Beyond the Byline: Let 2018 be a year of growth for all of us

Beyond the Byline - Geri Gibbons

As a reporter, I have had many opportunities to interview candidates who have lost an election, and I must say …. it’s been inspiring.

Without fail (at least in my experience), the candidates have been gracious in their concession and committed to continuing to serve their community in any way possible.

Many have, in that moment of failure or loss, begun to plan for the future.

It reminds me of a recent trip I took to see a Christmas play in Bloomsburg.

My GPS (I’ve named her Lillian) kept telling me to get off the exit, but I was singing “Silver Bells” and missed the exit.

Lillian didn’t get upset and tell me, “Well, you’ve failed to get off the exit, and now you’re on your own.” Instead, she quietly went into “rerouting” mode, so I could get where I was going.

It may have taken a little longer, but I made it to the Bloomsburg Theater to see “A Christmas Carol” with a few minutes to spare.

None of us is perfect and we all fall short some time. Determined to get on our treadmill everyday, we sleep in and eat chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast. Committed to reading the classics, instead we binge watch Netflix for an afternoon. Hoping to eat healthy, we forgo kale for a Klondike bar.

Our success comes in continuing to move forward. In forgiving ourselves, we are empowered to move forward.

When my grandson Nicholas took his first steps, my daughter Kelly called to tell me he was well on his way to walking. She sent me videos and I got reports from other family members.

Kelly didn’t need to tell me that Nicholas fell down a hundred times in his attempt to master toddling. We celebrated that he was moving forward, doing better with each attempt.

Now at 2, Nicholas not only walks, but runs, jumps and occasionally attempts to fly from the couch to a nearby cushion, taking my breath away.

When my daughter Caitlyn was learning to drive, I prayed a lot, not only for her, but for all the other drivers in the Greater Pittston area.

As she recently reminded me, I used to grip the seat often and struggle to keep my eyes open as I tried to encourage her to not slam on the brakes, to anticipate other traffic and perhaps turn down the radio.

Now, Caitlyn has been up and down the West Coast and doing very well behind the wheel.

Because she was allowed to fail, she succeeded.

Failure, I remind my children, is never final.

I was reminded of this last week when I arrived for church to sit beside my son Christopher.

“They asked me to pray today,” he said.

​Chris went through some difficult times in the last few years, but as he made his way to the altar, prayer in hand, I considered him a complete success.

When he arrived back to his seat, he asked, “How’d I do?”

“You did perfect,” I said, “Really, perfect.”

As the New Year approaches, I hope we craft our resolutions with a bit of grace. Perhaps, we won’t run a mile a day, but we’ll take the steps instead of the elevator.

Perhaps we may still spend a few extra minutes on the phone with our best friend when we could be cleaning, but we’ll make an effort to refrain from gossip and criticism of others.

I know 2018 won’t be a year of perfection. That would be unrealistic, but I believe it will be a year of growth — for all of us.

Beyond the Byline

Geri Gibbons

Geri Gibbons is a resident of West Wyoming and a correspondent for the Sunday Dispatch. Reach her at 570-655-1418 or by email at

Geri Gibbons is a resident of West Wyoming and a correspondent for the Sunday Dispatch. Reach her at 570-655-1418 or by email at