Wednesday, January 21, 2015

A Day in The Life

            This morning I woke up at 8:00 a.m. and immediately picked up my phone (that sits next to my head all night). I quickly scrolled through Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook to catch up on all the excitement that happened on social media in the eight hours since I checked it last. I then rolled myself out of bed, glanced down at the four blankets on my bed twisted into one big spherical knot, opted not to do anything about it, and walked across the hall to the bathroom. Once there, I brushed my teeth, washed my face, put in my contacts, did my hair, and so on. After I was groomed and ready to take on the world, I made my way to the kitchen.
            The kitchen is where every day really begins. That is, the kitchen is where coffee is made. In my standard fashion, I filled up the Kuerig and put in a cup of Folgers Black Silk. While I waited on my coffee to magically dispense into the mug I had placed under the Kuerig, I located my Ipad and sat down at the kitchen table. It was there that I began the never ending chore of checking all five of my email accounts. Normally, Derek would join me for this part of my routine—making his own cup of coffee. On this day though, Derek was still in bed appearing to be deathly ill. So, I sat alone at the kitchen table this morning. Once I had finished checking my emails I began scrolling through all my news outlets. I skimmed through the New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, CNN, and Forbes. Then I quickly looked at capital markets around the world, and thus concluded my morning news reading.
            With coffee drinking, news reading, and email checking out of the way, I could now begin work on everything else. The first thing I wanted to accomplish this morning was nailing down which stories I wanted to use in my speech for upcoming banquets. In need of some inspiration, I grabbed my notebook and headed into the woods here at the leadership center. It was a beautiful day: warm, sun shining.  For a while I just sat on top of the dam and took in the beauty of the still frozen lake. Then, I headed down the dam into the leafless woods below. Eventually I found a fallen tree that was lying across a small stream, and I took a seat on it with my legs dangling above the water. It was to the murmur of running water and in the company of sun soaked trees that I brainstormed and wrote out the stories and points I might use. Once I was satisfied with what I had written I packed up my notebook and trekked back to the state officer house.
            Once I made it back to the house it was about noon so I located some pizza rolls in the freezer and threw them into the microwave for lunch. This time I was joined by both Skylar and Derek, both of whom were also eating pizza rolls. While eating at the kitchen table the three of us scrolled through our social media feeds, occasionally stopping to show the others a cat video or a cool picture someone had posted. Lunch could only last so long though, and it was soon back to work.
            Back to work is often a loosely interpreted concept, however, and Derek—sick as he was—decided that laying on the living room floor might alieve his ailment. Not being one to abandon a friend in a time of strife, I also laid down on the living room floor and proceeded to stare up at the ceiling for the next few minutes. This was productive staring, mind you, because I was all the while brainstorming what I might do for the Friday night activity at the upcoming LDW. 
The girls holding down Brittany to write on her face
            Not long after I left the floor we had a meeting with Mr. Martin at the long conference table in our living room. It was an exceedingly productive meeting that lasted some forty-five minutes. It was about an hour after the meeting had begun that I had to sit back at my vantage point at one end of the table and take note of my surroundings. Mr. Martin was at the other end of the table having a conversation with Derek. Skylar and Lindsey were on the other side of Derek, having their own conversation that I was more or less a part of. On the other side of the table Kathleen had gotten up and was holding Brittany down while Dakota was writing on Brittany’s forehead with an ink pen. Needless to say, Brittany was not fond of having her head written on, thus the need for Kathleen to restrain her. As I sat there taking in all that was going on around me, the thought that this is not so uncommon amused me. I also realized that most members probably have no idea what this, a normal day as a state officer, is like.
The sun setting over the lake 
            With my newly conceived idea evolving in my mind, I left at the end of the meeting and began writing this very blog post. I worked on it for the better part of the afternoon, and at this moment I am finishing it while sitting on the dam watching the sun set over the lake. Tonight my teammates and I will probably watch a movie together, and make more pizza rolls or mozzarella sticks, and another incredibly blessed day as a state officer will conclude.
            As a state officer we spend a lot of time on the road. We spend a lot of time giving speeches, and presenting workshops, and visiting chapters and businesses. But, some days we don’t. Some days are spent in the house working on whatever event is on the horizon. And while no day as a state officer is normal, these are the days we have learned to call “normal” ones. So I hope that through this rather long post, I have provided you at least a glimpse of a day in the life.

Jacob Mueller
Indiana FFA Southern Region Vice President

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