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  • Strawberry Run

Finding Beauty in the Unexpected

Maybe it’s cliché, but the saying we culturally associate with not knowing what life is going to bring comes from the character Forest Gump in the iconic movie by the same name: “Life is like a box of chocolates–you never know what you’re going to get.” And isn’t that the truth? You think you know exactly what you’re looking for in a life mate, but then you find someone who’s not anything like the fictional person you created. You have a plan for your career, but then you get not the chocolate cream career you imagined but the gooey caramel instead. You plan the perfect trip, but miss the flight, and plans have to change. In short, the unexpected happens, so much that we must remain flexible and accept things as they are when they just aren’t as we hoped they would be. 

As farmers, we are keenly aware of not being in control of our circumstances. Weather, especially early spring weather like freezing temperatures and excessive rain threatens our crop. And once we have a crop, we may well have to contend with pests and too much or too little rain. 

So, take it from a farmer who never knows whether it’s going to be a banner year or a bust and how best to deal with the twists and turns of life. 

Embrace Change

Life is unpredictable, and change is inevitable. It’s true that the only constant on earth is change. So, instead of resisting change or wishing it away, embrace it as an opportunity for growth and adaptation. On the strawberry farm, we must adjust our farming techniques to changing weather patterns and pesky pests and embrace new realities. So, too, can you purposefully learn to pivot and even thrive in the face of uncertainty when you embrace the change that comes your way. 

Cultivate Resilience

A Japanese proverb wisely states that "the bamboo that bends is stronger than the oak that resists." Resilience is a form of bending in the storms of life. When we are resilient, we bounce back from setbacks and challenges rather than breaking as they pass by. Like strawberries resiliently enduring harsh weather conditions, cultivate resilience by developing a positive mindset and building a support network. Remember, it's not about avoiding hardships, but rather, how we bounce back from them.

Focus on What You Can Control

"You cannot direct the wind, but you can adjust the sails." - Unknown

While we can't control external circumstances, we can control our response to them. Like a strawberry farmer tending to their crops despite unpredictable spring weather, focus on what you can control: your attitude, actions, and decisions. By shifting your focus from what you can't control to what you can and making adjustments along the way, you empower yourself to be less affected by and to adapt more easily to change. 

Find Joy in the Journey

It is said that "happiness is not a destination but a way of life." We often think in “I’ll be happy when. . .” statements. But, if we’re always looking ahead to the next good or exciting thing, we miss the journey along the way. Life's journey is filled with both challenges and blessings. While on our farm we find joy in nurturing our young plants and witnessing them flourish, we also find joy in other things when crops fail rather than flourish. 

Instead of just hoping for the next big win, find joy in the everyday moments and small victories. Cultivate gratitude for the present moment and cherish the journey, knowing that every twist and turn has the potential to lead to something unexpected and beautiful.

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