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Donna Krug Column
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This has been a tough week. The reality of damage and loss of life from storms hit too close to home. Last summer our Extension intern was Kristin Gleason. Tuesday, she lost her mother, Linda, and brother, Jeffrey, in the tragic storm related accident south of Great Bend. Kristin is healing from her injuries but our hearts go out to her and her dad, Jim, as they deal with their loss.
Earlier in the day I received a call that my Aunt Pauline had passed away in Fairbury, Neb. I’m so glad we got to spend time together at a family reunion last fall. Each time we experience the loss of a friend or family member it emphasizes the importance of taking time to keep in touch. Life is precious and this Memorial Day weekend is the perfect time to give that hug or make that phone call to the special people in your life.
The past couple of months I have shared the Extension program titled “Living Life Richer” with at least seven audiences. Each group has embraced the idea that living life richer is a journey toward a life lived to the fullest and without regrets. Happiness studies show that the aspects of life that give meaning and satisfaction can be summarized by four factors:
· Strong, trusting relationship with one or more people
· Healthy body and mind
· Enough money to live comfortably without constant financial concerns
· Knowing oneself and how to nurture and care for oneself
When these factors get out of balance, life is not as satisfying as an individual would like it to be.
During each “Living Life Richer” presentation I asked participants to think of something on their “bucket list” and then write a haiku (three line poem with a total of 22 syllables). At first there were groans from the audience, but before the program ended, people were eager to share their dreams and aspirations. The message I tried to leave with each group was to live life to the fullest.
I invite each of you reading this to stop by my office to pick up your copy of the “Living Life Richer” bulletin and see for yourself how to achieve a more satisfying life. Instead of having a lifestyle characterized by constant busyness that can foster irritability, poor decision-making or negative health consequences, take time to discover how to slow down and enjoy life more.
Donna Krug is the Family and Consumer Science Agent with K-State Research and Extension – Barton County. Her office is located at 1800 12th Street, Great Bend, KS  67530.  You may contact her at (620)793-1910 or