Welcome to 2017

Welcome to 2017. Ahead lies 360 days (as of this edition) of unexplored territory, with only hints of what might lie ahead. For the first time in almost a decade, a new president will move into the White House, or if his family chooses not to live there full time, he can at least call it his “Washington home”. If the campaign that elected him to the highest office in the land is any guide, his tenure as President is going to be an, um, interesting experience.
As I have stated in this column, I am not a fan of resolutions. With that being said, I don’t think that gives us (me) a reason not to better myself somehow during this next year. We know that most things in life are simply beyond our control. So, instead of worrying about things we cannot change, this is a good time to look at how we can make a difference.
 
Here’s a couple of ways we can make changes in our own lives and community:
• Be healthier: While certain diseases are incurable and some ailments cannot be prevented, there’s still plenty we can do to live a healthier lifestyle. I should lose some weight, and exercise more. Before the Christmas break, I had been swimming laps and playing water polo in the TCU pool. I’ll admit, it felt great, and I plan to continue this once the pool reopens on January 7. I just have to be determined to make a difference.
• Give back: It’s no secret that volunteering for different activities and civic organizations can enhance a person’s self-worth.  
• Get involved: Living in a small town gives local residents incredible access to government leaders. You can easily attend city council, school board or any city board meeting to voice your thoughts to local leaders. Elected officials make important decisions that directly affect you, your family and your wallet. In 2016, we elected and re-elected leaders at the city, school, county and state levels. Now it’s time to pay attention to the decisions they make and to share your input.
• Consider your own attitude and how you treat others: We have very little control of what happens around us, but we can control how you respond. Be kinder to everyone and that kindness will be returned. 
As far as the newspaper is concerned, we plan to continue delivering the best news possible to you, our readers. We hope to entertain, celebrate successes and serve as a forum for community debate. We will continue to play the role of watchdog, digging for facts behind the scenes, verifying information and pointing out the good, the bad and the ugly.
A newspaper remakes itself every day (for us every week). Every edition gives us the ability to improve, to better serve our readers and to build a better business. We can do that only with your help. Let us know what stories you would like to see in the Messenger. Have a story tip, submit it on our website montgomerymnnews.com, or email me at wade@montgomerymnnews.com, Karen Richter at karen@montgomerymnnews.com or Jake Keohen at jake@montgomerymnnews.com
 
We look forward toward a better 2017 for us all.