April Jeppson: It’s time to have more outdoor meetings

Published 8:45 pm Friday, March 31, 2023

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Every Little Thing by April Jeppson

I looked at the weather forecast and got both confused and, dare I say it, hopeful. Spring in Minnesota is definitely a roller coaster ride. Not for the faint of heart or those who like consistency or structure. Tornadoes, rain, sleet, snow, fog — but then a few days after that, it’ll be 20 degrees warmer and we’ll have a moment of spring. It’s almost like mother nature just rolls a die to see what kind of weather we will have.

April Jeppson

I’m not complaining, I rather enjoy the spontaneity of the whole thing. I tend to get bored easily and thrive best in environments where change is the constant. So spring in Minnesota feels like just another day at work. Plan, pivot, adjust, adapt…

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It’s not the crazy weather of spring that I truly love, but those random warm days that pop up amongst the chaos. Those little beacons of hope where the sun shines and the wind begins to warm up. When I go out to my car to grab something and have the sudden (almost unstoppable) urge to go for a walk.

I would never call myself outdoorsy. I’m content with camping once a year. My aversion to creepy crawly things and love for modern plumbing makes me a better candidate for hotels. However there’s something about fresh air that calls to me. Especially after I’ve been breathing heavily circulated air for months. I crave it.

Last night it wasn’t particularly warm, but it was warmer than usual. As I walked out to my car to leave for the night, I instead walked around the block. I didn’t look at my phone or listen to music. I just walked. I focused on my breathing and my posture. Sitting for most of the day, I don’t realize how slouched over I get. Although colder than I bargained for, it was a much needed moment to unwind after a stressful day.

Walking last night reminded me of how much I enjoy “walking meetings.” I have regular meetings with various co-workers to game plan situations or go over events from the past week. Ten- to 20-minute brainstorming sessions that I started to have outside with them. Moving our bodies and breathing in the fresh air was so much more enjoyable than just sitting in my office. It also made my work day seem shorter since I had a chance to get outside and enjoy some of the day.

I know that these next few weeks will be all over the place in regards to temperature and what form the precipitation will take. I know that my outside meetings will be few and far between for a while. I’m OK with all of that. No amount of grumbling or stressing is going to change the pace at which it shows up. I know that good weather is on its way, and it will get here when it gets here. Now if only I could apply this sense of calm, patience and appreciation to more areas of my life.

Albert Lean April Jeppson is a wife, mom, coach and encourager of dreams. Her column appears every Saturday.