Mt Pleasant News
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Neighbors Growing Together | Nov 28, 2014

This year, winter had its pedal to the metal

Mar 07, 2014

By BROOKS TAYLOR

Mt. Pleasant News

Time for one of those catch-up columns.

The reason is….well, just look outside. It is snowing again. It may not be snowing as you are reading this but it is on March 5 as it is being written.

Those of you who read this column frequently know that I am a native South Dakotan (and proud of it). When the average person thinks of South Dakota, one of the first thoughts is long, cold and snowy winters.

All of the above apply.

Included in the aging process is a corresponding memory loss. That being said, I don’t remember many South Dakota winters being as vicious as the never-ending winter of 2013-14. Yes, I remember heavier snowfalls, more blizzards and colder weather, but this one has earned its disdain by its unrelenting nature.

Sub-zero temperatures in March, January-type weather from December through February. We’ve had it all and then some.

Winter usually brings a January thaw or some respite between cold and snowy snaps. Not this one, Mother Nature never let her foot off the accelerator.

Former News reporter Steph Tahtinen was the only news staffer during her tenure here who embraced winter. The more the rest of us would grumble, the more she would smile.

Being born and raised on the eastern shore of Wisconsin, she would beam as she told us some of her winter memories. Although she never said it, I think one of the reasons she returned to her native state was because southeast Iowa winters did not satisfy her bountiful appetite for snow and cold.

She wasn’t aware of it at the time, but she could have received all the winter and more she desired this year had she stayed.

Light, however, is beginning to shine from the end of the tunnel. The extended forecast says a high of 52 on Sunday, 64 on Monday and 48 on Tuesday. It may not be California dreaming but after close to four months of a brutal winter, it is darn close.

Over 1,000 emails pass through my computer each week. Over 90 percent return to cyberspace. One of those that didn’t were some thoughts on being the boss of your own life.

Following are some of her tips on becoming your own CEO.

• Embrace change, renewal and rebirth. There is no shortage of opportunity to notice change in life. Don’t be afraid to use milestones to provide yourself with an “employer’s review” on how you’re doing in your own life. What are you doing well, what needs work and how are you going to improve? Create a detailed plan on how you expect to accomplish your goals. Give yourself a timeline, such as losing 20 pounds by summer or increasing your net worth by next year.

• You’re your own best entrepreneur. Part of being a good boss means tying out enterprising ideas; it’s the mediocre bosses who are content with the status quo. You don’t have to start with something wild. Instead, follow through on ideas that are good for you, such as buying healthy food that you haven’t tried. Look up recipes for how to prepare a healthy item like quinoa — make a project out of it. Have fun with the new you. Just because you have a new job with plenty of responsibility — being your own boss — doesn’t mean you can’t have fun.

• Manage what you can control; accept what you cannot; and look outside the box. This is not as easy as it may sound because we often think we can control things that, in fact, we cannot, including how people respond to us or how quickly our bodies respond to diet and exercise. Progress doesn’t happen all at once. While it makes sense to focus on what we can control, you may also consider alternative methods of living. That may include riding a bike to work rather than driving, or exploring alternative forms of spiritual healing.

• Don’t be a victim. To a greater or lesser extent, we’re all taught to be obedient and conform to the standards set by parents, teachers and bosses. Unfortunately, for many, this passive role can shape one’s identity and influence other relationships. It all starts with one’s own relationship to one’s self. As most parents and teachers will say, the best students are those who need the best help and are willing to be proactive in their own improvement. Understand that it’s not others who determine what you can do, it’s you.

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