Typically, as I fall asleep at night, I take a snapshot of what tomorrow is supposed to look like. Last night was no different, as I ran down the list to which I intended to wake: up by 7 am, change out my insulin pump, and eat a balanced breakfast with enough protein to get me through an exercise class from 8-9 am. Come home, do the “kid mambo” (breakfast prep, tooth-brushing quality control, and fresh underwear reminders), shower, bother to actually blow dry my hair and apply eye makeup (yeah, I was thinking about it), and head off to my daughter’s 11th birthday extravaganza.

But here I sit at 10:09 am with a different reality. The list to which I actually woke looks like this: up by 8 am, depleted insulin reservoir and pump alarm thus screaming at me, and missed the 8 am exercise class. Recovered with a great cup of hot coffee and a little of the fantastic memoir “Disaster Preparedness” by Heather Havrilesky, and then scarfed down a breakfast wrap and apple slices (courtesy of my husband’s awareness that if anyone was going to eat, he had to get involved).

Not exactly the snapshot I had taken the night before, and once upon a time, I would have thrown up the white flag, acknowledging my defeat in yet another foolish attempt to create A Productive Day. I would have promptly bagged on the exercise and eye makeup, all the while pondering and lamenting my inadequacy as A Productive Person.

I did this for a long time with diabetes too. When I didn’t check my sugars or dose appropriate insulin in the morning, I figured it was game over; I had screwed it up for the day. But here’s the funny part…my pancreas can’t tell time. If I renew my commitment to wellness by lunchtime, my body has some help for the rest of the day and night.

So, today’s truth is that I still have 30 pre-shower minutes left to blog and exercise. So that’s the new, adjusted plan.

Remembering that we can renegotiate the day at any point is an incredibly freeing realization. A friend of mine learned this concept through Weight Watchers; that eating a doughnut for breakfast doesn’t preclude you from having a salad for lunch or salmon for dinner. Missing an exercise class doesn’t preclude me from exercising right now, because my day is not an all or nothing proposition.

It was no accident that Havrilesky’s book was on the coffee table this morning. As if for me, she wrote of how she loves “all the imperfect manifestations of this imperfect life.” She adds “I am flawed, flawed, flawed, and I will rarely feel shiny and complete and utterly calm and prepared. But look how hard we try, you and me, us and them, everyone. Isn’t it sort of sweet, to see how determined we are to do better, to be stronger, to make sure our kids and our mothers and our partners and even our dogs know that they’re loved?”

Now if you’ll excuse me, I must go and sweat, shower and celebrate, all in the name of A Very Productive Day.

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