This post is an interview with my blogger friend Mitch Mitchell. Mitch has an interesting blog, “I’m Just Sharing”, one among the three that he writes in, which I regularly visit and often comment on. Mitch reciprocates whenever he can. His other two blogs are, his finance blog and his consulting blog.
I sought Mitch’s permission to interview him and post this blog because, I find in Mitch, many of the characteristics that I admire in a person, about which I have blogged in my Friday Consortium Post on Heroes. Mitch is a multi talented, multi-tasker. To start with, Mitch is a diabetic and has to manage that problem with a number of actions that only diabetics or their care givers know about. Believe me, it is not easy. Secondly, Mitch is in the Health Care business as a consultant and balances that demanding occupation, with a very active blogging life. Thirdly, from all accounts he has a wonderful marriage about which he blogs often and with great pride about his wife Robyn’s accomplishments.
I urge my readers to visit Mitch’s blogs and learn more about the various things that interests him and about which he blogs.
What made you choose Health Care as a career?
It was kind of chosen for me. I was in my early 20’s and working at a music store. I met a lot of great people, but was making very little money. I went to an employment agency, passed a couple of tests, then was called within a couple of hours to say they had a position for me at a hospital. I hadn’t been in a hospital since I was born, but I went for the interview, got the job, and never left the profession.
Having chosen that, what made you divert your energies to blogging with three very active blogs?
What made me decide to branch out was losing my job and actually my entire department in 2001. The powers that be decided to move my department and 3 others to another city, and they didn’t have a similar position for me, so I’d have had to take a lesser job, pay cut, and drive much longer than I already was. I decided to go into business for myself. After a couple of years I wanted a new way to show what I knew to prospects, and that’s what got me started on my first blog. Then I decided I wanted a blog where I could write about other things, and in December decided to add another blog on finance because someone was selling it and I thought it might not only be fun, but a good test to see if a niche blog would actually make money.
How much time do you spend every day on blogging? Is it worth your while?
I probably spend an hour total on blogging for myself on a daily basis at the most. That doesn’t include commenting on other blogs. I tend to write fast, and even when I do a research post, my research doesn’t seem to take all that long because I know what I want to check. Responding to people who comment probably takes longer than the blogging itself.
What is your long term plan vis-a-vis, blogging and your consultancy practice?
My long term goals are to be a professional speaker and presenter, and to make a nice passive income on the internet. The consultancy is okay, but it’s not really my ultimate goal. If I got to do everything my way, it would be much better, but health care is a strange business, and difficult to get people to open up their minds to think about things long term.
How much has your diabetes influenced the way you have evolved as a person?
It’s made me more aware of my mortality and shortcomings. In essence, it’s reminded me that I’m not a young kid anymore, and that my body can’t just absorb things and fix problems because it’s young and healthy, which it’s not. As I have to plan my meals and plan my exercise, it makes me plan many other things also, which helps my focus. I still lose control every once in awhile, but if I get back on the plan, things start coming back around again. I think that’s an important lesson; having a plan isn’t such a bad thing in life.
How has diabetes affected your life overall?
There are some things that affect me more than they did 13 years ago, when I was first diagnosed. I find that if I don’t get to eat properly in either the morning or afternoon I’m going to get really tired and need to crash. It’s something that working for myself allows, at least when I’m home. When I’m on the road, I might have to find a way to get to my car for 10 or 15 minutes to do a power nap. I’ve also learned that I have to work on my control more when people start to irritate me, something I never had to worry about before, because diabetes can make you react to things more than you used to after some years if you can’t keep your numbers under control.
I also get tired of people who know I’m diabetic immediately asking if I should be eating that piece of cake, or whatever it is, because the diabetes industry hasn’t communicated well enough to everyone that it’s not straight up sugar, as in sweet stuff, that affects diabetics, but more the carbs and other things that drive up your glucose levels. Pasta has a worse effect on me than a piece of cake because it stays longer in the body, so I need to guard against eating that more often than I do an occasional sweet thing.
Has diabetes affected your life in living up to your potential?
No it hasn’t.
The only real problem I’ve ever had with diabetes is when I’m traveling on long term consulting assignments. If I can’t get a room with a kitchen, it’s harder to plan meals, as you’re eating out all the time. That, plus you can’t make meals to take to the office with you, which means your eating schedule is affected. Other than that, though, it has nothing to do with my potential to be anything I want to be.
Was there another career option that you would have considered had you not become diabetic?
No. As I said, the diabetes didn’t have any impact on anything I do now, or want to do in the future.
What would your advice be to other diabetics about living a life full of meaning?
We’re pretty lucky in today’s world that we have these medications and information that can help us live full and normal lives if we plan things out and decide to take care of ourselves. It’s definitely a shock when a doctor tells you that you have the disease, but it’s certainly not a death sentence, especially if you decide to pay attention to advice.
Would you like to say something about your marriage about which you keep talking about in your blog?
My wife and I have a wonderful marriage of 12 years. No marriage is perfect, but we’ve never had an argument in all that time; never argued before we got married either. We took a long time really getting to know each other, and talked about any and everything. Probably the two things we do best is communicate with each other and laugh a lot. Trust me, I seem to keep her laughing all the time. We’re supportive of each other and put no restrictions on each other. And we trust each other; that’s probably the most important thing of all. That’s the true essence of love.
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