Well, what a year this has been! I began 2020 with the word BALANCE as my overarching mantra. I wanted balance in my work/personal life as well as to find time for my passion of nature journaling.
In January, my friend that taught in China was “stuck” in the US while they handled a little virus outbreak. We enjoyed a month of birding and journaling before she went back to China for the rest of the school year. In February, I worked a birding festival (with my friends and family) and in March, our whole world shut down. What is a nature preserve director supposed to do during a pandemic anyway?
Well to be truthful I used my time wisely to rest and fill my cup. I also took to online courses that piqued my interest and helped my passions. This year I finished an Art Therapy Certificate, A Mindfulness Certificate, & A Nutrition Course (to help with our family diets), just to name a few. When I wasn’t working on Certificates, I took a class from the California School of Education called Rewilding the Soul and one from Earth Based Institute called Getting Started with Nature Connection. If that weren’t enough for a pandemic, I also attended the Wild Wonders Nature Journaling Conference as well as taught Nature Journaling and Mindfulness for 4 different Conferences online.
As a family we camped even through the pandemic our family camping traditions held and we enjoyed family time in nature. Jason & I bought a little slice of heaven and are working to get to know the property so that we can be good stewards. Our 3 grandbabies are growing, and Aria is becoming quite the little naturalist. I got a new car, and our 3 girls are all in good places. I definitely feel more balance in this part of my life!
Nature journaling is going strong. I filled 3 journals this year. My goal was one journal cover to cover so that is impressive. Due to the pandemic, we couldn’t host nature journaling classes at the Preserve, so I started #fieldnotesfridays where we can zoom and journal on topics found in our own nearby nature after hours. I also saw a need and am facilitating and planning nature journaling retreats. I have scheduled 2 retreats in collaboration with State Parks and hope to see more on the 2021 calendar soon.
As I look back on 2020, I see a year of filling my own cup and finding balance between work, family, and my passion. I’m not saying 2020 didn’t have problems, I’m just saying that I found ways to stay true to my 2020 goal of balance and can definitely say my cup is full as I move into 2021.
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