Archived Story

Giving thanks for life’s good things

Published 11:21am Thursday, November 22, 2012

My, how this year has flown by.

Every time I look at the calendar on my desk, I’m surprised at how close we are to being at the end of 2012 – in my mind, there’s no way it’s any later than July.

Yet no matter my mindset, the sun is setting around 5 p.m., chilly winds are blowing leaves off the trees (and into my house’s gutters), and Christmas music and decorations are popping up everywhere.

A lot has changed in my life since I rang in New Year 2012 with close friends at my home here.

I’ve gotten promoted from assistant managing editor to managing editor and then promoted again to general manager.

Our newsroom has added many new faces as well, as our former coworkers have moved on to pursue other opportunities.

TPI has worked to continue raising the bar for all its publications, and in my mind we’re achieving that goal every day.

Our Parade edition this year, which details the progress of the community, was called What’s Right Here, and that was by far my favorite publication of which I’ve been a part. The state of the economy the past few years has certainly put a damper on a lot of spirits in this area, and producing stories for that magazine renewed and re-energized my faith in Alexander City and the surrounding areas. As the name states, there is a lot that’s “right” here.

And I couldn’t have been more proud to accept multiple awards at the Southeastern Press Conference on TPI’s behalf, including third place General Excellence and first place in Best Public Service for 2011.

And though Thanksgiving is one of the busiest weeks in the newspaper business – we have all worked ahead to make sure our readers receive today’s paper, on Thanksgiving Day, and the Friday edition – I have still tried to set aside time to be thankful for my family, friends and all the opportunities I have been given this year and throughout my life.

I’m thankful to have a wonderful support system from my family – not a week goes by when my mom or dad won’t send me an encouraging text message or phone call to wish me a great week.

It’s comforting to know that I am always welcome to go “home” for the weekend – no matter how old I get, I know I’ll have a place to crash when I need to get away.

I’m thankful that my brother John and I have gotten as close as we have, despite being eight years apart. We may not talk every day or even every week, but we have almost the exact same sense of humor and tend to burst into laughter around each other when no one else understand what we’re laughing about in the first place.

I’m also thankful for my family members who are in town – I can’t help but smile when my uncle, David McGhee, stops by the office to see what’s going on (not to mention get a refill of coffee from our break room).

I also love getting to have lunch with my grandmother, Ginny Floyd, once every couple of weeks to catch up, since she’s been an important part of my life for as long as I can remember.

And I couldn’t round out this column without saying I’m thankful for my friends both near and far. Whether my friends live just down 280 in Auburn or in another state, I know I couldn’t have made it without their support in person or through phone calls, texts and social media.

In the hustle and bustle each year, it’s easy to forget to thank those people who have been important to you. To those who have been important to me, thank you.

I hope everyone will take time today to turn to your loved ones as they load up on turkey and dressing and remind them how much they mean to you.

Happy Thanksgiving, all.

Spears is managing editor and general manager for The Outlook.