The holiday season has come and gone and things are settling back to normal here at the newspaper office. As I said last week, it was a whirlwind of shortened deadlines with the Tuesday holidays this year and it did not give us much time to rest or reflect as we worked to get our two weekly publications out to our readers.
Now as I sit here and think about this past year at the paper I am able to say I am so proud of how everything has gone. There were big changes that seemed to come our way on a regular basis. The biggest one, of course, was the decision to close down our pressroom and begin outsourcing the printing of the Mountain Home News and the Mountain Home Patriot.
For me personally though, the biggest change was the promotion to editor just eight short months after being hired as the staff writer. It was huge validation that I was doing something right and worked hard at doing my job, but to this day there are things about playing the role of "roving reporter" that I miss. Growing up it had always been my dream to be out on the street covering our local government and finding stories to write. I don't exactly have a lot of time for that anymore. In fact, I spend most of my time behind my desk , in production mode, working at getting the papers to our readers each Wednesday and Friday. While I do love my new role of finding information that pertains to our coverage area and interests our readers and putting the paper together each week there is just something I miss about the hustle and bustle of running around to cover each story.
There were points along the way where I was filling both roles in the editorial department and it was a bit overwhelming. Between getting articles completed and coming up with other suitable material to fill each paper it was like I was always in constant work mode. I’m sure if you were to ask my husband he would tell you that even when I was sitting somewhere not looking like I was doing any work my mind was still going a hundred miles an hour at it all pertained to what I needed to get done for that week’s issue of the Mountain Home News.
I know that it was because of that type of dedication that I was given the chance to prove myself as an editor without having experience, but I also know it caused frustration on the part of my family at times when I wasn’t really “present” for things like family movie nights and I know it caused a lot of stress for me at times. There were times I literally sat straight up in bed in the middle of the night freaking out because I felt like there was something I was supposed to be doing for work.
I am not one to set New Years resolutions, but I am going to make it a point this year to shut down my work brain down in the evenings and on the weekends when not on assignment. This will not be easy for me, when I commit to doing something I push head on in that direction at all times. However, I am going to make a commitment to spend time doing other things and taking time for myself.
Hopefully this will include attending some different committee meetings like the Arts Council or the Mountain Home Historical Society. I always say people need to get involved in the community and I want to lead by example in that matter. Both of those organizations are things I love and feel are a huge benefit to our community. Taking those opportunities will also give me a better understanding of those organizations for my role as editor of the paper.