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College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences

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September 8, 2021 - 8:31am -- lehman.488@osu.edu

Last week I had the privilege of being in the office while some of the older 4-H youth participated in the Junior Fair King and Queen contest.  I can honestly say I haven’t been in the presence of youth with more manners, charisma, and passion as they arrived to speak with the judges and to share their 4-H and FFA experiences.  Their example makes not only their family, club, school and community shine but gives them such a head start on a life will many opportunities towards life goals.  I have no idea which ones will be crowned (you can come see for yourself on Saturday evening Sept. 11 at 8:00 in the new Event Center) but any one of them will do Wayne County proud as they serve at the shows and events during the week of the fair.

It's really hard for me to believe that it’s been 20 years since 9-11 events unfolded.  I vividly remember being on the fairgrounds with the radio playing the heart wrenching events as they unfolded throughout the day.  The emotions of the day for me can never be erased, but still live on with the values I hold.  This year in the horse area at noon on Saturday the 11th there will be a special ceremony held in memory of 9-11.  If you can’t be there in person, please check out our website for the livestream link that you can watch wherever you are.

If you are wondering what animal shows when, here’s the link to all the times all week for the livestock shows and events, https://wayne.osu.edu/jrfair

And I hope that you are saving time in your schedule to come to the grange rotunda to see our schedule of events that Sara has put together.  It’s exciting so many new demonstrations and some of our returning favorite speakers.  Last week the column identified the sessions and speakers but if you missed it, check out this link for the complete list on our website:  https://wayne.osu.edu/news/extension-programs-wayne-county-fair                                        

Through the last 30+ years with OSU Extension, there have been many opportunities to be challenged to “think on my feet”.  Things don’t always go the way they were planned, or hurdles appear that were not anticipated.  Here are a few tips to help us all navigate life’s challenges and become more resilient in the process.

  1. Practice the pause.  Choose words wisely and with the knowledge they can’t be unsaid.  As we choose how to respond, we set the stage for what comes next.  When I’m mindful of the pause I take control of how quickly the situation changes and gives time to think through the choices.
  2. Change my perspective.  Looking at events from others point of view allows an understanding that might easily be overlooked when I’m so focused on my version of the final goal.
  3. Breathe and relax.  This is an attitude, a longer time than in heat of the moment as #1.   Having a clear mind and the ability to focus on alternatives and think “outside the box” is a skill to develop.  Using mindfulness to focus the brain and use deep breathing helps reframe the problem into manageable possibilities.  
  4. Learn what works and what doesn’t work for you.  I can’t problem solve at night; I turn into a pumpkin after 9 so morning is my peak work time and I save that for my creative work time and leave the regular “tasks” for afternoon.  Figure out what works best for you and your family members and work with them, not against them.
  5. What goals can I put in place that will help me accomplish the traits above?  Getting enough sleep, eating a balanced diet, having regular physical activity and enjoying things that fill my cup are a few to consider.
  6. Learning to recognize that I can only do my best and not second guess myself, be discouraged and become my own worst critic.  Learning to become confident in who I am and what I can contribute or is a life skill based on experience and opportunities.

As you venture to the fair and see the more than 1,400 4-H’ers sharing their projects and exhibiting in the show rings, realize they are building resilience in their lives.  Not everyone will be a winner or place in the top 10 and that’s ok.  Becoming a courteous participant and exhibiting good sportsmanship are life skills that lead to being able to handle the bumps in life’s journey.

Melinda Hill is an OSU Extension Family & Consumer Sciences Educator and may be reached at 330-264-8722.

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