Blog

2019 :: Year in Review

For me, 2019 was a year of changing my mindset. What I initially saw as a year of negative failures became a year of positive change.

l to r: holding a cute little honey bee, IFU speaking out for national bee policy, dancing, and “retreating.” photo credits l to r: me, NFU, darajun, and me
  1. Dancing. Every year for the last few years, I’ve danced for Women in Motion, on the professional and recreational levels. Both levels feed my brain and soul. Negative: My plantar fasciitis pain went over. the. top. I could barely stand on Monday mornings when I woke up by the time April rolled around. Flipping it to positive: After at least four years of this, I finally paid attention to my feet. Now that I’ve spent months using a few different approaches to pain at the podiatrist and physical therapist’s offices, I feel well enough to put treatment aside. I’ll reassess when the season begins again.
  2. Being the Vice-President of the Iowa Farmers Union. I completely forgot how the presidential election changes everything. Out of existing relationships and by hiring a full-time comm staffer, the organization was able to take a prominent position with the media all year. Negative: I’m a moderate anti-Trump Republican, and I’m absolutely surrounded by Democratic campaigns. Flipping it to positive: Being backstage is thrilling. Being close enough to observe and be consulted by campaign staffers and candidates is a unique opportunity that IFU, a nonpartisan organization, gives me.
  3. An ever-changing schedule from the above two activities meant that I was attending Mass outside my home parish. A lot, maybe half the time. I felt such great hope and comfort in moving parishes a while back that I jumped in to TWO service groups this year AND a retreat. Negative: I attended Mass at my home parish only three times times over the last two and half months; I quit participating in the service groups. I left the retreat early for IFU. Flipping it to positive: I’m still practicing. My faith is portable! I’ve attended Mass at other parishes and guess what? I’m hearing the same readings, listening to new musicians, meeting new people, and…seeing it all as acceptable. There is a season for everything.
  4. Honey and bee-related changes. Negatives (there are two):
    a. I stopped interfacing with honey customers. This put me in a position like Intel – a background brand, a small component hidden in a larger machine.
    b. The producing agencies for my beekeeping classes were gone — one school district eliminated its community education program and another moved its focus away from adults.
    Flipping it to positive: With these two situations, I figured out that I can focus on ME as a producer and educator. Not relying on other agencies for marketing means that wherever my products and services go, if I build things correctly, I’ll have retention. The “homework” required for that retention really merges what I’ve learned from my non-profit work with the honey and bee-related parts of my life.

And that’s a wrap!