Winter lends itself to reevaluation. The short days tweak moods with weak light. The low-hanging sun asks, “when I am back, what will we do? Where will we go? And how will it be better?”

This morning, a cloudless winter sky is filtered to a blueish-gray by my window shades. In my unheated office, I can see my breath. The space heater, six inches to my left, sends a weak breeze creating one hot spot on my left thigh. On my desk I see a discarded Koozie from warmer days. I see a brochure from an acupuncturist, an unidentified key, scissors, two identical notebooks, several scraps of paper with hieroglyphics scribbled on them and a precarious pile of wrinkly receipts.

I keep all of this out of fear. Old phone numbers (often with no name associated). Miscellaneous notes. Business cards. Lists. Never in my life do I recall referring back to any of this detritus, yet I still hold on. I worry it will be only after I throw that anonymous number away that it will occur to me it was vital to my very survival. ‘Oh yeah, that was that guy’s phone number. Well, I am as good as dead now.’

“You should let me help you organize yourself,” my loving wife, an Olympic-level organizer, often says. She knows exactly how much our electric bill was two Januarys ago because it is filed under Electric Bill. But here is a word to The Organized from The Disorganized: Organize us today and the slightest breeze will blow us off course tomorrow.

“You just start from zero with every issue, don’t you?” Chris Brussat, this magazine’s copy editor said, shaking his head in humored disbelief. I am certain Chris knows exactly where his birth certificate and social security card are at any given moment.

“How else would I do it?”

“You plan. You have templates for the whole year. You just plug in content as it is produced.”

Well, here is the problem, Planner Pants: The future me will
undoubtedly not like any template the present me produces. Thus
I would be doing it twice. Plus, I find a lack of planning very
motivating.

I don’t say this aloud. My brain synapses don’t quite connect. It feels like there is a Sparkler sizzling in my skull. What I think is: ‘That is a great idea that I will never do.’

Oh, how 2016 could be different, though. I will file things. I will plan. Map. And list. I will be emotionally consistent, grounded and at ease. I will see four, five and six issues ahead. I will glide through my universe with crystal clear clarity. Or not.

I once found my car keys in our refrigerator. My phone in our chicken coop. In 2014, I hid a portable hard drive for safekeeping and, to this day, cannot remember where I hid it. The me who put it there apparently left and has yet to return.

But there is one thing I don’t seem to lose, and that is my perspective. Consistently present here is the me that is grateful for everybody who makes this magazine possible. Every single one of you. Rachel Turiel, Michelle Ellis and the above-mentioned Chris Brussat – all of whom, issue after issue, turn nothing into something special. Thank you to our writers (we are hard on you), our photographers (you deal with high, yet unexpressed, expectations) and our fastidious distributors. Thank you to our loyal and growing readership. And our advertisers who believe in print journalism and our stubborn philosophy. We thank you.

So where do we go from here? How will we be better? We trust that good stories have universal appeal. And we feel an obligation to keep meeting expectations – ours and yours. So that is our plan – to simply continue to mine our region for narrative gold and improve on ourselves.

We have already had one planning meeting for 2016, which is one more than we had last year. Of course it included beer.

We hashed out future story ideas and I took copious notes. I know they are around here somewhere.

Rick Scibelli, Jr., Edible Southwest Colorado