By Dylan Roche
By now, you’ve probably put away your holiday decorations, taken down your tree, found a place around the house to keep all the gifts you received, and let life return to normal after days – or maybe even weeks – of celebrations, visits and festivities.
So, now what are you looking forward to? Valentine’s Day? Easter? Maybe spring and some warmer weather? (All right, I’ll admit that last one is what I’m looking forward to.)
Eagerness and anticipation can be good things because they keep us looking forward, but there can be times – especially when you’re putting together a monthly community newspaper – where you feel as if you’re always living several weeks in advance, and you can have trouble enjoying the moment. You start planning for February in January. Then you start planning for March in February, and so forth.
Maybe instead of asking what you’re looking forward to now that Christmas is over, maybe I should ask how you plan to enjoy living in the present in 2019. I’m no expert, but I’m willing to try it myself.
There are many aspects of the Voice mission that lend themselves to living in the present, and here are just a few off the top of my head.
We like to give credit where credit is due when one of our community members accomplishes something especially impressive. We also hope that we’re able to tell these local stories in such a way that they’re worth cutting out and putting in a scrapbook or posting to your refrigerator – not just skimmed over and forgotten the next day.
Most months of the year, the paper comes with a special edition enclosed in its fold, and it’s often pretty timely to the season. This month, it’s our Health, Beauty & Fitness Guide. This magazine has insight and advice from local experts about how to take control of your health – and if sticking to a resolution isn’t all about appreciating the present, I don’t know what is. You’re not stressing over past missteps, and you’re not thinking about what outcome you’ll have weeks or months from now – instead, you’re enjoying what you’re able to do right now, right here.
Finally, there’s our interest in encouraging our community to shop local and support small businesses here in town. I know it’s convenient to just click a button on Amazon, but the experience of shopping local means enjoying an inventory of products picked specially for consumers in our area, having face-to-face interaction with employees, and supporting an entrepreneur who lives right here and invests in the community.
So even though it can be tempting to look forward to exciting days ahead, especially during these cold (and sometimes uneventful) days of January, let’s not lose sight of the present.
Until February, everyone – enjoy! And remember, you can always shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.