Look hard to find the benefits of unfamiliar projects

What is special to me might not mean as much to you, and that is OK.

First, though, some of my recent week as the mayor of the best small town in America.

I recently had a chance to roll from one week straight into the next helping the Seymour Swim Club with its winter invitational meet. I watched as our area youth showed how all of the hard work in practice paid off when it came time for the meet.

From the volunteer side, it also was nice to see how smoothly positions could be shuffled when they needed to be. I believe this comes from having good club leadership that made sure we had a few people trained in each position. Thank you to the Boggs family for your years of dedication to swimming in Seymour.

We finally had a chance to show off the new improvements at city hall. During our open house, visitors had a chance to see artwork with our local art exhibit. Thirty-six artists shared more than 50 pieces, from pencil drawings up to oil paintings and everything in between. This exhibit is rotating, so don’t hesitate to drop by and see what might be new.

We also had a chance to share about the remodel, things like new heating and air, LED light fixtures, ceilings, carpet and so much more.

The open house also gave a chance for visitors to chat with our department heads. Several times, I noticed community members sharing an issue in their area with the department head that can get boots on the ground to look at it.

The last piece I will share about is the dream wall located just outside my office. Grab a Post-It note from the table and jot down any dreams you have for the future of Seymour. It has been interesting watching employees stop to look for new dreams when they pass by and the conversations that have come from them. The dream wall will be up for several weeks for anyone to add to it.

I recently had a chance to proclaim Dec. 8, 2021, as YoJack Day here in Seymour. While doing so, I got to chat with our future leaders about what they had learned over the last few months during their time with Leadership Jackson County’s YoJack program. They shared about public speaking and that the little things add up to something much larger when you stick with it. I have to say thank you to YoJack for the invite.

One day last week, a memory came up on my social media that as I sat and thought about it, I ran through a full range of emotions because of how much blood, sweat and tears I had committed to getting to that moment. We had worked for years to get to it, lost friends along the way, had acquaintances become members of the family and still worked through the difficulties and obstacles to reach one of the many finish lines on that day.

I realized, though, that the full range of emotions I was reliving wasn’t the same for everyone. While some understood the benefit it would bring to our community, many didn’t or wouldn’t see it the same. It wasn’t in their history of experiences to know the use it would receive from so many different people from so many different backgrounds, that it could be a place for all to be accepted as they had a bond in the activity they were doing.

If you were a part of the circle that worked so hard to finish the Schurman-Grubb Memorial Skatepark, you probably already know we passed the eight-year anniversary of the Phase 1 ribbon cutting just a few days ago.

A little more than a year ago, we celebrated the completion of the third and final phase. My time working on the project made me a better person, as now, I look hard to see benefits even when I am not familiar with something. I look hard to understand the drive that someone brings to their topic when they speak.

Last but definitely not least, I look for how do we lay the bricks across multiple areas to serve as many as possible along the way, be it a skatepark, pickleball, Frisbee golf, ball fields a fire station or whatever the next most logical brick might be without bias.

Today, I leave you with a Pablo Picasso quote, “Everything you can imagine is real.”

Matt Nicholson is the mayor of Seymour. Send comments to [email protected]