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I love this time of year. It is a time for traditions and opportunities for fellowship with friends, family, and co-workers. And for me, it comes at just the right time, after a busy spring, summer, and fall.

I have learned that for many of us our Extension work from mid-November until the first of January looks much different than the rest of the year. The holiday season encourages us to slow down and creates opportunities for reflection. Whether you are driving to grandmother’s house, sitting in the woods with the deer and squirrels, visiting with friends during the Extension Annual Conference, or shopping (on-line, of course, and not during the conference!), there are so many things we can think about, reflect on, and appreciate.

I also learned a long time ago that Thanksgiving really is more than a meal. It is a mindset and a feeling that I have come to realize is best observed every day of the year. Being mindful of this keeps us grounded and focused on what really matters most. It helps us remember that every day is a gift, and it is up to us to use it wisely.

Every morning I wake, I am grateful for the gift of health and happiness. Both of these, I believe, are made possible by relationships. Relationships with co-workers and friends and family. I am also very grateful for the opportunity to engage in work with meaning. It is a true blessing to be able to work for and with others every day in ways that can change lives of others.

So the cold, the wind, and the day after day of overcast skies of Ohio are most definitely not high on my list. But don’t these things remind you of how much you love the other three seasons in Ohio? And they generally do their best to keep me inside where so many good thoughts (and the projects that have been put off) can happen.

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Tags: gratitude, reflection, Extension annual conference
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