Every Day is a Bonus

I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when I was six. 

This was sometimes tricky to manage when I was growing up, and at times I fell into a ‘victim mentality’ about it. 

On difficult days, I’d feel sorry for myself and think about how unfair it was that I had to deal with this, while none of my friends did. 

However, this all changed for me when I realised a simple fact. 

If I had been born a century earlier, and got diabetes then, I would have just died a slow and agonising death. 

But now, thanks to modern medicine, I can live a full, productive and happy life. 

Taking this viewpoint makes me realise that each day I have been alive since my diagnosis has been a bonus.


It’s easy to take our days for granted and go through the motions in a kind of ‘automatic’ mode. 

One way to override this is to consider someone you know who died younger than they were expected to. 

Then, whenever you’re going through your day, doing the usual, mundane tasks, e.g. waiting in the line at the supermarket, or stuck in traffic, ask yourself: 

“What would that person give to be here now, having this experience?” 

The reality is that we are all on “borrowed time” – and there’s no guarantee that we, or our loved ones, will see tomorrow. 

The more we come to terms with this fact of our existence, the more each day starts to feel like a bonus. 

Almost as if we are coming back and living it again from the vantage point of someone who can no longer be here.

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Niall McKeever

Writer and Founder of The Weekend University. Passionate about making great ideas more accessible.

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