From the desk of the Director

My father used to tell me as a child that even at low tide you can catch fish. What I always took this to mean was that even through tough situations, even when times seems desperate, there is an opportunity. You must look for it, you have to be ready when that opportunity arises. Right now, in all places and groups, we are all facing many difficulties. We face daily a pandemic, racism, economic hardships, and even Saharan dust!

Today, there are no shortages on bad news or lack of pessimistic articles on the internet. The trick is not to focus on the lack of water but on the fish in the remaining water. How can each of us find something good, a gem in a sea of mud, the last flower in the desert? How can we find the opportunity that arises for us in the midst of such turmoil?

In the middle of all this, I thought it was a good idea to work on a few home improvement projects. I quickly realized I had tackled a project that exceeded my abilities (not that it needed to be a big or complicated project). My house had a rock and stepping stone entry way that needed a lot of attention and to be removed and paved. I started the project with the best of intentions and realized I would need at least on more person to assist. Luckily, I have a few neighbors that are extraordinary people and to my amazement volunteered themselves, to lay cement in 100-degree weather!

We spent the first half of the day, digging out the walkway and laying form boards and the second half trawling and smoothing concrete. It was hot and hard work, not fun in any sense. These neighbors of mine spent the whole day working with me on this project, laughing and joking the entire day. We told stories and jokes, we dreamt up new business ideas and even came up with an idea for a new tv show (it was toward the end of the day and it was really hot :>).

At the end we finished the walkway and stood back and were really happy at what we had accomplished. Thinking back on it, the walkway came out great and I am very happy with how it looks but there was no way I could have done it by myself, those guys came to the rescue in a big way. The gem of this project is that 3 neighbors came together to become friends because of a pandemic. The gem is that we are creating the community we want. A community where people come together to do things, we can’t do by ourselves. We could have sat in the air conditioning and watched the news all day, we could have scoured the internet for information or used social media to complain about something. Yea, it was wicked hot and hard work, but it was worth it for all of us. We all had a great time and some laughs even though we are all stressed out with all that is going on in the world. We made friends in the middle of a terrible time. It’s a tough time without a doubt but take the time to find the positive, look for the good and the opportunity to make a friend. We caught fish at low tide and so can you.

Like to talk to you more about this project but I have to help my neighbor fix his sprinkler system.


Posted: July 1, 2020

Category: UF/IFAS, UF/IFAS Extension, Work & Life

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