In the Meantime…

Blog National Convention News Burlington Ell-Saline Girard

“It’s not where you’re goin’, 

where you’ve been, 

so look around,

take it in, 

and slow it down, in the meantime..” 

These words are often heard blasting through the speakers of my car. It is no secret that I am a lover of music however, …Meantime by Flatland Cavalry, has held a special place in my playlist. Such simple words have served as a reminder time and time again to slow down and be in the moment. 

The concept of living in the moment is one we all know, but sometimes need a reminder to do so. This can come through a song or those around us. While attending the 96th National FFA Convention & Expo, a reminder of the value of being present came from someone else. As we were nearing the end of a long day at convention, there was one thing on my mind…find something to drink and sit down in Lucas Oil Stadium. Weaving through FFA members, I saw a familiar face, Ainsley Norton, a Girard FFA member and district officer. Now there was a choice, to keep on my mission of finding a drink or to stop and be in the present. Trying to decide, Ainsley made eye contact with me, making the decision for me. Stepping through the aisles, Ainsley immediately brightened my day with a hug and conversation. 

After the session ended, a message from Ainsley appeared on my phone. The choice to stay present had not only brightened my day but had also improved Ainsley’s. 

Being present isn’t always easy, especially when we are “on a mission” to meet deadlines, and have events and the future creeping up on us. We naturally want these projects or events to run smoothly or represent our best work, yet when we focus too far into the future, we lose out on the moments in the present. Those around us don’t need us to be flawless, they need us to listen and be in the moment.

“Friction’s good for somethin’,

But you can’t rub two nickels into a dime

So go on with the flow, 

Take it all in stride

Like the risin’ of the sun and the rollin’ of a tide..”

National FFA Week was full of travel, events, laughter, and growth. With a packed schedule it took being intentional to stay grounded. Getting into the car to head to the next chapter visit, …Meantime by Flatland Calvary, played on repeat. This song served as my reminder to take it all in stride and not let life roll on without me. Being intentional with thoughts made it easy to stay present. Staying present made it easy to pour into others and create new relationships and memories. 

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If we can limit our distractions and be mindful of where we let our minds wander, we can become better at living in the moment. Maybe it’s finding a song that helps ground us, a phrase we can use to remind ourselves, or even just taking some deep breaths. Practice staying present in the easy times so it can become our instinct in the hard times.

As we are approaching one of the busiest seasons – CDEs, banquets, award applications, and more, remember, there is so much value in being present. There will always be something else coming up, that next goal we need to achieve, however, we can do our best in the now and leave the worrying for tomorrow. 

Kansas FFA, take time to look around, take it in, and slow it down before these moments pass. 

Payton Ryba

2023-2024 Kansas FFA Vice President

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