Throughout my two years as NFPW president, Mary Pat Finn-Hoag sent me cards and emails or called me. We talked about a lot of things, but she always ended every phone call and each written note with these words, “just breathe.”
Mary Pat has known me for all 35-plus years that I’ve been a Nebraska and NFPW member. So she knows that some of the things I do best are worry, stress the details and constantly make to-do lists.
There are two to-do lists on the table next to me that outline things I need to take to the 2014 NFPW Conference and things I need to do before I go.
Many other people in my state affiliate and on the national level were similarly supportive during my term as president … and well before and long after, too.
But it’s Mary Pat’s “just breathe” that I say to myself when I’m getting to wound up and worried.
Taking walks and going outside with my camera are two things that help me relax. I have a butterfly bush in my front landscaping, just below my kitchen window, which is a prime location to take photos just steps from my front door.
A section of hike-bike trail will be going along the north side of my property sometime soon, which will require a fence and some new landscaping. I plan to include another butterfly bush or two.
I had expected the trail work to be done already. One thing on my travel to-do list is to check with the Kearney city engineer about when he thinks the contractor might start tearing out a hedge on my property and a big section of my front yard for that project.
I have told him I don’t want any work done when I’m traveling, mostly because I want to be sure the part of my lawn sprinkler that will be involved will be properly plugged to prevent water from running everywhere.
That became a bigger worry overnight Aug. 8-9 when we had a terrible storm come through Kearney that dropped about 3.5 inches of rain in an hour or so. You may have seen on the Internet or network TV news the Good Samaritan Hospital security video of a river of water breaking through the floor-to-ceiling windows of its relatively new lower level cafeteria and kitchen.
Anyway, I’m getting excited about coming to Greenville, S.C., in a couple of weeks. I’ll have things checked off of my checklist and can enjoy some travel fun, the networking, learning opportunities, good food and wonderful hospitality for a week.
I’m also keeping President Teri Ehresman in my thoughts and prayers. No one understands the pre-conference preparations she’s making better than a past president. Also, I know she has a big week ahead with work responsibilities and her daughter’s wedding.
So Teri, two words come to mind: Just Breathe!