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  • Kris Shelstad

A bit late...notes from a sabbatical!

Updated: Oct 24, 2022

NOTE: This was my entry from last month that I meant to post....

I’m at a picnic table at Lac qui Parle State Park, wine and nearing sunset. The last five days were a respite from the 14 months of running. I wasn’t sure I could just “be” here without the Merc. I managed to do it, mostly, with just one rainy day focused on writing new mission, vision, focus; updated powerpoints and board documents.

This month has been kind of heavy. We are starting to settle into a normal pattern…one where people expect us to be open, are surprised when I’m out of scones, aren’t surprised that we exist. The heaviness is the weight of other people’s expectations. This week has reminded me that I started this enterprise as a diversion, as a therapy, as something new and demanding so that I don’t have to deal with what I have lost.

I have found so very many wonderful things along this journey. Passion for the project, skills to solve the problems, friends and family that believe in me. Very satisfying revelations. But there is still the fear that it’s all just something to get through…and not a destination in itself.

I suppose this is natural. A big idea followed by a big wave of doubt.

I ventured from the campsite to have dinner at Moonstone Farm. A place that I hadn’t been for nearly 20 years. Friends, distant relatives. I went there seeking clarity and validation for the path I’m on. Their Farm reminded me of where and what I was 20 years ago and I was a little sad that person didn’t follow a different path. I was reminded not to lament paths not taken…and that this path, this endeavor, is valued and so very needed by our community.

So…five days alone in the Prairie and one night of validation….I’m ready to keep moving and to shove off this imposter syndrome that I know many of us feel when we start something new!

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