Time for You

Message From The Director

               It seems like yesterday was the start of summer and today I find myself at the beginning of the holiday season.  To embrace the cliché, time flies.  If you, like me, have had a busy year and are reflecting on all that has happened, you begin to realize how quickly it has slipped by.  In good times and busy times, we can get so wrapped up in what’s next that we seldom have time to catch our breath and enjoy the moment.      

               In my job, I am so fortunate that part of my responsibilities includes spending time in parks.  But even for me, it can be easy to take that for granted, and there are times when I get so wrapped up in what’s next that I don’t focus on the moment and enjoy the experience.  These past few weeks I have had a chance to spend some time in parks that reminded me to slow down and enjoy the moments.

               Parks and park people have always inspired and energized me, and some park visits and programs these past few weeks are certainly no exception.  From watching students attend a park program, to participating in a camping program, and visiting with new and seasoned managers who shared their passion and vision, it has been a great few weeks.  But the highlight of my month, and perhaps one of the highlights of my year, was when I decided to stop and take time with people important to me.

               I had the great fortune early in my career to work for a park service legend, Robert “Bobby” Turner.  The two years I spent with him taught me much about managing parks and people, and during that time he inspired a passion in me for state parks that has never gone out.  On a recent trip to Myrtle Beach, I decided to swing by and see how he was doing.  What I planned on squeezing in as a quick hello, turned into a couple of hours of incredible memories as he joined me on a visit to the park, a place important to us both.

               Slowing down that day to spend time sharing stories and successes ended up being one of the best decisions of my year.  I called ahead and when we arrived at the park, three current employees who also worked for Bobby met us to catch up.  I realized then, that although Bobby left the Park Service almost 20 years ago, every manager of Myrtle Beach since then had worked for him early in their career.  His love for that park and his time there was evident, not just from him on that day, but reflected in the employees who’s lives he impacted through the years.  As we drove around and showed off some of the new things while reminiscing about the old, all of the cares of the day became a distant memory.  We were there in the moment enjoying our time.

               The next six weeks are going to busy for many people as they celebrate the holidays in their tradition.  It is easy to become so wrapped up in checking things off the list that we forget to enjoy the moments because we are already thinking about the next thing we need to do.  This month my hope for all is that you find opportunities to slow down and enjoy some moments.  Maybe they will be by yourself, or perhaps with family and friends, but when they come, I hope you give yourself a present and take time to be present, and enjoy the moment!  Happy Holidays!


(L to R) Paul McCormack, Bobby Turner, Troy Crider, Robert Lenehan, Ann Wilson

November 2022