As hard as it is to believe, it is indeed our final issue of 2016 and what a year it has been.
The last few weeks of the year things tend to slow down around the Newsroom. Oh sure, respectively we have an abundance of merriment happening, which keeps us plenty busy and then ... we hit a lull.
This is the time, like many of you, I tend to reflect. Now approaching my 15th year in the business, I tend to find myself reflecting on areas we may have ‘missed,’ stories yet to be told and freshness.
Our newly added responsibility with the 209 Magazine helps with that a bit. Not all things happen in the 95361 and while I do enjoy calling it ‘home,’ I also enjoy the opportunity to branch out a bit and share more global stories.
Personally speaking, I also look ahead to the New Year, a fresh start in some aspects and a renewed faith in others.
Not one to make resolutions, I do take this time to pause and reflect on how I can be better. ‘Better’ is a big word and I am my own worst critic. I like it that way.
Throughout this year my path has crossed with many people, the ones I have found to be the most inspiring each used the same words (ironically) as I spoke to them: ‘be humble.’ This was my biggest lesson in 2016.
The ages of the people who shared these words varied from high school to older and wiser, often times confused as to why I found them or their story interesting. That’s what I love about being the ‘story teller,’ so to speak.
In the day and age of everything instant, look at me and where I am, look what I ate for dinner and hey, my husband is better than yours because (insert material item here); it is refreshing and yes, humbling to sit in such company.
Years ago, I came upon a quote which has remained a personal favorite and I’ve shared it here before. Paraphrased it simply stated: you know you’ve achieved greatness not when you tell the world, but when the world tells you.
Isn’t that the truth.
The people I enjoy spending the most time with in my personal life are the ones sharing stories of others, not via judgement or gossip, but rather via inspiration and pride. The ones who choose to lift one another, not drag others down. The ones who have no trouble being honest and real about their shortcomings and share freely to show others they are not alone.
The world can weigh on you and bring you down, if you allow it. Surrounding yourself with those who lift, rather than critique; that’s where the blessing lies.
So that’s where I’m headed in 2017. Professionally and personally speaking my goal is simple, to continue to share the greatness of others with as many who wish to read or listen.
Regardless of what mainstream media, social media and the like portray or find ‘sensational,’ there is an abundance of good in this world.
Happy New Year to each and every one. Here’s to a year of humbled beginnings, inspiring living and countless lifting.
Teresa Hammond is a staff reporter for The Oakdale Leader, The Riverbank News and The Escalon Times. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 847-3021.