Shift Our Aim


Life has taken a drastic turn for all of us, wouldn’t you say? It seems like life right now is missing the mark. Many archers think if they miss the ten-point mark they are not shooting well. But in reality, if they have a tight grouping anywhere on the target, they are on the right track. All they need to do at this point is to shift their aim.

I had hoped to share with you today about our students preparing for the NASP-National Archery in the Schools Program-national tournament in Salt Lake City, Utah, and the young man, Gaige Stensgar, who qualified last year for the world tournament in Nashville, Tennessee, as a ten-year-old.

Last year Gaige ranked 30th in the world for his age bracket in 3D animal targets. He worked hard and qualified to compete against kids from all over the world.

At first, during one of this year’s PE practice sessions, he stated he wasn’t going to participate in this year’s state archery tournament recently held in Deer Park, Washington, then changed his mind after we had a heart-to-heart talk. It can be a lot of pressure for young kids to qualify for Nationals and Worlds then come back and have to live up to those high standards. And I was incredibly happy when Gaige changed his mind, persevered, and came to the state tournament.

Now eleven and in sixth grade, he looked forward to moving up with hopes of again qualifying for nationals. But now with the Coronavirus Pandemic weaseling its way into our nation, closing our schools and sports, and guaranteeing our towns, the archery national and world tournaments will either be rescheduled or canceled for the 2020 year. In case the tournaments will be rescheduled and Gaige does indeed qualify for nationals, I’m going to hold off on the complete interview with him.

For now, let’s take this time of rest and reflect on what is important: family, rest, rejuvenation, faith, relationships, and hope.

With many children home from school and many parents working from home, parents have a chance to reconnect with their children and be up close and personal with their education. There are many sites offering kid’s activities. Click here to view one of my favorites. I know my grandkid’s schools are handing out packets of work today because tomorrow school will close until April 24th.

With the weather warming up why not take time to go for a walk, do yard work, or take a day road trip.

Many of us have been working hard these past several months and now we can take time to pause and rest, read, and write. What elder needs an encouraging letter? Why not send them one? Who haven’t you talked with for a while? Why not call them?

My faith is what keeps me strong. Knowing God is still in control is what gives me peace and comfort. All things are possible with Him who strengthens us, including destroying the Coronavirus. Remember, being positive and hopeful is half the battle.

What better time than to hook up with a friend or two for tea with positive conversation and prayer.

Please remember there is always hope. In reality, we have choices. We can choose to panic and play into hysteria or we can choose to think clearly and use common sense. There is hope in calm and a loving God who promises to care for us. We were never promised an easy life, but He does promise to walk with us and protect us. We can choose joy, love, patience, kindness, and faith.

While we cannot control our circumstances, we can control how we react to it. Today, I choose to pray.

I pray and trust that God will provide for our nation’s needs and instill a peace that surpasses all understanding so we can all take time to search for fun ways to get through the quarantine in the same ways children hunt for butterflies in springtime with the same joy.

I pray you are able to have peace during this time of pause and take time to reflect on all of the blessings life has to offer. I pray we as a nation will be able to shift our aim and look up.

Please share ideas for the following: educational needs for your children, daycare, how you are finding rest, faith, and hope, ways we can help those in need, and anything else you can think of to help us all get through the next several weeks.

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  1. Betty Bauer says:

    Good to read your thoughts on the sombering news we all are dealing with. It IS a time to take inventory of our lives and be meditative. The hardest part is being “distant” from our loved ones. I thought it would be interesting to hear peoples’ answer to the children’s book: What Do I Do With My Hugs?

    1. Carmen Peone says:

      Sounds like a great book, Betty. We can still hug healthy people and our animals. We can send hugs in the mail and over social media. (((((hugs)))))

  2. Mary E. Trimble says:

    I’m sorry to hear you’ve been sick. Do take care. Have you decided on WWA conference rather than WWW? I remember you said you were considering that.

    1. Carmen Peone says:

      Thank you, Mary. I hope to feel better soon. I am wanting to go to WWA this year, we’ll see if they cancel or not. But yes, WWA this year and WWW next is my plan. I look forward to driving to Portland and not flying.

  3. Tyson Greer says:

    Beautiful commentary, as always, Carmen. Love your metaphor ” Shift your aim. Lots to reflect on.
    Jim and I have chosen to conduct what amounts to an archeological dig in our basement, exposing boxes of our environmental work (“Remember this presentation to City Coundil about tightening the tree code in 2006, and this one from 2018?”), and my magazine articles published in now-defunct magazines, and “Look! Our calendar from 1989, the year we got married!” and who-knows-what-else — to better arrange our pantry. Boxes for Trash, Giveaways, and Donations have marched out the door (and the Really Sentimentals saved)
    If we keep going and this shelter in place continues, our new exercise routine will be rollerskating in the basement. (However now we are taking more walks and lots more digging in the garden.)

    1. Carmen Peone says:

      Tyson, I do remember you talking about the environmental work about tree codes. And what a treasure to find the calendar. Did you write anything on it to spark memories? Rollerskating…I’m in! Wish we lived closer. Enjoy your gardening and walks. I am also back to walking. I need more haiku photos! I have one closet that needs a deep dive, but I seem to have lost my snorkel! I’m sure I will eventually find it. When my two novels are done and off to print! It’s great to hear from you.

  4. You’ve posted a lovely message, Carmen. Some of my book events have been cancelled, but I choose to accept what is and do other activities with my time.

    1. Carmen Peone says:

      Great and needed attitude Mary. I have two conferences I am scheduled to hold workshops and they are considering postponing. I have not signed up for the WWA conference yet, but I’m hopeful. I’ll wait until the school quarantine is lifted end of April and make my decision. I’ve been ill for a few months, not the coronavirus, and am in no hurry to spread the germs. I need isolation simply for my lungs and sinuses to heal. In reality, it is a good thing I’m out of the school right now and away from all those germs. Happy writing! What other activities do you plan to do? I bet Camino Island is coming alive with buds and birds.