Adapting to Change
Change is inevitable. Seasons change. People change. Climate changes. Leadership, friends, careers, homes are all transient. The only real constant is, in fact change. Change can be hard to accept and sometimes scary but it can or often be rewarding, can open new doors and can be the best thing to ever happen even when it doesn’t seem like it at the time.
Flash back – Do you remember being 17 or 18, on the cusp of adulthood and yet still a child? Still living at home with your parents, still subject to their archaic rules. Wanting freedom but being not quite ready for the responsibilities that come along with it. Remember railing against your curfew, begging for a few more minutes? Flash forward 30 years – Now all I want to do is to stay home and go to bed. These days, I have to try to stay awake long enough to go pick up my teenagers from their evening activities. My, my, how things change.
Albert Einstein was famously quoted as saying, “The only reason for time is so that everything doesn’t happen all at once.” Wow! Let that sink in. I read this and thought that perhaps I should tattoo that on my arm just above the spot where I glance at my watch dozens of times each day.
Ever had a day where there are too many bases to cover, too many people to get back to, too many children who need rides, too many people’s birthdays happening in the same week, too many sporting events, too many appointments to keep with too many people counting on you? This describes my near daily life. Most days I feel like I’ve got a grip on most of it. Then there are other days when it all feels like it could slip right out of my grasp at any second. One person late to carpool, one traffic jam, one wrong turn and that fragile grip starts to slip and it all starts to unravel. Soon my kiddos will all be driving and that one part that is actually a sum total of many moving parts will start to ease up. Sooner still, another one will leave for college and again, the daily “burden” will ease. I am both anxious for and yet not at all ready for that change to come.
At this time of year it always seems appropriate to look back on the things that have happened and also to look forward to the things that will likely happen in the next year. December of every year for me is always like a race to the finish line. A race to hit budget which means a race to close every last sale, dig every last tree that we can guarantee will ship by December 31. A race to put the year to bed, whether that means tucking in plants for the winter, turning off the water or buttoning up the numbers. This is the reliable, routine kind of change. The stuff that’s monotonous but necessary to prepare ourselves for what is to come.
But the race course gets more difficult the closer we get to the end of the year. December is like a 3/4 month anyway. Once you get to the week of Christmas it’s darn near impossible to get people on the phone. This task becomes even more difficult in that weird little stretch between Christmas and New Years. I always look at that week of the year as this little purgatory period where you don’t really know what day it is. Am I supposed to be working today? You’re not quite sure if you want to stay home and hibernate or go out and be social. Do I have another party to go to tonight? Will any of my dress clothes still fit after this week? Isn’t MANTS next week?! Shoot, I’m going to need my dress pants.
Speaking of MANTS, we are really looking forward to seeing all of you again even if we will all be in masks at the convention center. I’ll take a mask any day over a virtual trade show. But this year, we’re back to in person again. Back to the trade show that has become for so many of us the actual start of the New Year. Nothing REALLY starts until MANTS and this year it’s earlier than ever. We will clink our glasses with one more “cheers” on a Friday, pack up and put away our Christmas trees and decorations on Saturday, dig out those dress pants and pray they still fit on Sunday and then Monday we’ll get in line at the convention center with our trucks loaded for bear with trees, catalogs and other assorted trade show goodies. By Wednesday we’ll already be exhausted when we arrive at the show for the way too early pre-MANTS show MNGLA breakfast. But by 9 AM we will be in our booths, on or the floor, smiling (behind a mask) and ready to greet our friends, customers and colleagues once again.
Take a minute now and open whatever music app you use and dial up “Turn, turn, turn” by the Byrds. (DO IT!) That song is a summary of this blog, my clumsy words that have been tumbling about in my brain are summarized within the lyrics. A time for every purpose under heaven; truly friends. I wish you a peaceful reflection on your 2021 blessings, a joyful celebration of the holidays and the hopefulness of 2022 and I look forward to seeing each and every one of you at MANTS.
Happy whatever you celebrate,
Ronda Sneider, CPH
ISA Certified Arborist