It's getting towards the holidays, and you know the new year will be here before you know it. And with that, comes all kinds of end of the year lists, looking back at what was and looking forward to what will be. I'm kind of in that mood as well.  At first I thought, "Well, a lot of crazy stuff happened this year, maybe I'll write about that...." But then I realized that I don't want to revel in negativity.  Not now.  It's time for something positive.

So, I started thinking about all the good stuff that has happened in my life over the stretch of time I've been here. I've lived in Sedalia a good chunk of years, and things certainly have changed. Sometimes we look at who we are now and miss some aspects of our past, but there are a lot of things that have changed us for the better.

1.  Businesses have grown and expanded. 

Sure, not every place stays open forever, but when you think back, we've gotten a lot of stuff in the past few years. Just this year alone we've got at least four construction projects going - and that's just on Broadway.  We're growing and changing and getting bigger, and, dare I say, better. And some places are renovating, moving to bigger spaces, and improving their technology. Have you seen the new Sedalia Animal Shelter? It's like a night and day improvement.

2.  Traffic is moving a little easier. 

Now of course, when traffic is particularly bad, it always feels like a mess. But I really think that the blinking turn lights along Broadway has been a real improvement. And I also like the roundabout on 16th, and I also like the medians the main intersection on Limit. It adds a little more structure, and makes it a little harder for bad drivers to break the rules. Do they manage to do it anyway? Sure, sometimes. But it's not as if there's a ton of chaos.

3.  Our Charity Efforts Are Increasing. 

Look at how many people volunteered and donated to different causes this year. Especially around the holidays, everybody wants to help everyone else. I have seen so many families get a little help with Community Santa, and the Missouri Valley Community Action Agency Head Start program were able to help more families than ever.  Several times on Facebook I've seen individuals simply ask for help and dozens of people will respond with whatever they can. Our kids are out volunteering and participating in all sorts of community programs. They stay active with sports and music and continue to improve graduation numbers.

4.  Our Events Are Getting Bigger. 

From the Missouri State Fair to Tough Mudder to the Child Safe Easter Egg Hunt to even our Kidabloo, there have been more fun events popping up left right and center here in Sedalia.  There have been huge craft shows, bazzars, poker runs, races, walk/runs, live music, wine strolls, car shows, and so much more. I love to see people get together and celebrate, and I think most of Sedalia agrees.

Are we perfect? Of course not. We've got our problems. And sure, we've got stuff we need to work on - real problems that won't be easily solved. But I think it's just so easy to get bogged down in what's wrong, that we forget what's right.

Improvingly yours,