“Trust the process” – not quite 100% of the time

17 February, 2019            “Trust the process” – not quite 100% of the time

Tomorrow is my sister Sheila’s birthday – wish her Happy Birthday if you’re fortunate enough to see her or talk with her! Or send her an email!

I like to “trust the process,” to wait for things to happen of their own accord rather than forcing the issue. But vague statements like “trust the process” have vague outcomes – they’re unreliable. If you “trust the process” to put gas in your car or file your income taxes or fill a glass with water when you’re thirsty, you’ll be out of luck. You have to act.

Where “trust the process” meets “80% of success is showing up” – 11:00 this morning at Pony Pasture

But you can’t force a deer to step in front of your camera. Or a hawk to land on a power line. You can familiarize yourself with their behavior patterns and increase the likelihood of seeing one. You have to pay attention. But you can’t guarantee it, like putting gas in your car guarantees it’ll go. You just do what you can to make conditions favorable (with outdoor photography) and “trust the process.” I almost didn’t see a single raptor this week – until this Red-shouldered hawk landed on a wire near the Country Club of Virginia on our way home from Pony Pasture earlier today: 

Red-shouldered hawk today at the Country Club of Virginia – the only raptor I photographed this week!

“Trust the process” with dogs is somewhere in between. They’re more predictable than deer but less predictable than taxes. But if you’re trustworthy and reliable and confident, they’ll begin to “trust the process” too, and they’ll pay close attention to you, and do what you want them to do before you even ask. You can totally “let go of the steering wheel” and know they’ll be perfect:

Mackey, Turner and Yuki at Pony Pasture this morning. You can always “trust the process” with these guys.

It’ll be tax time soon – don’t “trust the process.” Act. You can develop some intuition about dogs and deer and hawks and most human beings, but there’s no intuition with taxes. There is only math.

Speaking of numbers! The Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) was “launched in 1998 by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and National Audubon Society” and has been gathering bird data from all over the world ever since. It goes for four days every February – and today is Day #3 for 2019. That means you can still participate tomorrow if you like. Click on that link up there! Your only obligation is to spend 15 minutes looking outdoors and record the types of birds you see. If you look out of your office window from 12:10 to 12:25 and see a robin, a crow and a starling, you just record it on their site and you’re done! You can do a whole lot more than that – even tomorrow – if you want, but it’s simple. Check it out! A handful of pictures I took while counting for thirty minutes yesterday: 

Male Northern Cardinal – my first bird of the Great Backyard Bird Count, 2019:

Bluebird (from today, really, but I “got” a bunch yesterday)

Chickadee – what’s not to love?

Handsome male Downy woodpecker

Adding a Tufted Titmouse to my GBBC total

I took all of those bird pictures (and a whole lot more) while I was sitting in the exact chair where I’m sitting while I’m typing this blog post. If it was daylight now I’d take a picture of my desk so you could see. If I opened my window and stuck a broom handle out, I could touch one of those perches where the cardinal is sitting. Makes for great birdwatching, especially when it’s snowy and cold out.

If you’ve read this blog for any length of time or known me for any length of time, you’ll know at least three things:

  1. Evelyn’s good taste (except in men) and
  2. That my father loved dogwoods and
  3. That I love chocolate

After I got up on Valentine’s Day morning, I found this on the dining room table:

Valentine’s bowl with chocolate – stunning!

The bottom – isn’t this wonderful? I am so moved.

She got it from the Crossroads Art Center at 2016 Staples Mill Road here in Richmond. She was going to see glass that our friend Pat Ryan is making and displaying and selling there. Here’s his web page at Crossroads: Crossroads Art Center – Patrick Ryan Glass.

Here’s a blog post I wrote back in April (that’s when dogwoods bloom) of 2015. It mentions (briefly) my Dad’s love of dogwoods: Fascinating / boring

A hand turned dogwood bowl for Valentine’s Day – that’s priceless and meaningful. Thank you Evie!

Have a great week! Count some birds tomorrow! All best,


About Jay McLaughlin

I am a rehabilitation counselor. I have many friends with autism and traumatic brain injuries. They help me learn new things constantly. I hike with dogs at the James River in Richmond - a lot. I've completed an Iron distance triathlon a year for 11 years. My most recent was in Wilmington, NC in November, 2013. I currently compete in mid-distance triathlons. And work and hike and take pictures and write and eat.
This entry was posted in Birds, cardinals, Dogs, dogwood, Downy woodpecker, Fun, James River, love, People, Pony Pasture, raptors, red-shouldered hawks, Rivers, Smiles (including "dog smiles"!), whitetail deer and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to “Trust the process” – not quite 100% of the time

  1. Sally says:

    Trust the process – the mediator’s motto. So much of what you said applies to the mediation process as well. 👍🎶☮️
    Thanks Jay! Have a great day.

    • Hi Sally! “Trust the process” – it’s often my motto as a counselor as well, but sometimes I have to remind mySELF to “trust the process”! I’m generally real good about it – except during tax season. But April 15 will come and go and I’ll get it all taken care of. The river will keep flowing – my constant reminder to trust the process. Thanks for the note and have a great day,


  2. Jody Bambacus says:

    Forever moving and inspirational. And Evelyn is amazing.

    • Thanks Jody! And I am very, very fortunate to be with a person as perceptive and insightful as Evelyn. She helps smooth out my many, many bumps. Thanks for the note! Have a great day,


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