Off the Diabeaten Track - Diabetes WA
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The Only Constant is Change

by Jennifer Sweeting 

Here we are… in the full swing of 2021.

I don’t know about you, but I am (trying to be) ready for anything in the unpredictable world we live in these days.

‘The only constant is change’ I remind myself, and the pandemic has taken this to a new level. While change may be challenging, I know that we as humans are great adapters — it is the reason we have survived, and thrived, for so long on this planet.

But change is hard. It’s even harder when it is forced upon us and we have not initiated it ourselves. And it feels like the pandemic has changed everything…from how we work to where we learn, what we buy and where we travel. I wonder if things will ever return to the normal we once knew.

While all these changes may feel frustrating, I’m hopeful that some of the effects of the pandemic are temporary and that the COVID-19 vaccine will soon make it safer to move through the world. For example, being unable to travel has separated us from loved ones for extended periods of time, which has been difficult.

I am grateful we were able to visit my family in America last year and these days, we have tried to make the most of enjoying where we live and adapted to ‘staying close to home’.

That being said, I was ready for the children to return to school in February. The one-week delay threw me for a serious loop. I easily slotted back into working from home, and the children happily amused themselves, but the sudden shutdown was a rapid change and unchartered territory for us in Western Australia.

As we locked down for five days — wearing masks and leaving the house for essentials and exercise — I thought of friends and family in America who have now been in a much more challenging state for more than 12 months. Their children have not been to school in a year and my girlfriends say they can’t imagine going out anywhere without a mask.

Their entire lives have changed… but they’ve adapted.

I recently read a New York Times article about the ‘tumultuous discovery of insulin’ 100 years ago. This amazing accomplishment in the history of medicine was a ‘not so straightforward’ discovery by a team of researchers at the University of Toronto.

What struck me when I read the story, was not only the passion on the part of each person working toward their contribution of the understanding of insulin and the pancreas, but the level of perseverance to continue searching for answers, even in the face of adversity. The discovery of insulin was groundbreaking and ‘changed the world’ for people living with diabetes.

Imagine the excitement of embracing that change!

These are intense times we live in and coronavirus has changed the way the world works. We humans are smart animals, and we will find a way to persevere — ready for change and quick to adapt.

By the time this magazine is in your hands, it will be autumn and Easter will be around the bend. It is my hope that you are safe and thriving in this ever-changing world. While we may struggle with it, remember that humans have been adapting to changing environments for hundreds of thousands of years. We can do it! Don’t forget to bring compassion and gratitude on the journey.

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