These are a few photos of my family’s home in Vermont. My parents bought the house when I was six months old and have been working on it ever since. They have renovated the inside twice, remodeled all of the bathrooms, replaced the stairs, and redesigned the entire first floor. They have done a lot of work on the outside, as well. My mom’s gardening talents compliment my dad’s eye for landscaping and his special passion for building rock walls.
When we were growing up, my siblings and I would get asked to help out with various tasks around the house. We always thought our parents just made up these “projects” to do so that there would be work for us. As I grew older, though, I realized that all of the weeding, rock moving, painting, hammering, shoveling, raking, and cleaning are critical aspects of caring for our home. These days, there aren’t too many big projects going on, but my parents work hard to keep the house in tip top shape. My dad will spend an entire afternoon weed wacking and mowing the lawn, and though he comes in sweating and tired, he’s happy because, to him, yard work is a labor of love. If he doesn’t tend to the yard, it will gradually become overgrown. My siblings and I know now that if no one cares for the house, it will begin to fall apart.
There is no denying that diabetes is a lot of work. We labor over our blood sugars and carb counting. Perhaps today, in honor of Labor Day, we can all take a moment to view our diabetes care as a labor of love. Sometimes, like weeding a garden, it’s going to get messy and seem like there’s no way out of the tangles. There will be days, like building a rock wall, when nothing wants to fit together. And there will be times, like mowing the lawn, when it seems so bumpy you just want to stop altogether. But then there will be days when the garden will be blooming brightly, the colors of the flowers and the well groomed lawn will compliment the rocks and all it’s all because of the energy you put in. It’s all because of the love you gave. And if you don’t commit to this labor of love that is diabetic care, eventually your “home”, your body, will start to fall apart.
A lot of times we do things out of love for family or friends. When you bake cookies for your dad or help your friend move into a new apartment, you are showing your love for that person through your actions. Often, we forget to show ourselves the same affection. So, every time you check your blood sugar or give yourself insulin today or choose a healthy snack, try seeing that as a labor of love for yourself. The more we love ourselves, the more deeply we care for ourselves and, at the same time, the more we care for ourselves, the more deeply we love ourselves.
Happy Labor Day! I hope everyone enjoyed a last weekend of summer sunshine!