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by Genevieve Mellott

Some of you may have noticed that every two months since July, a little publication called Carbon Valley Life has appeared in your mailbox. And if not, let me know; I will get you the hard copies! This magazine is my dream, my baby-aside-from-my-babies. I started it this summer because it felt so timely, so needed. I needed it, too. I knew it would be tough. And I knew if I heard the word “pivot” one more time I might shoot somebody with a rubber band gun. (Those suckers are handy, by the way.) It’s no shock that the entire process of launching a COVID-timed business is, in itself, a “pivot,” so much so that I felt like I was spinning. After the first few issues, I was drowning in the guilt of not being able to nourish my “baby” with the improvement I wanted to see. After all, I thought I was Wonder Woman; to edit, layout, publish, web design, write, be HR, CEO, wife, mom, makeshift schoolteacher, and friend should be a snap, right? I wanted to help every person who lives or does business in the Carbon Valley. That goal is not lofty at all. (Insert eye roll here.) And I wasn’t reaching it.

Then it hit me. To me, this year is a lot like kale. Yes, THAT kale, the vegetable. Here’s what I mean: I want to like it. I know, oddly enough, there are aspects of it that have been good for me. But overall, it stinks, nobody really enjoys it, and its nasty flavor far outweighs the positives that may or may not come out of it. “Wow, what a pessimist!” you may be thinking. Not at all. You see, I’m thankful that I recently gave myself permission not to lie and say everything is great. My friend and coach Lida Johnson taught me that. But I will go a step further and say I cannot give myself permission to wallow in the crappiness. That ain’t cool. So, I am feeling what I feel, taking the time to assess what my family and I need, and, ugh… pivoting on to the next right thing. (Thank you, Disney’s Anna and Elsa for that life lesson.) I know that there will be times ahead that are GREAT.

What does this mean to you, my neighbors, and all the other fantastic people who have been alongside me through the past six months? It means a wonderful shift is underway. I have lingered, researched, prayed, meditated, and weighed options. I have shot nay-sayers with a rubber band gun. (Not really, but I thought about it.) Most of all, I have heard how much you love this magazine, almost as much as I love making it! What I learned is that Carbon Valley Life needs a way to focus its impact and not simply “throw stuff at the wall and see what sticks.” Another friend, co-owner of TNT Plumbing Heating & Cooling and all-around-classy gal Laura Thornton, reminded me that, while I love the printed word, my overarching goal of this publication is to unify the community and support local businesses. To best accomplish those things, beginning with the January-February issue, Carbon Valley Life will have a digital focus. Your bi-monthly issue will still be online bimonthly, your emails will still arrive every week (when you subscribe), and I will continue to modify and improve our community magazine, with your feedback.

Whether this humble little magazine reaches hundreds of people or thousands (I am putting effort toward the latter), the important thing is making a difference. I am so very thankful to the amazing writers, contributors, and advertisers who, at the very least, have made a difference in my life in this last half of a kale year. I hope we have made a difference in yours as well!