We had the good fortune of connecting with Brenda Bradfield and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Brenda, have there been any changes in how you think about work-life balance?
Work/Life balance can be an incredibly difficult to achieve. I struggle at times to manage the commitments that I’ve made, while also giving my family the attention and time that they deserve and that we all crave. It is so easy to get wrapped up in the daily grind at work and let it seep into the time I have with my family and for myself. Focusing on what’s most important guides me to prioritize my time. One of the exercises that has helped is to think about the life I’m working to create, my “ideal” future. When I imagine what that life looks like, being with my family and having quality time together is at the top of my list- it’s the reason I work so hard to begin with. I also see myself done with graduate school and managing my career successfully, but It’s a great reminder to be present in all aspects of my life, especially when my energy is limited.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I’m a Clinical Research Nurse for Type 1 Diabetes. I get to work with people who are at high risk of developing Type 1 Diabetes and those who are newly diagnosed with Type 1. Research is an important aspect of medicine, and prior to this job I didn’t realize how accessible these trials could be. I hope that one day we can prevent and cure Type 1 Diabetes, and I’m proud I get to play a small role in that future breakthrough, but the absolute best part of my job is being able to provide comfort, education, and support to the kids and families that I meet. I love that I get to be a part of the science, but still actively engage in the art of nursing. I’ve worked as a bedside nurse and a diabetes educator, and I am currently pursuing my graduate degree. I’m a mom to an amazing daughter who teaches me so much about the person I want to be. I’m learning to navigate several chronic illnesses while maintaining balance everywhere else. My days are pretty busy, and some days are incredibly difficult, but I’m learning to slow down and respect what my body is telling me it needs. I’ve had to let go some control, let go of internalized ableism and give myself grace.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I think there’s too many to list! I would take them to Super Mega Bien for incredible food and drinks. I’d bring them to my brother, Gary Bradfield, if they wanted an amazing tattoo artist. I’d bring them to meet my friend Addison Wakeford IV, who is a phenomenal musician, so that he could play the guitar for us. I’d want them to be here when the leaves change because fall is so beautiful here. I’d show them art of places in Colorado by my friend and colleague, Morgan Sooy, so they could see just how beautiful this state is. I’d find someone who is better at hiking than me to bring them hiking. Colorado is amazing and has so much to offer.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My daughter and my fiancé are the reason I work so hard in all aspects of my life- from work, school, managing chronic illness and finding ways to fill my life with love and purpose. They’ve taught me that I deserve to love myself and they are the reason I continue to persevere. I also acknowledge that I have had amazing friends and mentors that have guided me on my path.