Seasons Change!

Norma J. Bond Burgess, Ph.D., NCFR President
/ NCFR Report, Spring 2023

See all articles from this issue 

How much thought do you give to the seasons changing? Like most of us, we are very particular about our favorite times of the year and that is the one that we watch for, plan for, and be ready to take full advantage of. Winter, spring, summer or fall, we are ready. Just as we prepare for the hot summer weather, there are those who relish snow mobiles, skiing, and temperatures below 32. If you don't think this is true, consult children, or friends who have children or nieces and nephews and they can tell you all about it. My family and I have resided in many places, some with snow days, and very few without. A welcome snow day is a treat for most!

One thing for sure is that each place has its own policy about snow days. Disappointments come when the days are not as clear as they could be. Activities are planned to take care of the opportunity that just made itself available. Unless the temperature drops and wind chill drops below a certain number, school is on.

In any event, plans are made. What if adults planned their lives and careers around change? Where would we be? What did we learn from COVID-19? The world had to change, and it did, whether we liked it or not. 

We survived it in many ways. There were losses and we learned from them. We hold our families closer. Are we back to normal or the new normal? I like to think of our status as a new normal with open arms, open hearts, and open eyes. This approach brings its own challenges: which lives really matter and which ones do not? Which history is important to study, and which ones are not? The answers could reveal a very important contribution to our society and to our knowledge base—are we being told what to read, how to respond, what to say, who to say it to, what to believe? Hmmm. Interesting times in which we live.

Either way, are you living your best life yet? What does that look like for you? What excited you most about today? How much has your research agenda changed to reflect the current issues that Family Science MUST examine and explain to the rest of the world, with the insights that we are privileged to have? Do not let the opportunity pass you by. Challenge your students and colleagues in other ways. Use the techniques that can set you apart from other scientists. Try some of the approaches that you have always thought about but we're not confident enough to try yourself. Combine some of the techniques that warrant attention.

When the seasons change again, and they will, you will be ready with a new research plan with ideas that you cannot wait to explore. Hold your ideas silent no longer. It is challenging to help ideas grow if they are not brokered and shared. I suspect that others are waiting to explore as well. Remember, when we have all the answers, the questions will stop. 

As your imagination becomes more and more anxious for the spring and summer seasons, your best is yet to come. Build on the old theories so that the good ones continue to get better, more interesting and excite the masses. The old ideas will take their place on the shelf and retire. I cannot wait to read your next article in JMF, JFTR, or FR. I know that it will be great! By the way, don't forget to play.