Monday, April 1, 2013


Today's PromptWhy HAWMC? This is our third year of the Health Activist Writer’s Month Challenge – why did you get involved this year? Are you a newbie to #HAWMC or a veteran?

This year, I'm 3 for 3.

I participated the first year because I loved the idea of challenging myself to write daily. I had no idea that the middle of that month of April would bring sweeping changes to my family life (that I couldn't broadcast publicly), but I found a way to write anyway. I had made a commitment to it. And I met lots of other writers whom I hadn't been reading before. I gained visibility and credibility as a blogger and I felt a sense of empowerment for facing everything we were facing at home and still keeping up with it.

Year Two of the challenge came along just as my 6 week old son had reached the peak of his colic/reflux/budding career in scream-o. But I knew that I needed to write. I wanted to write about my health during that time because I knew it would help me focus my energy back where it needed to be - taking care of me so that I could take care of my little family.

This year, my April looks to be calmer. Life will still throw its curveballs; I pledge to keep swinging. HAWMC is something I look forward to. I reconnect with other writers and I reconnect with my blog.

My blog. This delicious space of the internet that is all mine. I can stretch out and roll around in it, and, as always, consider whether or not I live up to the challenge of voicing things more sweetly.

I like to tell my voice students that their lessons are where they are at liberty to workshop new things. I don't want to see just the finished product. My job as their teacher is to help them discover, evolve, create. If they can't try it in the safe space of my studio, then they'll never bring it out on stage.

Writing a blog is like that.

And so is diabetes.

You try new things. You celebrate successes. You own up to bad decisions. You ask for help. Sometimes there's an audience. Sometimes you would rather slink out of the spotlight.

According to one of my college voice professors, Pavarotti once reported that, when he sang beautiful high C's that he worked very hard to produce, when they came out effortlessly, the audience didn't react. So in that same performance, he purportedly pretended to struggle to produce some high A's (a lower pitch) and the crowd went wild with applause.

While I have never advocated making it look like you work harder than you do (and I don't think that's what Pavarotti meant, if indeed that story is true), that perspective has always stayed with me. It's easy to find yourself getting a lack of respect for what appears to be effortless in your life. I believe that part of my success in advocating for people with diabetes is pulling back the curtain so that you can see how hard we all work to be healthy. All of us. I want you to know what we go through - whether it's for a high C, a high A, or a low A1c.

The curtain is up and my stage is littered with toys and test strips, but I'll be practicing my technique in full view of the audience all month. Welcome to my workshop.
Spotlight on Sweetly Voiced, y'all
This post was written as part of HAWMC - 30 Health Posts in 30 Days

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful post, Melissa. And you make a great point about showing how hard we all work to be healthy.