Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Jump Started . . . . .

Let me say up-front that event re-cap posts never come easily for me.  I get home with my head swirling with experiences and information and inspirations that I just don’t have the words to convey.  I stare at a blank screen typing and backspacing and typing and backspacing over words that feel forced and contrived.  I eagerly read recaps from others who were with me at the event, grateful that they are better at sharing with our community than I am.  So instead of talking about everything we heard and saw and said and did at the 3rd Medtronic Diabetes Advocates Forum this past weekend, I will tell you what the forum meant to me.

It’s already been a cold, cold winter here in New England.  My poor little car starts very begrudgingly, and I know it’s only a matter of time before I find it completely stalled out on a frigid morning.  And I’ve been feeling exactly the same way.  I haven’t blogged much lately because my ideas for topics feel buried under sheets of ice in my brain.  My DOC interactions had silently run out of gas and I felt as if my headlights were dimming and faintly flickering out.

I wasn’t sure what to expect from the Forum this time around, but almost immediately I could feel myself coming back to life.  I think being in a room full of peers who passionately work for a cause close to your heart will do that.  But there was something more . . . . a feeling that, for the first time I can remember, we were all coming together - my peers in the DOC and the executives and representative at Medtronic - to not only brainstorm but to take actual real steps to set important things in motion.  Instead of talking about what we could do, we were actually starting to do it.

IMG_1651These people were my jumper cables.
Photo courtesy of the Medtronic Diabetes twitter feed.

For more about the nuts and bolts of the conference, please read the posts I linked in the first paragraph and read through #MedtronicDAF to find other posts I may have missed.  But personally, this Forum restarted my engine after it had sputtered to a halt.  I tweeted Monday morning that I hadn’t woken feeling so inspired and capable in a very long time.  I now recognize how often I talk myself out of trying things or exploring ideas (or more specifically, applying for conference scholarships) because I convince myself I will fail so why waste my time trying.  I realize now that we all need to try - and if we “fail” it’s okay because we haven’t really failed.  The only way we fail is by never even trying.

The Medtronic Diabetes Advocates Forum was in invitational event, during which my travel, lodging and meals were covered.  In addition, as always, my current Medtronic disclosure can be found here.


  1. Thank you for writing and sharing, Karen. I think advocacy burnout is really challenging and going through it feels awful because you can't not be aware that stuff has to keep getting done. I'm right there with you on that. I am so happy that this conference was energizing for you. We truly need you and love you to pieces. I am extra glad that you will apply to more scholarships. You deserve them all. <3 Hugs.

  2. I don't know that I will ever overcome my fear of failing, but I appreciate that one of the take-aways you got was to be brave and take a risk. It's a good reminder that I've been needing lately.

    It was wonderful to see you, even if there was just way to much going on for us to really reconnect. <3

  3. Beautiful.
    Also: Being brave is a good thing, but it can be really scary - Glad we are in this together!

  4. I mentioned this the other day, but I'm really glad you were there. You are perfect for this kind of thing, and everyone was lucky to have you there. Glad it was such a positive experience.

  5. I just wanted to say that you have inspired me through the years and continue to do so. You rock.


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