Happy Birthday to me! Yep, today is my birthday. As I write this column, I have actually taken a couple days off. At least away from the office. As a one person editorial department, I am never really “off” work. I have no life, except work.

So, please, before you start to gripe or complain about something that you haven’t seen reported on in the paper, keep in mind that I am the only person who is actually employed in the editorial department of The Sun Times. Yes, I have a few stringers who take the load off of me to some degree. Thank God for them. It is because of them that more local news gets to be in the paper. There still has to be someone who puts it all together, which would be me. This is in addition to covering so many events that occur in this county. As I hear all the time, “You are everywhere!”. That would be the truth. Just over the last week, this is what my schedule has been: on Thursday I was at the Business Expo all day, Friday morning I went to Quitman to cover students giving blankets to The CALL, then to the Ozark Trail Festival which lasted all day until about 10 p.m., Saturday morning I covered Paws at the Beach at 8 a.m., then went to the parade, followed by the Dog Show (while my photographer stringer covered the pageants), thanks to my photographer stringer, Christina Cox I was able to go home at about 3:30 p.m. I clocked nearly 60 hours last week. Some people still think that isn’t enough. Seriously? As I sit here in a hotel room. I have clocked nearly 30 hours this week (and it is Wednesday night when I’m typing this column). Oh, and I’m on vacation.

Some of the best parts of my job are that I am totally mobile. I can work from anywhere. It can also be some of the bad parts of my job. I’m never completely off work. I receive around 100-125 emails a day. Every day. I have literally spent nearly an entire day dealing with email. Many of them are just like junk mail in your mailbox. They still have to be dealt with though. Because I worked at two other newspapers before I came here, I still receive emails that are meant for those two papers, so there again I have to forward those emails to the proper person.

I’ve said all this so that maybe the next time you want to gripe to me or one of my friends because I haven’t been able to be at four places at the same time, or pictures of an event are in the paper a week or sometimes more after the event, keep in mind I do two papers a week, practically by myself and only have 12 pages to work in, which really amounts to about four or five pages of actual editorial copy to fill.

In our social media times it is very easy to sit at home, on a computer or on your phone and judge others who maybe you don’t even know. It is far more difficult to step back and put yourselves in someone else’s shoes. It is even more difficult to just stop looking for something wrong (in your opinion) and look for what is done right. However, it is more rewarding and makes you a better person. Think about it.

Oh, and by the way, I’ll be spending the evening of my birthday and the next day as well with the one person who makes everything negative I have to deal with, out of my mind. Yes, I’m talking about my grandson who will be two next Wednesday. For him, work gets put on the backburner.

Until next time...