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SigMTWinter20/21

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Hayley Lenington-Leray SiG MT 10 FROM THE EDITOR try to be an optimistic, glass-half-full person, but finding a silver lining in 2020 was nothing short of challenging. Last year will likely go down in history as the one from H-E-double-hockey-sticks accompanied by the sound of Gloom and despair set to a dystopian drumbeat drowning out the rhythms of hope and happiness. We all played witness to riots, protests, impeachment tactics and a contentious election full of corruption, lies, and power plays on both sides of the aisle. Yet, 2021 arrived and the buffoonery on Capitol Hill continues. Meanwhile, the reality of life --social distancing, masking up and running business on the fly remains the status quo. Despite navigating unprecedented waters, businesses have risen to meet the challenges cast their way. Has it been easy? Not by a longshot. Have there been casualties? Unfortunately, yes, but Central Montana businesses are a community of survivors. ey (us included) have adapted, pivoted, and found ways to move forward and are emerging smarter, savvier, and stronger. And the desire to support small and local businesses is stronger than ever. I continue to see you, our readers, ask on social media, "Where can I get 'XYZ' from a local business?" Let's hope that too becomes the status quo. Optimism is a product of gratitude… that feeling we get when we see something we have or were given and recognize that we are not entitled to it. Regardless, it came our way. at humility we feel is gratitude. I stumbled across the following story and it touched me so much I felt compelled to share. Mrs. Jones, a beautiful, well-versed 83-year-old lady, fully dressed every morning at 8 am sharp, hair done in notable fashion with perfectly applied makeup, was moving to a retirement home. Her husband recently died, motivating her to make the move. While patiently waiting several hours in the hall of the retirement home, she smiled sweetly when told her room was ready. As she maneuvered her walker toward the elevator, she was given a detailed description of her small room, including the curtains adorning each window. ′ I love it," she said, with the enthusiasm of an 8-year-old girl who was just handed a new pet. "Mrs. Jones. you haven't seen the room yet," said the caretaker. "It doesn't maer," she replied. "Happiness is something you decide over time. Whether or not I like my room doesn't depend on how the furniture is arranged, it depends on how I arrange my mind," she added. "I've already decided I like it. It's a decision I make every morning when I wake up. I have the choice; I can spend the day in bed, inventorying the body parts that don't work so well anymore, or get out of bed and be thankful for the ones that do work," shared Mrs. Jones. Every day is a gi, and, as long as my eyes open, I will focus on the new day and the happy memories I've stored just for this time in my life. Regardless of what 2020 delivered, we all have something to be grateful for. And when we feel gratitude, optimism is always a ready and willing participant. I do know the sun will continue to rise, and while we don't know what the year ahead holds, I hope this issue of Signature MT provides you with inspiration to stay hopeful and inspired. Hayley Lenington-Leray, editor hleray@winston-publishing.com S MT I

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