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LETTER FROM THE PUBLISHER: It’s Time for Change

by Sandie Rhodes

Seems all of my contemporaries are saying the same thing these days: “Time to purge.” “I have too much stuff!” “I’m becoming a minimalist.” “I don’t have room for anything else.” “I don’t need anything else.” And especially appropriate entering this new year … “Out with the old, in with the new.” This simple phrase intrigued me enough to Google it. Of all of the meanings found on the Web, the one on quora.com spoke to me. It was “to leave old things or ideas behind and start fresh with new things or ideas.” This may refer to physical objects such as furniture, old dishes, and ever-popular vintage items, or it can apply to relationships, mindsets and even time itself.

I remember scouring yard sales years ago in search of a treasure. What a great feeling when I found a “jewel” below market price. Score! Now, sale after sale has tables with “jewels” and I walk right by. I just don’t need anything else. A set of china that I would have coveted 10 years ago, is just more clutter to me now. My generation is finally becoming more utilitarian, more conscious of our overflowing landfills, and more aware that all our accumulated “stuff” just doesn’t mean a whole lot any more.

Time is what has meaning. Time with loved ones. Time lost with the passing of loved ones. Time never taken when an opportunity presented itself because we were too wrapped up in a project, too important to take a day off or too busy moving about to even realize we missed a rare moment, a precious moment, an irretrievable moment.

As we approach the last decade or two of our lives, time becomes the single most important thing in our lives, unless we’re spinning too fast to have realized that. And we won’t find it at a yard sale, a big box store or even on Amazon.com. The lucky ones can just take time. The unlucky ones can grasp at it when it is out of reach, feeling desperate or frightened, but hopefully and finally they can  find acceptance and peace.

So while we’re all getting hopped up to clean out the garage, psyched to drop off truckloads of clothing and excess “stuff” to our choice of charitable donation sites, and resisting the urge to stockpile our favorite items from Trader Joe’s — because you never know when they won’t have them any longer — let’s remember the thing we need most, the one item that we can’t buy more of, the thing we can’t replace: time. Take it now.

Stop the world and pick up the phone to call that friend who lives in your heart but not in your busy life. Take time to listen to your body. How are you feeling? If your answer is “not great” then give yourself the time to make a change. What makes you happy? Are you making (taking) time to do what makes your heart smile? You must, because when time runs out, there is no more, as we all come to realize at some point. As many of you read last month, Blair Clark, a man of great wisdom who wrote on this topic over his years as a columnist for the Crier, ran out of time after finishing his last column. It was his passing, along with too many other friends of late, that has made me realize that what I now need is time. Time to clean out my garage. Time to read a book or enjoy a movie on a weekday. Time to explore creative endeavors, travel, hobbies. Time to be with myself.

I have known more happiness and fulfillment over the past 15 years at the helm of this newspaper than I ever could have imagined when I moved to Fairview 17 years ago. I’ve met literally thousands of people from diverse backgrounds and beliefs and I have gotten something of value from every one of them. I never tire of hearing how folks “love the little paper,” how it “helps inform what’s coming up in the next weeks,” how important it is to you and how appreciative you are to have it.

And that brings me back to time. It’s time for me to transition into my next phase of life, and that involves retirement. I am so fortunate to have worked alongside so many talented and caring people over the years, and truly blessed by the writers who have helped fill our pages with worthwhile, interesting, informative, and enjoyable stories. And then there’s all of you who take the time to send in photos, or accolades and tidbits, or volunteer or donate to keep us going. Each of you collectively make the Crier what it is, and what it will become. The one thing it will always be is your community paper.

So now that I’ve seemingly brought uncertainty to the front page of the first issue of 2018, let me assure you that I am healthy and well, I am not abandoning the Crier nor will the Board of Directors who oversee our nonprofit organization, and our “little” paper will continue to thrive, evolve and grow.

So what does all this mean? Click here to find out!