Helter-skelter would be an accurate description of the past few weeks. And indeed, various staff members can and will attest to a high degree of grousing issuing forth from my office. Without question, I've been gruff and grouchy—and frankly, feeling sorry for myself—as I found myself planning a new editorial calendar, participating in a sales meeting and hiring two new staff member...
Helter-skelter would be an accurate description of the past few weeks. And indeed, various staff members can and will attest to a high degree of grousing issuing forth from my office. Without question, I've been gruff and grouchy—and frankly, feeling sorry for myself—as I found myself planning a new editorial calendar, participating in a sales meeting and hiring two new staff members, beside my customary workload. I was also trying to squeeze in a family trip and make arrangements for my son to enter kindergarten, so you might argue I had grounds for being a curmudgeon. But amid the rush to get this issue out the door, I had to pause to think about what I would write this month—a task not lightly taken, as this issue would coincide with the anniversary of the events of Sept. 11.
I consider myself no sage, nor humorist, but the words of my wife's aunt, whom I had the occasion to visit recently in this chaotic run, hit me like a ruler square across the knuckles. Aunt Mary, who happens to be a retired nun (and actually, she's one the sweetest women I've known—and I'm not just saying that to not get hit)—asked me about the magazine. On the one hand, she advised me to add a joke or cartoon to the book, but she also asked me if I had the opportunity to write anything inspirational. Talk about masterful use of good Catholic guilt!
As editor of this magazine, I am privileged to communicate important messages and commentary, thus it falls upon my shoulders to have something meaningful to say. But in contemplating the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, it was difficult until I put my ego aside in favor of wisdom. By the time many of you read this column, you'll probably have been overwhelmed with 9/11 coverage and tributes, so there's really nothing I can add, except this: Despite the fact that I've felt I've had an onerous past few weeks, it's nothing recalling the pain and loss the families of those who left us a year ago felt and are feeling now. If anything, Sept. 11 is a day of thanksgiving. It makes me cherish the fact that I'm still alive, that I can take my son to his kindergarten orientation, and that I'm lucky enough to be in a vocation where I can make a difference if I choose to stop whining and do something about it.
With this issue, we've tried to be sensitive to the media blitz surrounding this tragic anniversary, and indeed present something that builds off the event as opposed to sensationalizing it. The path we've chosen focuses on airport security and what engineers today can do to help prevent such hijackings from occurring in the future.
In reflecting back on my aunt's advice, I don't know how inspiring this column was or the cover story will be, but hopefully, we've left you with renewed perspective.
P.S. Fond farewell to Jeromie Winsor, our junior editor, and Vicky Bellisario, our art director. Both are "daring to be great" in that Jeromie has enrolled in graduate school to become an urban planner, and Vicky is starting her own business. Good luck to both. We'll miss their fine work and companionship.