End of the Year Reflection

Published in the December 2010 Issue Published online: Dec 09, 2010 Tyler J. Baum, Editor

Hate to go cliché on everyone, but I'm going to say it, so brace yourself. "What a year it's been!" The year started out, because of the recession and the need to stay within budget, with the uncertainty and subsequent rescue of the Parma and Tetonia UI extension facilities, and it's ending with the conclusion of Washington Potato Commission Executive Director Chris Voigt's 60-day, "20 potatoes a day" diet. It'll be interesting to see his results when he releases them.

I have to say that 2010 has unequivocally been the busiest, most-demanding year of my life. From the sounds of it, it's been that way with most people. We have more work but fewer resources. Our economy continues to flounder while those in power stare common-sense solutions in the face and blatantly disregard them for the sake of their own power, and even ridicule them as "extremist." While I write this, I eagerly await Election Day, not only for the replacement of those who have corrupted the people's trust, but to see if Congress, in a lame-duck session, will extend the Bush tax cuts in order to help out business owners like all of you-people who actually provide jobs for the rest of us too scared to start our own businesses.

This year, I took over as editor of a quarterly magazine, in addition to Potato Grower, also published by our parent company. Because of that, I've spent more time working behind a computer in an office than ever. It's been almost overwhelming at times. At one point earlier this year, I decided I needed to make the time to reflect or I'd crack. My wife and I send our kids on "Quiet Time," and they treat it like a prison term. I'm realizing that as adults, we need that time even more-to stop stirring the pot and let the stew cook for awhile before we start stirring again.

Glenn Beck points out that it's no coincidence we have the holidays of this season in the order we have them. It begins with Thanksgiving-a time to give thanks for everything God has given us, both blessings and trials. It continues with the most-anticipated holiday of the year, although it's become that way for the wrong reasons. But when we disregard all the distractions and stresses of the month of December, we begin looking forward to this holiday to remind us of the birth of a baby more than 2,000 years ago, and we reflect on what that means to us personally.

Following Christmas, the year-and the holiday season-ends with a new beginning. New Years: a time to start over fresh, to correct the mistakes we've made over the past year and start new and better habits.

I know Thanksgiving is already behind us, but I hope that you have used that time not just to add pounds to your waistline and watch some exciting football games, but also to reflect on what we have. Now your assignment is to make the most of this month-not getting caught up in the distractions but in what's real, so that when January 1 comes around, you'll be ready for it. 

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