Giving thanks

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Last Thursday, we had a Thanksgiving potluck lunch at the Carroll County News office. We've done this every year since I've worked here, and many years before that. I asked one of my coworkers who has been here a lot longer than I have if she could remember when the lunch began. She said she couldn't, so it's safe to say it's been happening since the beginning of time.

People started to filter in, dropping off side dishes and desserts that smelled especially good to those of us who skipped breakfast that morning. Even those who started the morning with four doughnuts -- I'm looking at you, Ty Loftis -- couldn't help but salivate over all the Thanksgiving food. I arrived early, so I had to wait nearly an hour before eating. That was definitely one of the bigger mistakes I've made recently.

Finally, our publisher called us all together. He gave the speech he normally gives, saying he was happy to celebrate Thanksgiving with all of us. "Given the results of the election, some of us might not be too thankful this year," he laughed, eyeing me and a few of the other crazy liberals who work at the office. "But we've all got something to be thankful for."

He was right about that. Every day I wake up, go to work and come home is a good day. I think most of you would agree with that. Admittedly, it has been a pretty tough election cycle. It's fair to say people have been downright hateful over the past year or so, and it can be tough to shake that off, accept what has happened and move forward.

But of course we have to move forward. We have jobs to do. We have families to feed. We have lives to lead, and our responsibilities won't go away because we don't like the president-elect or because we don't like how our fellow citizens are responding to the president-elect. Disappointment over the election can't consume us.

I don't know about you guys, but my life is already consumed by work and family and the holidays. I don't even want to talk about that wedding I'm supposed to be planning. On a side note, if any of you have a time machine that can take me to the day after the wedding, I would really like to borrow it.

Even though I complain probably more than I should, I do feel so lucky to do what I do and to have such a wonderful support system. My mom has been a rock star when it comes to wedding planning and just being a mom in general. Gideon pushes me to be better every day, including those days when I feel that leggings are basically the same thing as pants and the laundry can wait a few weeks. Then there's the rest of my friends and family. I'm so grateful to have so many people to count on. I feel like we take that for granted sometimes. That's the great thing about Thanksgiving ... it helps you remember all the people who make your life worth living.

I met some of these people on July 28, 2014, when I started working at Carroll County Newspapers. Being able to call the people I see every day "work family" has a deep meaning to me. The great thing about the people in this office is that we all have varying political and religious views, but we still respect each other and feel thankful to be part of each other's lives.

We don't just do that during our Thanksgiving potluck lunch, either. That's a year-long thing, and it's one of the things I'm especially thankful for this year.

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Samantha Jones is associate editor for Carroll County Newspapers. Her email address is Citizen.Editor.Eureka@gmail.com