April Jeppson: Slow down and do things to feed your soul – Albert Lea Tribune

April Jeppson: Slow down and do things to feed your soul – Albert Lea Tribune

April Jeppson: Slow down and do things to feed your soul

Published 20:45 Friday, 12 August 2022

Every Little Thing by April Jeppson

I painted my office last week and it was a big win for me. It gave me a sense of accomplishment that I hadn’t had before. So many of the things I do every day don’t have quick results. I create a newsletter for a program, but won’t know for weeks whether it was received and had the desired effect. Sometimes it takes months for my work to show any progress or success. Think about raising children. We spend years doing our best, praying and even crossing our fingers – hoping that our hard work will result in a quality person. We may catch glimpses of success as they get older, but ultimately it’s not until they become adults and start their own lives that we can truly see the fruits of our labor.

April Jeppson

This is one of the main reasons why I enjoy cleaning the bathroom. I mean, does anyone really like cleaning a bathroom? Probably not. However, it is the smallest room in my house and has a lot of white smooth surfaces. Within minutes I can see the results of my scrubbing. It is satisfying for me to have an immediate positive outcome from my hard work. I need that feeling once in a while.

Another thing I need from time to time is to use my hands to create. My job gives me opportunities to be creative in my problem solving as well as creating documents on the computer. But something is missing with digital creativity. I have to physically use my hands. The act of making bread is a good example. I prefer kneading the dough by hand versus the mixer. If I were to make bread weekly, I’m sure I would seek help from my KitchenAid. But as rarely as I do, it’s almost therapeutic to work with the food and just enjoy the process.

So back to my freshly painted office. I bought some wall art months ago. I knew I had to paint my room before I could put it up, so they were leaning against my office wall the whole time. I was also aware when I bought it that I would repaint it with different colors. So as my weekend approached, I brought these pieces home and channeled my inner Bob Ross.

To find the right colors. Play around with different brushes and techniques. Tell Alexa to play the soundtrack to “The Greatest Showman.” I even encouraged my youngest to find something she could paint with me. There was a palpable energy in the room. Time had no power over me, and I was simply one with my project.

Every now and then I realized my posture was suffering because my back would start to hurt. Or someone will break my hypnotic focus by asking me when we’re having lunch. But for the most part it was just me and my creation and it was delicious.

I spend so much time working that I forget to slow down and do the things that feed my soul. This whole week was more peaceful and enjoyable. The same chaos still happens every day, but I’m slower to react. It just doesn’t affect my mood as quickly. It’s almost like I’ve taken a step back and I can better see this life for what it is. It is an opportunity to learn and grow and enjoy, not just endure.

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


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