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Message From Our President
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Message from the President

Falling for the Season

Anyone who has known me for even a short time is well aware that I am not an ‘outdoor’ type of person. I am most comfortable at home reading books, watching movies, or visiting museums. People say that opposites attract, which must be true because my husband would rather be hiking, gardening, or camping than almost anything else. I think one of his goals in life is to get me to breathe fresh air as much as possible. This theory of mine was well tested during our west coast road trip over the summer. We visited five National Parks in two weeks, starting in the desert climate of Joshua Tree, CA and ending in the mossy, wet Hoh Rainforest of Olympic National Park, WA. I hiked more in two weeks than I have in my entire life.

Coming home after our adventure was a major adjustment. We put over 2000 miles on our rental car sleeping in a different city almost every night. Spending time in National Parks, touring city gardens and arboretums, and visiting four beaches was a once in a lifetime experience. How do you go back to real life after that? The trip changed me. I realized I can be a more outdoor person in the right setting (still not camping though, sorry James). I came back to St. Louis wanting to get more active. I’ve done Pilates off and on for a few years but that has always been fit into my schedule normally late at night on my kitchen or living room floor. I’m also not someone who likes to work out in a gym.

I think my family and friends thought I was joking when I said I was going to try something different. In June, I had attended an outdoor festival where I participated in an outdoor yoga class and was taught the basics of stand up paddleboarding. I saw a combination of the two advertised: stand up paddleboard yoga. Taking my first class after our trip in late July, I ended up enjoying five sessions before the season was over for the year. Being in the middle of a peaceful lake with no cell phone access practicing yoga on those paddleboards was the calming stress-reliever I needed after a long week at home and work.

Now the weather is changing and the classes won’t happen again until late spring/early summer of next year. Mourning the loss of not only warm sunny weather but also a great stress reliever is hard, especially heading into some of the busiest months for the majority of people I know. The last quarter of the year is crunch time for many budget wise and planning for the next year. Adding to that are many personal obligations on nights and weekends such as school activities ramping up, holidays and family gatherings in November and December, etc. Just thinking about the items on the calendar and to-do lists can be stress inducing.

Instead of succumbing to the seasonal blues or letting the mounds of paperwork overwhelm us, take time to enjoy the season. During the fall, our city parks and gardens are beautiful. Bundle up for the chilly weather ahead and enjoy some fresh air. Do an activity that you loved as a child such as apple-picking, going on a hay ride, or pumpkin carving. Go somewhere with no cell service or leave the phone at home and just breathe. Say no to some invitations or requests for your time. Just take a step back and remember even if we can do it all, we don’t have to. 

Barbara Faupel, MA, CMPE                                                                                                           President, MGMA of Greater St. Louis


MGMA of Greater St. Louis
PO Box 16012, St. Louis, MO 63105