Each morning I wake up and scroll through the news. My job is to be informed so I can communicate and collaborate with my colleagues and our members.
If you have been online even for a few minutes a day, its hard not to be smacked with depressing news. I am surrounded by family and friends who farm or work in a business that relies on Wisconsin agriculture. I’m concerned for my counterparts as they battle this pandemic. Around this Easter holiday, I have been trying to balance my worry with reminders of my blessings.
“Sometimes we must look outside our own backyards to realize how big the world is and how blessed we are.” – Eugene Nathaniel Butler.
This Sunday is a day where many families normally come together to celebrate. This year will be different for most with the Safer at Home Order in place.
I wanted to share a few things I am thankful for. My hope is that it helps you to reflect on your blessings during these stressful and negative times.
- Technology to communicate with loved ones.
I am thankful that I have a phone to call family and friends. My husband and I are very close with our families so not visiting has be hard for us. I am grateful that we can call and sometimes video chat with these people that mean so much. Our daughter is seven months old and is starting to do some fun things. Being able to still share some of these moments with them in some capacity is a blessing.
- A place to live and be safe in.
I think shelter is an easy thing to take for granted. Being in your home for an extended period can make you think the walls are crowding you in, but to have a roof over your head is a blessing.
- Cards and letters with someone’s handwriting.
I appreciate that the U.S. Postal Service is considered essential and still going. It allows me to send mail and receive hand-written notes from loved ones. Since we can’t visit, it still brings a sense of closeness to see someone’s handwriting.
- Our health care professionals, essential workers and just kind people.
I have quite a few friends who work in healthcare. Right now, I would consider them my heroes. These people are giving so much for their communities and sacrificing so much of their lives to make sure someone’s loved one is cared for. I am extremely grateful to know just some of these amazing people. The list is long of the other essential workers I am thankful for. Each one has their own battles to fight but they help serve others first.
I’ve read some really great stories of people helping others. I wanted to highlight a few for you.
- Steve Strey donated his auctioneer’s truck so that his church could still hold services.
- This Rural Mutual Insurance agent is buying milk for his community with His own money.
- This community rallied together to give students cheese curds while also supporting dairy farmers.
- Food availability and choice.
I left this one for last because I am the most attached to it. Frankly, I love food and I love farmers. Every day farmers work extremely hard to feed their families and others. While I know there has been concern with empty shelves, I have still been able to find adequate food to feed my family. I’ve found myself wasting less and finding ways to use all parts of my grocery items. I am genuinely thankful after finishing a meal because I was able to have the ingredients to make it. For long I have taken food choice and availability for granted. It makes me sad to admit that but I know I’m not alone. I am grateful for our farmers who are #StillFarming. This video should be shared far and wide to reassure people that our food supply is abundant and quite a blessing.
“You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestation of your own blessings.” ― Elizabeth Gilbert
I know it is hard to see past the fog of burdens when many of our lives are being directed by chaos and the COVID-19 concerns. I hope you find a way to enjoy Easter and count your blessings.
Amy Eckelberg was raised on her family’s dairy farm near New London in Waupaca County. As an active member of the Sandy Knoll 4-H club, Eckelberg grew up showing hogs and dairy animals at the Waupaca County Fair and was a New London FFA member. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay in 2012. Amy is the Executive Director of Public Relations for the Wisconsin Farm Bureau and resides in DeForest with her husband and daughter Chloe.