people as often as I used to. In all the years when I worked for someone else, I can honestly say I never felt any pressure until the last year, which is what helped encourage me to give it a shot. Nine years later I’m still fighting the good fight, with some great years and some not all that great years, and it starts to take a toll.

But I grew up in a relatively happy household. My parents were very practical, but my dad was one of those types of people who could lighten up every room he went into. My mother didn’t really develop a sense of humor until a few years ago I hate to say, but she wasn’t a mean person, just always worried that something might go wrong. I can understand that; Dad was in Vietnam, and often had to leave for months at a time and we knew almost nothing about where he went or what he was doing.

So I got a bit from both parents, but because my upbringing was fairly happy, I’m quick to laugh at things and can enjoy my own company, or just my wife and I, almost always. People seem to love when we’re together at the health club because we laugh a lot; my wife is funny. And we tend to draw people to us; I think happy people tend to do that. But I have my moments; I’m just glad I don’t have them often.

Just how happy are you most of the time? And why are you as you are?

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Diabetic Depression

By now, everyone’s heard about diabetes. This is a tough disease to deal with sometimes. There are some folks who think this is pretty easy to do; just change how you eat. Well, it turns out it’s not quite that easy to do permanently, and when you change up, sometimes bad things happen.

migrant mother, Dorthea Lange, for TFIF contest
susan via Compfight

At least I know about it. I was reading a story a couple of days ago where a basketball player on the Georgetown team was just diagnosed with it. He was having stomach problems and finally went to the doctor about it, and there you go. Now they’re saying he might miss some games; how bad can it be if he has to miss some games?

This kid is in great physical condition and got it; how the heck is someone like me, out of shape and on insulin, supposed to control it all of the time?

Well, I could, and I do well from time to time. I’ve written about my eating plans and when I can stick to them they do work. When I don’t, though, things can start messing up in different ways.

One thing I go through here and there is something called diabetic depression. I seem to get it when my glucose levels are high for at least a couple of weeks. I don’t always know it immediately when it’s coming on, but probably should know that if my glucose level is high for at least a week it’s time to go back to the drastic eating plan.

What does high mean? Though there are mandated highs or standards by the government, each person has their range where they feel good or bad. The U.S. has a standard between 80 and 120; I feel good between 110 and 150. When I start getting under 110, I feel like I’m borderline dizzy, and when it gets below 100, I’m no good at all. Hitting 44 after a walk one day, when I couldn’t even drive home, was probably my scariest moment. By the way, as Sire once mentioned here, other countries have different numbers they use, and I guess if they stay under a 4 they’re considered as doing well; I don’t fully get it, but I just wanted to be somewhat clear.

This obviously means anything over 150 is high, no matter how you look at it. If I’m around 170 or so, I don’t panic at all. But when my readings get around 200 and stay there, or higher for awhile, there’s trouble a-brewin’.

In the last two weeks, since that’s the average a glucose monitor will give you, I’ve been averaging 219; no, that’s not good. Three days ago I awoke to a reading of 320, and that was after being awake 2 hours without eating anything.

The day I wrote my post on possibly giving up blogging, it was 244 after a couple of hours; nope, not good. I’ve had only two readings under 200 in the past two weeks, and both were afternoon readings, not morning readings. I’ve come close to 300 a few times; that’s not good either.

I tend to get depressed. When I get depressed, I want to quit some things and overdo others. I’m a dessert hound; I admit that.

But it’s not just desserts that drives up the numbers. Carbs is the monster. I’ve had pizza a few times. My wife made spaghetti on Sunday and I had some, then had some on both Monday and Tuesday. I’ve eaten a lot of McDonald’s fish sandwiches over the last week or so; yeah, that commercial got to me. I’ve had cake, cookies, and hot chocolate also, and I can’t say in moderation either. Once the numbers get high, you stop caring, and you go hog wild.

Luckily, my life has always been about coming to grips with something at a certain moment and deciding it’s time to get back on the straight and narrow. My wife is out of town this weekend, yet I’m working hard on being good. I can’t claim perfection, because I acknowledge that I do need her help, but I’ve gained a little bit of control, and hopefully by the middle of next week I’ll be back into the 150’s or lower.

I was talking to a friend of mine Wednesday night at a networking event. He was telling me his mother was diabetic, and he never realized how hard it was to plan meals and try to stick to an eating plan.

I’m not going to say this is harder than giving up cigarettes, but it’s different. You stop smoking, at least you have other things you can go to that you enjoy. Sure, you might overeat for awhile, but you’ll get used to that. With diabetes, supposedly you can never go back to eating what you like, or at least how you like, and there’s nothing to replace it. Well, there’s poker, but when I play poker I don’t tend to eat, and my wife wouldn’t like that any better than me playing poker every day. She’s like that. lol

Just thought I’d share that, so if every once in awhile you see an odd post or two, you might have an idea of where it might be coming from. Doesn’t mean I might not be thinking about something here and there, but at that moment the thought process might be influenced by something else. And, just for clarification, not everyone gets depressed. There are so many different symptoms people will exhibit. I’m lucky that my vision hasn’t been affected this time around.
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