Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Reflections on the past year

You might have noticed I haven’t written a blog lately.  I've just been too busy with work, home, the garden, the dog.  And life in general.  But I thought I would take a few minutes on this eve of my 41st birthday to reflect on my blessings and share a few thoughts.

Don’t blink – life happens.  It doesn’t seem that just about a year ago, I turned in my notice to a job I loved, accepted a new gig in Illinois, listed my house for sale and loaded up a stock trailer to move to Illinois with my soul mate.  It was a crazy time with a lot of unknowns.  But God always has a plan, and in retrospect, He had pretty good timing.  Thankfully there was a new career for me waiting in Illinois, and I’ve really enjoyed traveling the state and promoting beef and the cattle producers in the state.  Oh I do miss my Friday mornings with the ladies at Cracker Barrel and my church home in St. Joe.  I miss chatting with Robin, lunches with Donnie and margaritas with Kerry.  And I miss being a short four hours from my parents.


Never take a day for granted.  We always think our loved ones and mentors are always going to be there.  Inevitably, that’s not reality.  Around Christmas time, I mourned the loss of the teacher and friend who got me super involved in FFA and judging – Mr. Lyn Wiley.  Once again, it wasn’t easy being so far away from those I cared about.  I just hope I continue to make him proud through my passion for the livestock business.  And, I’ve watched the deteriorating health of my family.  Not fun or easy.  But as a good friend of mine always says, “growing old ain’t for babies!”

Politics is part of life.  In April of this year, a lot of folks in the Angus world saw just how political life can be.  I hurt for my friends who lost their jobs at the American Angus Association.  We were a team, a family.  But, I am proud of them for standing up for what they believed in, and I know that they will all be fine.

Simple is good.  I love travel.  I used to live for it – navigating my way through airports, challenging the airport scales close to that 50 pound mark and collecting hotel points across the country.  WOW.  I admire the people that do it for their entire life.  I went from traveling 180 days in the year to not even spending a total of 20 nights in hotel rooms this past year.  I repeat, simple is good.  Even though I still work for a member-based organization, I don’t have to worry about my cell phone ringing at 6 AM or 10:30 PM because someone missed a deadline or needs papers.  And just for the record, I didn’t mind that because I was serving people.  But now, it’s nice to go home, water the garden, play sticks with the dog.  I’ve gone from buying name-brand clothes to shopping Wal-Mart and Target.  And I don’t feel as if I need to keep up with every popular trend out there.

Real love does exist.  I sure kissed a lot of toads in my time.  But I finally found my prince a few years ago.  Stan is my rock.  We support one another.  He makes me laugh, and he is there when I shed some tears too.  I am so glad I never settled and waited for someone like him to love. And he has a pretty awesome family too.



So on this eve of my 41st birthday I just want to express some gratitude. 
Thank you to my parents.  Thanks, Mom and Dad for giving me roots and allowing me to spread my wings.  It isn’t easy being this far apart, but I know you just want what is best for me.

Thanks Stan for being you.  For expanding my horizons on food choices, gardening, pig feeding and fishing.  Thanks for teaching me to enjoy the simple things in life and loving me when I’m probably not always real lovable.

Thanks to my true friends and family who have kept in touch.  You take time to visit with me when I’m at various functions and call, text and Snapchat with me. You know who you are and how important you are to me.

Thank you to my new pals in Illinois.  It is nice to live in a friendly state where people are so welcoming. 

And thank you to my Bible Study ladies.  Although we are spread across the country, I can’t imagine not going through this journey without you!

Here’s to the next 40 Years and here’s to more blogs in the future!