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A year of firsts

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It completely snuck up on me — Shortsfest, that is.
In addition to being one of the myriad film fests that help make the Valley’s arts scene so vibrant, it represents a sort of anniversary for me: covering Shortsfest 2017 was my first “special to The Sopris Sun.” Since then, of course, my byline has been upgraded to “staff.”
The adage about time feeling like it’s moving faster as you age has been ringing especially true for me lately. Where has the time gone? Has it really been a year since I started contributing to The Sun? Yes, yes it has. And what a year it has been.
It turns out there is some science behind why we experience time more quickly when we’re older. One of the reasons for that phenomenon is because humans tend to catalogue time retroactively — and our brains tend to put much more emphasis on highlighting new experiences than the familiar. Time spent travelling feels much more pivotal because every day included something new and exciting! There’s even a name for it: the holiday paradox. Meanwhile, more mundane weeks heading between the office and home tend to blend together because there’s nothing in particular that stands out for our brains to file away in the memory bank.
When we’re young, we’re constantly acquiring new skills, navigating new friendships and are generally brighter-eyed and bushier-tailed. As we age, we settle in. We nuzzle up to the familiar, (hopefully) more comfortable in our own selves. As such, we’re often taken aback to learn that it’s been a year already or even five.
At first, this depressed me. But there’s another way we perceive time: as it’s happening. Perhaps my year has seemed to move so quickly not because I’ve become complacent in my day-to-day routines but because of precisely the opposite. While new experiences seem to occupy a larger ratio of our memories, those moments move in rapid succession as they’re occurring — hence the saying, “The days are long, but the years are short.”
When I take the rare moment to sit back and reflect on the year, I realize it’s been chock full of new experiences, each of them a blast. I started freelancing for The Sopris Sun. Then I became staff. Then we started our weekly radio show on KDNK: “Everything Under the Sun.” I’d never done radio before, and it is so much fun. Through it all, I’ve gotten to know so many of the wonderful people and organizations that make Carbondale, well, Carbondale. And I get the distinct honor of telling those stories — sometimes I have to pinch myself, I’m having so much fun with it all.
And now, this week, I get to add another “first” to the list: the editorial staff will be taking our first trek as a team to the Colorado Press Association convention in Colorado Springs this week, April 12-15. The Sopris Sun has been nominated for a few awards, even, so stay tuned in that regard. Our website may very well become “award winning,” as could a few of the photographs published in our humble pages (shoutouts to Jane Bachrach and Mark Burrows on that front).
No matter what happens at the awards ceremony, though, I’m confident it’ll be over too soon. Because, it turns out, time flies when you’re having fun. The takeaway? Keep packing in memories that make life go by for the right reasons.

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