I can still remember the excitement and anticipation that followed a significant snowfall during my years growing up in rural Missouri. As a child, my siblings and I would spend our snow days playing outside having snowball fights, building a family of snowmen, making forts and sledding. We stayed outside until our fingers were numb. Back then, the snow was an opportunity. As I grew up, snow became less of an opportunity and more of a nuisance. The cold and ice meant that chores were harder, I couldn’t see any of my friends as driving could be dangerous, plans that you had been making for months could be cancelled and going outside meant bundling up only to be cold after a few minutes in the elements.
Recently, my dislike of winter reached a new level. This winter has been the worst one I can remember. I can’t count the number of plans that I’ve had to cancel this winter, the times I’ve slipped due to ice and I’ve been cold walking between destinations. The other day while complaining about how terrible winter is and how I was beginning to feel like winter would never end, I saw a quote that said, “If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant.” This struck me because it doesn’t apply only to weather.
In FFA there are things that we don’t always enjoy doing but can take us to bigger and better places. Filling out record books, proficiencies, or applications, or studying for Career Development or Leadership Development Events can be tedious and exhausting. However, they are important. Those record books can lead to recognition on all of the hard work that you have put into your SAE and allow you to get different degrees in FFA. Studying for your CDE can bring you new friends and the chance to exercise your competitive spirit. LDEs teach you to lead from where you are and give you experience that will prove invaluable throughout your life. Proficiencies allow you to share the hard work you have put into your SAE with others. Applications allow you the chance to travel with other budding agriculturalists to new and exciting places, where you will make memories and friends to last you a lifetime. If we only focus on the annoying things about winter, we will miss spring and its opportunities. Instead, let’s spend the rest of this winter working hard to prepare for spring and its bounty.
Join me in being adaptive to new ideas and projects, from a new career development event or even a little line dancing. When something enjoyable comes your way, why not try it? Anything is made possible with a little action and a positive attitude, even learning how to eat every meal with chopsticks. People are willing to help see you through, so take that journey.