Appreciation depends on where you start

Danville taught me everything about appreciating life and the details within it.  Sometimes you don’t know what you have until you don’t have it anymore.  I started my assignment in Sioux Falls on Monday.  Of course, first days are a whirlwind, as is the first week.  I have to share how amazing this place is for me. Let me break it down into a few main areas that people tend to spend time talking about:


There are enough people here to produce a brief experience of traffic.  This is enough traffic to be referred to as a rush 15 minutes.  Certainly not a rush hour!  This rush 15 minutes actually brings a smile to my face, as that means there are many working people. Witnessing so many people driving to work is kind of fun for me.  I am used to traveling most roads alone or with just a handful of other drivers.  The roads feel less lonely to me. My fellow drivers do know how to drive well.  A side bonus is having the opportunity to merge quickly again!

Work and its computer system 

Healthcare workers are required to do their fair share of documentation on all the things they do throughout the day and especially with their patients.  Every single job and location uses a different documentation system.  I am learning a new one with this assignment and I am loving it.  I find this documentation system user-friendly with a bit of redundancy.  All systems have redundancy, some more than others.  Due to all of my years in management, the focus has always been about efficiency.  Well, now that I say that, maybe it has nothing to do with management and more to do with how I look at life.  How can I do this more efficiently and faster?  This carries over into everything, including documentation.  I have already figured out how to speed up the process and maintain the integrity of each document.  This too brings a smile to my face.  At the end of my first day, I met with a co-worker to review training.  I was exhausted and brain dead, so I thought.  Within a matter of minutes on the computer, I figured out a simple technique to increase efficiency that wowed the seasoned coworker!  He told me that I will be doing an in-service for the rest of the team as I figure out more ways to be efficient.  Now if we could add my love of spreadsheets to this assignment, I’d be in heaven.

Getting around town

To be honest, before GPS I could hardly find my way out of a paper bag.  My sense of direction is not one of my strong points. Google Maps on my phone has changed my life.  I no longer am afraid of getting lost.  If a turn is missed, rerouting quickly occurs.  So getting around this town is a breeze because of GPS and constant satellite connection.  There is a nice balance of grid patterned neighborhoods, curving roads, and highways to keep me guessing.  I simply love it!

People in the area

Coming from a small southern town I am used to friendly behavior.  This area has its share of friendly ways, but something is vastly different; people are kind.  So what’s the difference besides a feeling?  Friendly is an exchange where you are happy to talk to others and open to making acquaintances. It would also include quick hellos and how are you doing type conversation.  Whereas kind is when you engage in tasks and actions that are helpful to others.  This town lacks the southern hospitality charm it makes up for in kindness.  People have truly been helpful.  I am initiating the conversation, but they are completely engaged from that point forward.  You can remain anonymous if you desire, which sometimes is exactly what I need.  As I sit in a great coffee, wine, and beer spot, I am delighted to freely type without worry of misperception.  I love it!

Thank you to all of the places I called home and to the settings I have worked in.  Because of you, I am able to see the great things in this assignment, this town, and the people that I may have completely taken for granted had I not had you in my life!


Kristin Springfield
Appreciator of life

My life thrives in companionship

Companionship is the feeling of fellowship, the feeling of friendship, the feeling of closeness.  The past 3 weeks I have been relishing in companionship.  My dear friend, Erin, allowed Journey and I to stay in her camper right next to her home in Moab during that time.  We worked together, cooked together, hiked together, enjoyed disco spin, laughed and shared stories daily and honestly loved every minute of it!  We quickly fell into a routine that supported our individual needs of time together and time apart.

I have great friendships, yet this was something completely different.  Daily companionship, sharing the workload of life, while having shared interests was spectacular.   Having someone look out for me, include me in their life’s business, joyfully sharing their home, their friends and taking me to their favorite places truly touched my soul.  Tears come to my eyes as I write this.  I realize that companionship is what makes my life thrive, and want to have that in the future.

I left Erin to begin my journey to Sioux Falls, SD for the summer.  Along the way, I stopped to gather up more companionship from a high school friend, and to spend 2 nights at the Circle View Ranch.  This ranch is special to me in so many ways.  First, it is where Jack the Jackass who kissed me a few years ago when I needed it most.  Second, this family welcomes me in a way that touches my heart.  They included me in feeding their baby calf immediately. I was then picked up by the young 10-year-old girl, who reminds me of how much strength and freedom lives within every woman, to escort me in style on the farm 4-wheeler to see Jack, my favorite jackass.

All of my choices led me to where I am today.  As I finally recognize the companionship all around me, I am delighted with every single choice I have ever made.  Some have been so damaging and heartbreaking.  Yet those choices cracked the frightened exterior of my heart and now the light shines for all to see; including me.  Companionship over the past 3 weeks has me thriving in a whole new way!


Kristin Springfield
Joyful One



The power of words and feelings

The first agreement from The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz is be impeccable with your word. Words have the power to lift another or cut them off at the knees.  We chose our words sometimes that choice is with love and compassion, while other times we say things without thinking.  We may believe we are being helpful while sharing information that really is none of our business.  I think when choosing our words we may optimize our message by remembering to take care of our own business.  Business falls into 3 categories: Our own business, Other people’s business, and God’s business.  If we stick to our own business and are impeccable with our word, imagine how different life could be.  Other people’s and God’s business are NOT our responsibility.

I was reminded how damaging thoughtless words can be.  A wonderful friend received feedback that hurt her feelings.  The feedback was delivered from a person who simply did not understand the complexity of the situation and on top of that, it was about other people’s business.  Even though my dear friend intellectually realized the feedback was not something to get upset about, her feelings begged to differ.  Witnessing her struggle brought back so many times where I have allowed words to cut deep into my heart.  We all navigate painful words differently.  I tend to retreat, walk, write, cry and then clean like mad to rid myself of the funk.  The pain lingers way too long for my liking!  I also try to shift emotional gears and look for the lesson in the situation.  There always is one.  Often times the lesson for me is to stop giving a fuck. (The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck is an awesome book!)

Kind loving words build me up yet in a different way.  Self-love is an inside job.  External validation of words can only do so much.  If I don’t feel good about myself at the time then the loving words seem to bounce right off because I don’t believe them.  The thoughtless words hurt so much because they mirror some negative belief that no longer serves me. My goal is to savor the positive words with as much vengeance as the thoughtless words do. I want those loving external reminders to dominate my days and linger just as long as the painful ones do.   I suppose the next step is to stop craving the external reminders at all and simply love life as it is in each moment.  How convenient that the second agreement is do not take things personally.  Uggh!


Forever learning
Let it go