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Impermanence, transitions, change. The year-end and new year can be difficult for folks—friends or family sick or dying, cold or stormy weather affects our livelihood, or breaks our bones. Conflicts of agendas between many individuals. Strain and tension between things that are controllable—or not.
This time of year people take personal inventory. They try to come up with new ideas to help the next year go better or easier than the last. Some may decide to start or end a relationship, move toward a new goal, or complete a project that’s hung around too long.
Some things we can change, things within our control: doing laundry today or tomorrow, eating healthy food, returning a friend’s call, or writing a long-overdue letter of apology whether it’s acknowledged by the recipient or not. Things we cannot change, that are beyond our control may be where a tornado travels, whether a store closes, when a newspaper is bought by unfamiliar people, or someone’s opinions that will stay with them until they die. And there are things we can’t control, but we can ask for help in understanding and coping with them, finally accepting how to adapt, such as stating our position to a committee, writing a letter-to-the-editor about a local issue, or expressing a fear to enough friends so that someone gives us new information leading us to a less fearful solution of an issue.
Everything a group or an individual does, or doesn’t do, affects others in the community, thus when experiencing circumstances out of our control, we can voice anxiety and discomfort. At some point we’ll adapt to living with changed conditions.
In volunteering for the Downing Depot Museum, I plan to complete more organization projects. Each one starts by collecting all related papers then breaking them down into smaller categories, several times over. Most collecting has now been grouped together, but needs sorting from time to time. Having all the papers, binders, and loose pieces together requires large storage and work spaces.
Without heat or air conditioning at the Museum, working at home is easier to do, but facing the pieces all together, 24-7, becomes overwhelming. So Jim and I uncluttered our house of most of the papers—simplifying, condensing, organizing into boxes with detailed labels—storing them in the Museum. While each project is being processed there is a temporary chaos that requires redefining storage and work spaces. It takes time to grow comfortable with change. Adjustments are made, projects are completed—the end is better for the effort.
Jim and I emerged into this year by coming out of weeks of self-imposed isolation to heal from this winter’s miserable, widespread head-cold. We feel distanced from activities and community. Through our coughing and naps, we’ll return to Museum projects and to informing readers in newspapers and on Facebook about any headway we make. (Personally, maybe we’ll send out valentine’s letters and save the addressed Christmas cards for next year.) We’re adapting
Several folks have expressed interest in knowing more about activities regarding promotion and improvements for our area counties and towns. Some may be willing to meet and contribute energy toward examining issue(s), concern(s), and priorities around the area. I’m guessing we’ll ask around then let you know if we find out about meetings and such.
This was all mental gymnastics that I fell asleep to, and woke up from, at my nap today. We’re moving into 2022, a year of unknowns—COVID is increasing again, so we’re unsure about having the Smorgasbord in June, and the weather is always unpredictable—but we’ll be working on things we each choose to have under our own control. We hope you’re well and that we’ll see you soon.
For an individual appointment to access the Downing Depot Museum collections, to donate anything, to volunteer your help, or for information about the Museum, call Jerry or Margaret Scurlock, 660-379-2467, Carol or Don Scurlock, 641-929-3915, or Judy Sharp, 660-342-1454. We’ll see you at the Depot in May, if not before.