It might seem a little too sentimental to consider a new coat as anything other than that. It is just going to keep me warm during the winter and into the spring months.
What perhaps came with it, though, was a sort-of sense of empowerment. Or maybe it is a sense of professionalism, a feeling of slimness, I might have been lacking before.
I keep going back in my head to when I switched out the regular necktie for my dad's bolo tie almost a year ago. This was a change that, in turn, was a sign of the times; a recognition that COVID-19 was disrupting all of our routines and our expectations. I suggested that it became a kind of signifier of a laid-back, fly-on-the-wall reporter.
"(A regular tie) wasn't going to add any more meaning or authority to my reporting," I wrote. " ... A crucial part of this job is not taking yourself too seriously on the outside."
This new London Fog coat I got for Christmas goes against this in a way. However, I don't intend for it to be symbolic (that's probably more for college literature courses).
Rather, the coat has inspired me to look to what 2021 can have in store -- even with the greater uncertainties we still face, whether virus or socio-politically related. I say there's never a dull moment in this job. This equally applies to the course of a year.
"May you live in interesting times," or so the apocryphal "Chinese curse" warns us.
2021, though, signals growth on my part as a professional and a community member. It is a harbinger, a calling, of indeed taking myself more seriously in different ways.
One new experience for me will be with the Putnam County Hospice and Palliative Care Association (PCHPCA). I will specifically be chairing our Community Education Committee, through which we will committed to increasing overall awareness of, knowledge of and comfort with planning for hospice and/or palliative care options.
After being a member of the PCHPCA's Professional Education Committee, I am excited to take on this leadership role and get some great ideas rolling for the future.
Should things remain on track, I should be set to complete my online journalism master's degree this coming summer. I'm looking forward to finally getting this plot hole under me and going further. I'm actually looking into a grant writing certification.
These are just a few of the good events I hope will come my way into this new year.
I want to expand on things that I learned and realized in 2020. At the same time, I am looking forward to getting back to covering the dialogue beyond my beat. I still want to live in those interesting times; and as they come, I want to be as involved as I can be.
The coat is a new look for confidence to be a better professional and a greater person.
I will still be right here at the Banner Graphic, doing what I love and getting out and meeting new people and challenges. Come hell or high water, I'm just ready to get at it.