Monday, February 23, 2009

Social and Professional Implications

My boss actually used to tease me with cookies and such, not knowing he was messing with something Major Sensitive. When I was having trouble with my sugar, he didn't believe it. Many days, even I was not aware that I was moving slow due to my sugar being low. When it goes down to 60 or 70 and you do not get the heart beat, the sweats or the fading out, you just move a lot slower and don't know it's happening. So you don't perform so well as an employee.

People who haven't gone through it do not realize there is a big struggle with diabetes. Some have an easier time than others. Even my wife doesn't seem to know how hard it is. But when I say hard, and how I have struggled, I am talking about the past. It does get easier and easier with time if you don't give up. Fortunately, when my boss was teasing me with cookies and minimizing my struggle, I was already to a point where his teasing caused me some indignation but really had no effect on my resolve or suffering.

But when you're first starting out, they tease you and it can be tough if you're trying to be good. Try not to punch them in the face; you'll just end up apologizing later.

When someone sees me eating a raw vegetable, they usually ask, "Are you a vegetarian?"

Sometimes they add, "Eat meat."

I'm like, "When - right now?"

I do consider myself a vegetarian because I love to eat vegetables. I eat meat but not necessarily right when people say, "Eat meat."

I'm sure it hurts me professionally to demure from going to lunch with business associates. You can imagine. But somehow my family survives and they still have a live dad. I don't imagine what I am missing out on; I only express gratitude for my very sufficient means.

Like the American business world, much of what I try to accomplish at church is normally accomplished through building unity through social dinners and refreshments. Well, I used to kind of fudge through going to these gatherings but now I am to the point where I just have to say no, I just can't eat that.

It's ironic because all my life I have been taught at the church how not to compromise my standards, that no matter the social or professional situation, I should demand that people respect my absolute need to remain alcohol and drug free. Yet the same people load my kids down with candy and junk almost every time they go over, and they expect me to go to their parties, which to me is like going to someones beer party - something most of them would never do.

Another thing they teach is not to be picky or proud, but to graciously accept and consume any strange fare offered by hospitable folks from other cultures (as long as it doesn't contain alcohol or tobacco or worse), no matter how grotesque. So I appear picky and proud when I refuse standard American party food, but to me, it is as bad as alcohol, tobacco and worse, so I do not budge or apologize. I get by and do my best without compromising my safety and well being.

This may sound like sour criticism of the people of my church; it is not; many of the people have some distance to cover before they eat, clean and garden right, but they will cover it.

There are people out there (though they seem to be thinning) who do whatever and live long healthy lives. To them, my blog will be a bunch of hooey. This blog is not for the bullet-proof.

I have made three observations about people in general that I find truly amazing. Two are not relevant, but I gotta include them anyway:

1 - They are in a big hurry to get to the red light and come to a full stop. Then they take a really long time to get going again when it turns green. News Flash: Stopping for a while does not save time or gas.

2 - If they see that you are asleep, there is some reason that they need to wake you up. I don't know what the reason is.

3 - If they see you doing something different, they assume you are trying to convert them.

The last one, No. 3, applies in the case where people ask me, "Are you a vegetarian?" They seem to think to some degree that my eating a leaf is only to challenge them to a debate about eating leaves. I had a boss once who just could not restrain himself from my office at lunch time. He was drawn by wild horses to my desk to see what I was eating and comment on it. He would ask whether I had gotten my office mate to eat any cold baked potatoes. I would not know what to say, since I had not thought about my co-worker and potatoes at the same time. He kept asking leading questions that I did not have an answer for, since I was just eating my lunch and that was all. He eventually figured that out.

I had a lot of dandelions once and I invented a way to dig them. I made a sharpened, tapered tube, mounted through the center of a wooden block, convenient for pushing down into the lawn with both heels of my hands. I would punch the centers of the dandelions with the tube and aerator-type plugs of root and soil would come up through the top of the tube and out. It worked pretty good, but did not always get most of the root like it was supposed to do.

My neighbor's parents-in-law were visiting from a neighboring state. They saw me using my tool and told my their son-in-law that they had never seen anyone do it like that before. Imagine my gratitude! To think I might have gone on using my own invention, not knowing how new and different it was! HOW EMBARRASSING THAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN!

A few months or years later, I saw a tool being sold on TV that was pretty much my invention, except that you stood up and held it much like a pogo stick and pushed it into the ground with your foot instead of kneeling down, and to expel the pellets, you shot them back out the way they went in by expanding axial sections of the tube. This was in about 1991 or so.

My point is, I just wanted to dig my dandelions, but someone had to make an issue out of it since it was so non-conforming to The Way Things Are Done.

So you may find that although you do not intend to bother anyone, they will bother you if you diverge a bit.

It may seem I am contradicting myself by talking about tolerance and minding one's own business, while writing a blog saying Americans ought to eat differently. But I am not trying to change any body's mind. As I said, it is not an emotional issue for me. I am only trying to encourage like minds that possibly exist out there. Now that I am trying to share my philosophy, I want to say that I am content if I share; I don't need anyone to respond for my sake.

Seems the older you get, the less best friends need to have all the same favorite everything.