April 18, 2018
Facebook tells me that a year ago I was mowing my lawn. Two years ago I was riding my bike. Three years ago I was sitting on my deck with a glass of wine. This year? I’m freezing – and pretty grumpy about it. Once again, I needed gloves for my walk from the parking structure. Yesterday, I was outside in my winter coat and boots with snow pellets blasting my face while I walked my dog. The day before that I was shoveling ice off my sidewalk while cursing the skies. There’s snow in the forecast for tonight.
It is mid-April and feels more like mid-February. I know I’m not the only one in Michigan who feels this way. Practically everyone I know is completely over it – absolutely, 100 percent over it. This is truly the winter that just keeps coming. We had a few scattered teases of spring but, as I saw somewhere on the internet, it’s like winter is angry and keeps coming back to say, “Oh, and another thing!”
This weekend, I’m headed off on my first real vacation in five years. Sure, I’ve had some long weekends up north and visited my kid in New York, but getting on a plane for some far-off destination that wasn’t work related? Well, that hasn’t happened for a long time.
My daughter and I planned a great trip to warm and sunny Orlando, specifically to go to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Yes, I know we’re grown women, but I’m not ashamed to say that’s how we’re spending our time off. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.
We’ve both been packed for weeks and counting down the days, looking forward to sunshine and a lot of fun. Except, the forecast is calling for rain – the entire four days we’re there. I didn’t think it ever rained four days straight in Florida, but there you have it – Mother Nature hates me. As my daughter said, “I’m a really conscientious recycler so I’m not sure why.” As of now, the rain is scheduled to start 40 minutes after our flight arrives and continue until an hour after our flight leaves four days later. Oh, and back in Michigan? The forecast looks sunny and lovely. If I wasn’t so angry, it might actually be funny.
Don’t get me wrong, I refuse to let a little (or even a lot) of rain dampen the enjoyment I plan to get out of this vacation. Time out of the office, hanging out with my daughter at a cool amusement park will be a great time no matter what. And hey, at least it won’t be freezing rain. There’s something good for the soul about a change of scenery, even if you’re looking at raindrops. Getting out from behind my desk and clearing my mind will give me perspective, rejuvenation and new experiences to inspire me.
Felix Kwame Yeboah, an assistant professor of agriculture, food and resource economics, discovered his passion for a career in agriculture by venturing out and changing his view. Growing up in a rural community in Ghana surrounded by farming, he never saw agriculture as a profession – until he visited underserved and resource-deprived communities in his homeland. Check out his FACULTY VOICE: Creating the next generation of agricultural experts, to learn more about him and his work.
Karen Lovelace, who is majoring in linguistics, changed her view drastically when she spent 10 weeks in the Netherlands during a summer internship. She was the first international intern for a company that creates audio voices for digital text-to-speech reading and says, “This internship made me more well-rounded when it comes to how academics apply to the real world.” Check out her STUDENT VIEW: Going far with linguistics, to learn more about her experience abroad.
Next week, at this time, I expect to be unplugged and looking at something new and different. I hope to come back to East Lansing with great memories and a rested mind so I can get back to work. (I also hope to come back to warmer weather so I can pack away my boots.) If you can, I highly encourage stepping away from your current view and looking at things differently. Whether you go across the world or someplace in your community you’ve never been, there’s so much to be learned from opening your eyes to something new. Spartans Will.
Photo by Derrick L. Turner