Turning the page into 2022

Published 10:03 am Friday, January 7, 2022

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A new year is upon us, and while we look ahead to the unknown, we also remember what this past year did to shape us as we move forward.

We remember all those we lost, the new relationships we gained, the special memories created and the slight return to normalcy.

A term used loosely now, normal did seem to make as close to a return as possible following the fiasco that was 2020.

But 2021 was a rollercoaster ride of emotions as well.

Events returned during the year, sending many across the county back out for Fourth of July festivals, the Buck Creek Festival, the new Alabaster Jubilee, fall festivals and much more.

The unemployment rate continued to plummet back down to record lows this past year, while businesses began to flourish once more with new restaurants and stores opening their doors.

Amid all the joy, however, as we continue to sit in the land of the lost in the ongoing battle against COVID-19 and its many variants, there were other obstacles to overcome during this past year.

The county itself lost several leaders who impacted the lives of many, including Dan Acker, Deegee Schroeder, Doug Adair and George Bentley among others.

Seeing the kind words shared about each, however, was truly inspiring.

And those are the lessons we take with us into 2022.

Can we live up to the examples set by other leaders? Can we live up to our own standards and do the best we can? Can we live up to the standards others have set for us?

All of those are major challenges, but we see it more and more every year here in Shelby County, as a collective group of more than 200,000 people continually strive for excellence to make this one of the top places to live.

We don’t know what 2022 has in store, but let’s hope we continue to inch toward that return to what we all think of as normal. Whatever normal is to you, we hope that feeling is there for you in the new year.

Strive to be your best, strive to live every day to the fullest, and most important of all, strive to love a little more and hate a little less.