Last weekend, I and the many students in my cohort, finished up our last assignments for our MBA through the University of Wyoming’s online program.
The relief was palpable and I took the evening to barbecue and enjoy a cold brew.
Then, as I imagine many of my classmates did as well, I wondered what the heck I’d do with all of the free time I now have. I organized the books I’ve been buying over the last two years, arranging them in the order I want to read them. I started working my way through the seemingly endless stack of magazines that has accumulated on my desk. I started planning weekend hiking and backpacking trips.
I also started thinking about all of the folks who helped me make it through the two-year MBA program.
My husband has been patient and put up with me when I had to do homework instead of anything more fun.
My friends practiced patience when I had to bail on social events in order to finish an assignment.
My co-workers covered for me when I was stressed or tired.
Thinking through all of those people, it isn’t just me who will earn that degree. It’s all of them, too.
At one point, a friend of mine was hitting a rough patch. Another friend in that same circle printed off a group selfie of our circle and framed it. The frame had two photo slots. One holds the photo of our little group. The other displays a photo of the Bighorns and the words, “Together we climb.”
Never has that phrase been more true to me than in the last couple of years. Every time I or a friend is presented with a challenge — a mountain to climb — I can look at that frame and be reassured that none of us are in this alone.
That is true at work — nobody can put a newspaper out every day 100 percent by themselves.
It’s true at home — we all rely on family, friends, pets or others to accomplish tasks in our personal lives.
It’s also true as a community, which is apparent in the vast number of nonprofits and philanthropists that live right here in Sheridan. Nearly any worthy cause can find supporters in Sheridan. You can see that in the number of events that benefit local nonprofits and the variety of causes those organizations champion — solving child hunger, creating and supporting local food sources, outdoor activities, preservation of our history and our outdoor amenities. The list goes on and on.
None of those things, though, can be tackled alone.
If you ever need a bit of inspiration, stop by my office and take a look at the framed photos and remember, “Together we climb.”