The first days of spring-like temperatures are so gratifying. Free of layer after layer of outerwear, I step outside and welcome the sun’s warmth on my face. It’s literally a breath of fresh air! But it wasn’t long ago Nebraskans were asked to conserve their energy use, endure hour-long rolling outages and hunker down as sub-zero temperatures swept across the Midwest.
Some of my fondest moments as a boy scout leader were sitting around a warm fire and camping beneath the stars under a canopy of trees. I’d watch the trees sway back and forth in the breeze and feel peace, rooted in my sense of self and vision for my future as much as those trees were rooted into the dirt beneath me.
Ask your friends about balance, and you’ll likely get a different viewpoint each time. One person tries to balance work with play. Another is struggling to balance their emotions as the pandemic wears on. Yet another seeks balance as they begin New Year’s resolutions targeted toward eating better.
This has been a year of big things. A global pandemic disrupted life and work as we know it. We’ve lost those we love, and we’ve made big sacrifices along the way. But, in the enormity of it all, I’ve found it’s the small things that help most with clarity of mind and spirit.
The world is in desperate need of healing. Navigating this exhausting pandemic and sociopolitical landscape has, at times, left the nation short on compassion and long on fear and judgement.
Semper Fortis. The U.S. Navy’s motto, meaning “Always Courageous,” is steeped with meaning to me.
Many of us look forward to Labor Day, whether to relax at the lake with friends and family, find great deals, or catch up on home improvement projects. But, how many of us take a moment to reflect on what the day really represents?
Over the last several weeks, my family “made” me binge watch the popular Netflix series, Stranger Things – a horror/drama show set in small-town America in the early 1980s. Talk about nostalgia. It brought me back to my ‘70s and ‘80s upbringing, resurrecting unsettling thoughts of leisure suits, shaggy hair and bell bottoms.
Thomas J. Kent graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering in 1985 and a master’s degree in Business Administration in 2005. He completed the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations (INPO) reactor technology course for utility executives at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Kent is a veteran of the United States Navy. He joined the District in May 1990 as an engineer at Cooper Nuclear Station, and he has served in many positions during his career. Kent serves on the Midwest Reliability Organization Board of Directors, where he is currently board chair, the Southwest Power Pool Members’ Committee, the RMEL Board of Directors, and the Mid-America Council Boy Scouts of America Board of Directors. He was appointed NPPD president and chief executive officer May 1, 2020.