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Reestablish the connection

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Today’s post is from my long time friend Jen Hanson. Jen is the Executive Director of Connected in Motion. This is an organization that I have had the great privilege of working with. Her posts aim to re-establish connections. If you would like to participate in this event, Northeast backflow in May (Click the link for more information)!

After what felt like an eternity, I returned to work in the diabetes community in January. In some ways, my time off felt much longer than her official 12-month maternity leave. My son was born in January 2022, as planned. Connect while moving2020 marked the first “big event” since the coronavirus pandemic, and the organization underwent a major turnaround. ) Before the pandemic, I was used to traveling monthly to attend and promote events in the diabetes community – Connected in Motion’s wake (Read: Camp for adults), adventure program (Like the month I spent in Alaska and the Yukon Territory with the CIM Adventure Team), Children with Diabetes lifelong friend We were doing events where I was coordinating youth programs and various conferences, conferences, gatherings, etc…but that was put on pause. And then I had a baby.

Looking back, I really didn’t know what was going to happen because I was off on Matt’s vacation. I never left the diabetes community. At least since I started working at a diabetic camp at age 16, I have never taken a day off. I’ve always known I wanted a family, and my work at Connected in Motion has helped me plan and prepare with that in mind. I didn’t want the organization to rely on me. We wanted it to feel like a balanced community. When I was preparing for this year’s vacation, I really didn’t know what to expect. I don’t think others did either. In the early days, people asked me how CIM was doing, assuming I was still checking in, working behind the scenes, and keeping diabetes top of mind, and that I was “really on mat leave.” I asked. But that wasn’t the case. Because of the system we built, I was able to walk away and Lucy, my organizational counterpart, was able to really take the reins.

Most of the time it felt great. I had a newborn, so I had time to breathe, but I didn’t have time to breathe. However, there were definitely times when I felt FOMO. I’ve heard rumors about some fun events and wanted to go there myself. When I hear about great presentations at conferences, I sometimes wonder if I can “catch up” on my knowledge. When I hear about social events, advocacy events, community gatherings, etc., I wonder if someone noticed I wasn’t there or if there was another Canadian in my place. I did. But then I remembered that I had a toddler to worry about, and I didn’t want to regret not putting my 100% into loving him during Matt’s vacation.

My year-long vacation came at an interesting time, piggybacking on the pandemic shutdowns. While I was retreating, others were cautiously stepping forward to return to in-person programming. We knew that would be a challenge for CIM. People’s lives have changed. Once you “drop out” of a slipstream-like social community circle, it can be difficult to convince yourself to come back. And those who have returned to Slipstream have come with entirely new experiences gained from navigating the pandemic while living with a chronic illness. Even from the sidelines, the challenge of rebuilding communities after the gap created by COVID-19 was obvious. People were leaving and it was clear that re-establishing connections would take time and effort.

After more than a year away from office, he returned in early 2023. Just preparing to return to work after a break from work can be difficult, let alone when there is a personal connection to the job. In addition to the regular challenges of returning to work, I also struggled to find day care for my son. That meant her husband and I had to change our daycare and work schedules. I worked from early morning until mid-afternoon (and still do!) and when he handed me his son, I went back to mom mode.

I was very happy to be able to use a part of my brain that had been dormant for over a year, but I also didn’t forget the stress and anxiety that comes with leading a diabetes organization. Returning to a world that was in a recession and all regular sponsors seemed to have “turned around” was next level stress. I feel like I really jumped in with both feet and sprinted to the ground. 6am. 6am sprint. I used to stay on top of all the new developments in the world of diabetes, but now I feel like I’m playing catch-up.

Becoming a parent has also changed my perspective and priorities. Now I accept that I can’t be everywhere at once. And feel free to let our amazing team lead your event or adventure. I was also able to introduce my son to the diabetes community at various events, and as a mother with diabetes, I was happy to be able to participate with a new persona.

Now that I’m back and have experienced this new normal for a few months, I find myself even more excited about the possibilities of CIM. I came back with a new perspective and time to refresh and reset. I look forward to implementing new ideas. We’re excited to continue growing and evolving Connected in Motion, connecting more people in more places, and fully immersing ourselves in the diabetes community once again. I also want to ensure our organization is a great place to work, with policies that reflect my own experience as a parent and support the personal and professional lives of our staff.

So what’s next? As we work to rebuild and reconnect, Connected in Motion returns to Camp Careboo in Winslow, Maine. northeast wake This year the event will be held in May! We love Northeastern He Slipstream. It’s a great opportunity for adults with type 1 diabetes to come together, make new friends, and learn from each other in a supportive and fun environment.

If you are considering participating, we encourage you to take the plunge and register. I know firsthand how transformative and empowering these events can be. And he is confident that you will leave with unforgettable memories, valuable knowledge, and a network of friends who understand the unique challenges of living with type 1 diabetes. If you’re not on the East Coast, check this out. other programs We are working across North America.

I look forward to continuing to reconnect, engage, and reintegrate with the diabetes community in other ways. I can’t wait to learn from her T1D moms who have paved the way before me. I’m always open to tips to make this crazy job and life of being a mom and diabetic easier. And I’m grateful that I was away for a year and that I got to watch our little organization grow in my absence. To the staff who stepped up beyond anything I could have ever imagined, and to the larger community who “supported us” while I was on hiatus. To our sponsors who have stuck by us during the pandemic and transition to in-person. You have given me great confidence in the Connected in Motion community. Looking forward to doing this again maybe in the not too distant future.

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