The right step
October 8, 2020
Who are you? What is your identity or what do you want your identity to be? When your great-grandchildren hear stories about you, see the old pictures and write your biography, what chapters do you want included?
That can be hard. Some chapters we want and are never written, others we don’t want and end up being a part of anyway. Some chapters are long, some are short. They all accumulate into the book of one’s life, for better or worse. If we are lucky, we can write some chapter that matter and have a profound impact on the world and those in the future who will read our story. Realizing that, we can be more intentional in our choices today, defining the chapters of our book.
Throughout the story of our life there are choices. In this world some things are finite, time being one of them. Where we spend our time will be a big part of the chapters included in our final book. We define who we are, what pages are written about us, by how we allocate our limited time resource.
Sometimes you have to say I want my time to be spent here and not there. You have to look in the mirror and decide what you want your story to be.
That can be hard. When you grow up being told you can do anything you set your mind to, you don’t always realize it doesn’t mean you should or it is healthy. I can be mother of five young kids trying to get a little homestead farm going while being editor of a county paper. Doesn’t mean I should, that it is what’s best for me, my family or my community. I can, but the stress will make me physically sick to my stomach anytime one other issue pops up.
So, I’m making a choice for me. I don’t want the chapters of my book to be about me as an editor or running a newspaper. I want my chapters to be about me as a mother and homemaker. About how well my garden did most years—this year started off well, but was surrendered to the weeds and natural precipitation some time in August. I want to do things with my cow herd, to get a milk cow—if only for the experience of milking for a couple months before deciding to go the easy route.
I want to be with my family more. Every night after days I work my preschool age boy climbs in bed about 2 a.m. to snuggle with me. My children miss me. I don’t want the chapters of my life to say she did great at work, but had little time and energy for her children. The most important masterpieces in my life are the five I gave birth to. They will be my greatest and longest-lasting contribution to this world and they deserve to be my number one priority un-challenged.
The reason for the straight talk on my personal decision is I do not want any rumors or speculation regarding the up-coming change of a new editor. I’m not being pushed out, this is a decision for me. Me being editor was just to keep the ship sailing. The Gazette is important to me—not as important as my family and farm, but still an important part of my life. I want it to endure and thrive. I believe with this next change, a new editor who has strengths where I have weaknesses, the Gazette will be able to do that.
I’m not leaving the paper entirely; I’m just stepping back into the support role I had before where less of my time and energy will be required. I’m still here. So are Garth, Angie, Justin and Nancy. We’ll still be doing our best to produce a quality product for rural Whitman County. We’re just going to add another name to the list.
My one request, if I may make it, is, should our readers happen across one story or one contributor they disagree with, they not forsake the entire paper. Don’t disregard the work of the rest of us here for what is written on less and a quarter of one page. If something you disagree or don’t like is printed, don’t cancel your subscription; write a letter. Write another and another. Engage with the topics, ideas and people you don’t agree with in a reasonable manner.
Please, continue to support the Gazette. The people here are working hard to continue the tradition of providing coverage of rural Whitman County, our home. We don’t always do it perfectly, we are human, but we believe in what we are doing and just ask your support to continue doing so.
I appreciate the opportunity to serve as editor for this short time and thank all who have supported me in this role. Please continue to show that support as the Gazette goes forward, just with someone else at the helm and me back in a position I more want to be.