Moving on in a good direction

When I was a lot younger, my friends and family would joke about the day when we would retire, but that day seemed so far away I wasn’t worried.

One friend even said we should retire when we are young, and then go to work in our “golden” years.

It seemed like a great idea when I was in my 20s, but now that I’m in my 60s, it’s a dumb idea.

Seriously, though, it’s been a great run for me in this crazy world of newspapering, and for those who aren’t aware, my last day on the job is May 14.

I will miss the adrenalin rush of deadline, the people I’ve had the pleasure to meet, and the wonderful group I work with. We are a family.

I’m not quite ready to be put out to pasture just yet.

And, I have no plans or know for sure what awaits me around the next corner. Whatever it is, though, I hope I don’t miss it.

Ever since our children were little, I have been in the newspaper business. Actually, daughter Tracy was not very old and son Joey wasn’t even born yet.

One thing both Tracy and Joey used to say when someone asked about identifying who I was, they would say: “She’s the one with the camera.”

I think they thought the camera was attached to me .

Looking back over the years, time certainly has gone by quickly, and so much has happened. Some of it was good, some not so good.

If I remember anything at all, though, it will be all the little things that touched my life in so many big ways.

Laughter here and at home might seem like little things, but there were some silly times in the newspaper office that literally gave a few us bellyaches.

Even though it took a lot to get to Germany to see our grandchildren, it was worth it to hold them, hug them and listen to them giggle when we got into a ticklefest.

One of the things about my job that I loved was taking pictures. It was always fun to see what image I caught, and then be able to see it again at another time.

My children’s accomplishments on a day-to-day level could be seen as little things, but in actuality, they meant so much to me.

Maybe it was watching Joey hit a baseball or playing basketball with his friends or watching Tracy do an exceptional pencil drawing.

Or maybe it was just hearing them say: “We love you, mom.”

As a child, one of my favorite little things was having a hamster named Sally, and remembering my brother Logan having one named Sam.

I sure loved watching those little guys running on their wheels. It seemed like I watched them for hours.

Even as a child, I remember finding a robin’s egg on the ground, and not wanting to see the little baby robin die, I brought it in the house to keep it warm in a shoebox. Suffice to say, it didn’t work, but I tried.

Too often I spend my day concerned about annoying, frustrating or hurtful events rather than remembering to be grateful for those daily things that I take for granted or maybe miss completely.

I read somewhere that keeping a gratitude journal is a good way to boost our appreciation for those little things in life—and even the big things.

The idea was to spend 10 to 15 minutes each day writing down three to five things I am grateful for.

Some suggestions offered included a text message from a friend, hearing a joke that made someone laugh out loud or having a great meal. Remembering the little things does help a lot when dealing with the bigger things.

In the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson: “The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.”