As I age I’m getting even more sentimental about the relationships I have with people. And last week as I spent time/connected with family for Thanksgiving I was struck at how similar the structure of my relationships with my family are to my relationships with my Extension family. …You know there is always someone at those family dinners that has a different idea about what should be happening because of family “traditions”, and there are always a few that can’t be there because of various other obligations they may have or refuses to do something a little different because that’s not how they have done it in the past, or wants to do something different because they want something different from the past, and there is always someone there that tells you their opinion about something that’s none of their business or is in a topic area where they are largely uninformed/misinformed, and you know there is always someone there that wants to get into a political (whether public politics or family politics) debate! 🙂
I guess though as I reflected upon the “crazy” that is my beloved family…I was struck at how many of these same things occur with my Extension family, and that sometimes I am the person that everyone is talking about doing one of the aforementioned crazies! And, I also realize that as much as I am aware of my families “crazy”, I really wouldn’t have them any other way! And, I feel exactly the same about my Extension family.
So this year, I wanted to let all of you know publicly…that while we don’t always agree or land on the same side of an issue, or get in little disagreements about how things “should be done”, I really like working with all of my Extension family. I know that just like my blood relatives, you all have my back and have always had my back. I usually tell my blood relatives that I’ve learned while working with Nebraska Extension that I can have a flat tire in any county in Nebraska, and if I can’t fix it myself for some reason, I have the cell phone number of someone nearby that will come help me out! …. And I realize that as I say that out loud, there are several of you that secretly hope I have a cell phone disaster that wipes your personal cell phone number out of my phone. 🙂
As I get opportunities to be with each of you and learn your idiosyncrasies and share my own, I am not repelled by your unique story, but rather drawn to those unique qualities. These idiosyncrasies make each of us unique, which means we bring our own skills, talents, and abilities, that likely no one else in Nebraska has in the same proportions to the issues we address….without which, the world would be simply grey!
The community partners I have made in Extension, the youth I have had the opportunity to work with, and of course, the friends that I have made within Extension whom I have learned so much from….well you all have made my professional life turn from a simple rainbow to a broader spectrum of colors than I couldn’t “see” before working in Extension.
I am deeply, deeply thankful for each and every one of you!!!! For my science friends, you are like Bernoulli’s Principle in that you are pushing a focused stream of wind above my wings with such velocity that you help to give me flight. You all are just the right amount of “crazy” to make you all very interesting! Anything more and I would have to report you to someone!!!! 🙂