“You won't know until you try it,” Mom still tells me when I'm unsure of things or my anxiety takes control.
If Granny was still here she would say, “Sometimes you have to take a leap of faith.”
I've decided — once again — to take their advice.
This is my last column as editor at The News Courier, as I was offered another opportunity that I felt I couldn't pass up.
After almost 12 years in Athens as Lifestyles editor, news editor and finally managing editor of The News Courier, I'm packing up my office plants, coffee mug and loose change for a position that offers more time at home and more time with my children.
I wasn't looking when the opportunity found me. No resumes were sent, and no applications filled out. Deciding to leave wasn't a decision I made easily.
This community has been home to me. You've welcomed me, gotten to know me better and shared good times and bad times through the years. I couldn't ask for more.
You've taken me in and allowed me to become part of your family. I’ll never forget each smile, handshake, hug and hello. There are many people across Limestone County who have made this newspaper what it is today. There's the ones who serve on our editorial board and newspaper community board. There's also those who stop by and support us in other ways every day.
Sure, there's been some rough patches along the way — fists banging on my desk, screaming voices in my ears, emails that are better left undiscussed. Those days are few and typically far between. I can honestly say the good has outweighed the bad over and over again.
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
The staff of The News Courier have become family. We've stuck together through sickness and health, tornadoes and high water. There have been days when we've belly-laughed and days when we've cried and cussed.
I can't say enough about the newsroom — Jessica Barnett, J.R. Tidwell and Travis Devlin have given more than they ever had to and bought into my ways of coaching and mentoring. They listened to me burst into song, dance and even repetitive storytelling.
Beyond that, they have busted their tails for a job that brings more ridicule than glory and more stress than money. Each of them love this community as much as I do. It's an easy community to love when you meet the good people who live within it.
The COVID-19 pandemic has been tough, and most in the news business would say it's been some of their toughest years. From shutdowns and job loss to reporting death tolls and heartbreak, the work has been overwhelming at times, yet my newsroom pushed through.
There were days when Jessica and I rallied for the day at 6:30 a.m. and were departing at 9:30 or later that night. I think I have been blessed with one of the toughest, most hard-working teams in state.
I have enjoyed my time here, and I appreciate every ounce of support I have received.
I believe a newspaper represents a community, and this community has been good to me. Please continue to support your local news source.
I bid you all a fond farewell, but let's not be strangers.
Keep in touch and watch for deer.