Welcoming 2018 is more than just a day, it’s all the welcoming of all the happenings that take place within the year as well.

Welcoming 2018 is more than just a day, it’s all the welcoming of all the happenings that take place within the year as well. It’s true some of these things are already predetermined and we are already awaiting their arrival: holidays, graduations, weddings, birthdays and more. This happens in our city as well—I just opened up the Buttered Corn Days folder for 2018 today. The beauty in the anticipation of these events is that we know the planning and general routine of them. But I want to touch on the events and happenings that we do not yet know are in our future. If I’ve learned anything in this position in the past year, it’s that pleasant surprises are always around the corner; new businesses, new leaders, new opportunities and the potential to grow. I’ve also been blindsided by some unexpected issues as well, but even out of those, unexpected forces have stepped up to create possibilities that may not have been known had everything gone smoothly.

Recently, I was able to experience a theatrical production about our founding fathers that made me truly appreciate those who are willing to step forward and see beyond today, tomorrow, this year and the years to come. Those who are fully aware that they themselves may never reap the rewards of their actions—but it is for those generations to come that they plan, argue, compromise and dream. Last year, we here at the Chamber, had a challenge to our businesses and community to become comfortable with being uncomfortable, as a change was beginning to happen: A new hotel, a new event center, new businesses, event expansions, new committees and new visions for the ‘look’ of our town. We are fortunate to be living in a time where our area boards and committees are all anxious to create something here in Sleepy Eye bigger than today, tomorrow or this year. They are looking to build and foster a vision of this city for future generations to prosper and thrive in, whether they are here to see it through to fruition or not. There are some who would choose to wait for progress to happen and there are those who grab up opportunities and blow us all away with what transpires.

2018 looks to be another ‘uncomfortable’ year. Now that you’ve had a year to adjust and acclimate to the pace, it is our hope that this year you’ll get to enjoy the foresight and visions of a growing Sleepy Eye.