Summer is not ready to soften its grip on us just yet. I had hoped that this past week’s temperatures would be closer to 90 than 100 degrees; next week looks more promising.
Overall, last week was tough, and a test of my ability to stay cool under pressure. I have been trying to play catch-up after my return from Oklahoma two weeks ago. I was consistently busy at my other job, with little time to catch my breath from one task to the next.
At home, things were not much better. There always seemed to be stops to make on the way home from work, which just made dinner late and the evening short. I have learned not to compromise my sleep time because it just makes me tired and less productive the next day.
Our day starts at 4:30 in the morning. All the animals must be fed and tended to before we leave for work. I have an hour drive to work. After roughly 9 hours at work, I have an hour drive home. That leaves very little time in the evening to get things done. My husband and I carpool to work, but he has to drive another 30 minutes to get to his workplace. I enjoy our time together in the car. Sometimes we talk about life, past and present, sometimes we just sit quietly enjoying each other’s company. It’s nice to not have the pressure of having to be entertaining.
It’s been a busy week at home with my health coaching business, too. Besides all the normal activities, I have been preparing for a fall festival at the local Methodist church. It will be the first time I appear in public in this kind of a venue. I will have a table set up under a canopy, with giveaways and treats, while inviting people to sit and talk with us. I am extremely excited that my husband has volunteered to not only help me set up my booth, but also stay with me for the duration of the event! I couldn’t ask for a better support team.
I have so many details to work out for this festival, from banners to making treats. I have literally been working on this for weeks (all in my spare time, if there was such a thing!). This weekend is no exception. I have last minute things like washing the new 3 gallon drink dispenser, which I bought just for this occasion, which will hold the ginger lemon iced green tea that I will be serving.
I am also preparing for house guests who will arrive the day after the church festival. My brother, sister, and her fiancé are going to stay with us for a week. It has become an annual trip for them to visit with our mother, who is 86 years old.
I feel that after this weekend, I will be prepared enough to not get overwhelmed next week. I am taking Friday off to make the tea and brownies for the festival. Two hundred brownies and three gallons of tea take time to prepare, and I don’t want to be rushed. And of course, I will put the finishing touches on preparing for our house guests, which includes running a few errands.
Normally, a few years ago, I would be pretty manic about now. With so many things looming over me, I would get pretty grumpy. But, in the last few years, I have been learning to take things in stride. Your own advice is always the hardest to take. My husband has been a great help in this area. He is always quick to remind me that he is ready, willing, and able to step in and give me a hand. I like to say that he is the calm in my storm. Never in my life have I had someone who was always there for me. I have always had to do things on my own. God has really blessed me with a husband who provides not only physical help, but also mental and emotional support. I can’t imagine life without him, now.
After all these years, I still love where I live. I am in the country, which is where I grew up (not here, but in Pennsylvania). Just this morning, after I fed the horses and cats, I took a walk through the main pasture. Down by the stock pond I found a big blue-grey feather. It undoubtedly came out of a Great Blue Heron. I stopped to pick it up, and began fiddling with it. If you have ever played with a feather, then you know how to make it look smooth again, like it was still on the bird.
I carried that feather with me on my walk. As I ran the feather through my fingers, I began to think about the majestic bird that left it behind. I thought about the heron grooming its feathers, not for beauty but for function. It reminded me that nature does not have extraneous agendas. Every day, nature does what it needs to do that day without stress and worry over tomorrow. Nature is always in the moment. Nature does not procrastinate, and it does not blame others for its situation. Every day, nature just does the best it can.
It’s very reassuring to realize that the more I stay in the moment and make the best of my situation, the less stressed I will feel. Things don’t always go as planned, but as an intelligent being of nature, I can reroute or redefine my plans. Sometimes, things just don’t come to fruition, but I can be ok with that, too. Few things are a matter of life and death, but even at that, I can only do the best I can do. I am capable of accepting the things that I cannot control.
I left that feather outside where I can see it every day. I’m sure that it will remind me to just do the best I can over the next week, and to try to stay in the moment, whatever it is.
Philippians 4:6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.