Tom's Take: End of the year reflections

Rear view mirror

As we close in on Christmas and New Year’s, I’ve been thinking more and more about the entirety of 2020. Very early in the year, we were starting to hear about this novel corona virus, that was eventually dubbed Covid-19. Few imagined just how much everything was going to change. As we moved into spring with various changes to the way business was conducted, we all began to learn new terms, like social distancing, and what that meant. We all re-learned how to wash our hands. 

April finally arrived and planting could not have possibly gone better for almost everyone in Iowa and across the country. People had a little more optimism. I still think of it as “dirt therapy.” What most people needed then was to get OUT and DO something. 

As ethanol plants began to slow down and/or curtail production due to decreased gasoline demand from so many people working from home, reality started to set in. In general, we had decent weather in much of Iowa, but we also started hearing some reports of extended dryness in a couple counties. August brought another major change, and a new vocabulary word, with Derecho entering our lives and leaving wide spread destruction. The ups and downs continued through the balance of the summer and through harvest and fall field work.

Well, last week I saw something posted on a website, and it made me think of all of that, and everything else that we’ve all been through in 2020. 

 “You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.” --C.S. Lewis

It made me think of a couple of other things – the first is a line from one of my favorite songs, that says “the times I thought were the end of the world didn’t turn out so bad after all.” I probably listen to that song more often than I would care to admit, but it puts it all in context for me – I’ve gotten through tough times before; the world didn’t end; I learned how to adapt. I am better because of my life’s experiences. 

The second thing I thought of was a saying that I keep on the bulletin board by my desk. It says, “you either get bitter or you get better. It’s that simple. You either take what has been dealt to you and allow it to make you a better person, or you allow it to tear you down. The choice does not belong to fate, it belongs to you.” I really like that saying. 

My point is that I know 2020 hasn’t been easy for anyone; Covid, drought and derecho on top of the everyday, normal stresses we all face has really pushed everyone to the limit at some point or another this year. I’m not going to sit here and tell you I’ve handled everything this year as well as I would have liked, either. 

Things happen. Life happens. But, I do think we have a choice. Take it one day at a time, deal with things the best way we can and move forward. Always moving forward. You’re probably waiting for me to apply all of this to marketing grain. I’m not going to do that this time. I’ll let you draw your own conclusions and write the ending to this part yourself. 

As this will be our last Grow on the Go for 2020, here’s hoping for a better year in 2021!