With Nat Strand, 2012 Weekend for Women Conference Keynote Speaker
I attended the AADE Conference in Las Vegas, NV last week and I had the pleasure to hang out with many people from the DOC (Diabetes Online Community) such as Manny Hernandez, David Edelman, Tom Karlya, Scott Johnson, Miriam Tucker. I also met with many well-known people in the diabetes community such as Susan Weiner (dLife), Bill Polonsky (Behavioral Diabetes Institute), Kyrra Richards (myabetic), Nadia Al-Samarrie (Diabetes Health), Paula Ford-Martin (dLife), Kelly Rawlings (Diabetic Living magazine), Todd Siesky (Roche), Alana Clemens and Janie Rodriguez (Boehringer-Ingelheim)—all of whom are an absolute joy to be around. Probably the most exciting person of all that I met was Nat Strand, winner of the 2010 Amazing Race. She was half of the first female team to win the competition and the first person with diabetes to win! Her story is absolutely, positively AMAZING! I heard comments about how moving her talk was for days after it actually took place. If you have never heard her speak or met her, I encourage you to attend the 2012 Weekend for Women Conference, where Nat will be the keynote speaker!
I’ve talked about what a jam-packed week I had and I’m sure from the outside looking in it seems like pure fun. But, in reality it is extremely tiring and now that I’m back, it doesn’t really seem to be getting any better. So, I’m close to hitting a wall. (not literally, but figuratively!) So, now I’m trying to figure out the best way to avoid crashing face first into it. My pastor spoke on this topic at church this past week and it really hit home with me. He talked about how he hit a wall about four years after he started our church in 2001. Day after day after day after week after month after year, he worked hard (often not taking any time off) in an effort to do God’s work and reach as many unchurched people as possible in Central North Carolina. While he was working so hard doing God’s work, his lack of rest starting chipping away at his soul. His message REALLY hit home with me because I am about four years into the founding of DiabetesSisters and I can’t really say that I have taken an entire day (24 hours) off since it launched in January 2008. I get started on my work day between 7-8am doing everything from administrative tasks, to marketing, to program management, to fund raising, to operations management. I typically have numerous conference calls throughout the day—most which result in more things on my TO DO list. I typically work straight through until it is time to pick my daughter up at 5pm. I pick her up and get her dinner and while she is eating and watching television, I sit next to her on the couch and try to finish up some small work tasks on the computer or do some straightening around the house. After she has finished, we usually do something together like go for a walk, play softball, or play a game indoors. After she goes to bed around 8:30pm, I promptly sit down beside my husband on the couch and begin plugging away at my computer. I usually work until sometime between 11pm and 1am. Then it starts all over again. I have been rewarded greatly for my hard work through the success of the organization. And while the organization has grown tremendously and I am beyond proud of the great work we are doing, I have not been so kind to myself. (OK, I finally admitted it…on paper.) Of course, DiabetesSisters is in the midst of lots of exciting projects like the PODS Meetup expansion, the launch of the new SisterMatch program, and the launch of the Facing Diabetes Together Map- things that take a considerable amount of my time—so it is difficult to figure out where I can possibly block off some time for myself. It seems that my spare time is spent sleeping (and I could use a bit more of that too!) So, I just ask for any wisdom you have to share and/or prayers this week as I try to create a healthy balance in my life.