Last week I was offered the position of managing editor of the Sky-Hi News.
That very same day, MSN.com had on its home page a piece called "6 Jobs that will stress you out (but are still worth it)"
Naturally, next to No. 1 was "Editor."
"As online media grow and traditional newsrooms continue to shrink, editors will deal with more pressure and increasing workloads," the piece by CareerBuilder Writer Debra Auerbach said, "Plus, working under tight deadlines and being responsible for the accuracy of published content can be stressful."
I was thankful the piece went on to say why it was worth it: "As a journalist, and someone who appreciates the written word, it's gratifying to publish work that is read and enjoyed by the public."
My family members tell me among my handful of assorted talents, I am a very good gift-wrapper.
Every Christmas and even some birthdays, I like to find unique materials to wrap presents in, using nice ribbon and sometimes interesting objects like a pacifier for a baby gift, or a little nutcracker ornament for a holiday gift. I use cards people give me and repurpose them into gift tags.
Several years ago when I had a lot more time on my hands, I took plain brown packaging paper and used it as my canvas to create my own paintings, then would wrap gifts in it. I watched my mom as she unwrapped one of my gifts. She pulled the tape and hand-painted wrapping off gently without tearing, then carefully folded it and set it aside to keep.
Putting my creativity and time into gift wrap sort of doubles the giving. I find myself worrying the actual object wrapped inside will be a letdown.
Last Christmas, I was delighted when my young niece ran to the tree and selected my gift with all its crazy ribbon to eagerly open first, not knowing who it was from.
Which in a very roundabout way brings me to my work - and this new responsibility I'm taking on.
As a reporter for the Sky-Hi News, a job I've held for nearly a decade now, I've long treated my craft much the same way I do birthday and holiday gifts.
Only the gifts are not from me, but from the subjects I write about; I've just packaged them attractively to share with you my readers, my friends.
I delicately handle each and every one.
I take your stories and find the most interesting parts, or the parts I feel you as readers should hear about. I then painstakingly organize information in a way that stays true to how it was shared with me.
I strive to make the end product concise and informative and as appealing and as intriguing as the lives in this county.
In the best of work, I hope it speaks to what is human in all of us.
If the first sentence is bright enough, if the subject strong enough, hopefully you will want to read it just as my niece beelined to that present under the tree.
Starting my first days as managing editor, I hope to treat the entire paper this way.
May it be packaged in such a way you'll want to pick it up, and may you can't wait to see what's inside.
We thank our longtime mentor and dedicated newsman Drew Munro for all he has been for this institution, this newspaper and this community, as he goes on to take the helm of a daily newspaper in Glenwood Springs.
Sky-Hi News editorial is fortunate to continue publishing the work of Photographer Byron Hetzler and Reporter Reid Tulley, and in coming weeks, my reporting position will be filled.
As I learn the ropes of this new endeavor, all of Colorado Mountain News Media is improving the way we do things with new technology, including a new Sky-Hi News website.
We all take our collective responsibility of community journalism seriously, and we hope you as readers continue your active role supporting this local newspaper.
You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org; read us online at www.skyhidailynews.com.
And for all news tips and news submissions, please send them to this hot-off-the-press email: email@example.com. We appreciate your contributions.