Change is never easy.

Over the years we get stuck in our little comfort zones and troop along amid familiarity and informality.  However, there always comes a time when change is inevitable and we must embrace it or get stuck in a rut that will eventually drag us down. We drive forward or drown.

Change helps us see the future and grow with it.  It is difficult to leave the old behind and embrace the new. We fear the things we don’t understand and the unfamiliar can be a bit alarming.

I’ve watched carefully as the Stephenville Empire-Tribune stepped back and looked at their business. No doubt them effecting change was a tough decision. They were looking at ways to make things better. They were obviously looking at ways to embrace new customers and, perhaps, technology-savvy readers.

There is no doubt in my mind their reasons and decisions were geared toward offering the area the best product possible and I watched from afar as they jumped into the transition with all feet planted firmly on solid ground.

I’ll be the first to admit I was doubtful and every part of my being was geared toward the fact I didn’t want them to change. 

I’m from the old school. I like to walk down my road, pick up my paper, carry it to the house and hold it in my hands as I sip a hot cup of tea.  I’ve liked doing that every morning since I moved here.  I never once read the paper on the internet and for me getting the paper every day was a ritual.

What was I to expect?  Now, the paper would come only two days a week instead of five and it would come by mail.  How would my daily ritual survive?  My son loves having access to the Tribune online.  He never reads a paper copy. 

I, however, wanted something to hold in my hands and I’m selfish because I want it every day.

I tried to reserve judgment and knew in my heart the paper would be good, it always has been.  It was the change I dreaded.  It was the something new and different that I didn’t want to deal with.  It was getting out of my comfort zone and I was worried about. 

Sometimes less is more. Sometimes it is in transition we discover the little things that make us special.

Remember the old adage, “Try it, you will like it!”

In their letter to the public Publisher Clarice Touhey wrote, “Change is difficult but our goal is the same.” Being a part of the Stephenville area since 1929 there is a tradition that will not be daunted. One thing is for certain the cast and crew at the Tribune planned to continue to do what they do best and that is to promote, cover, and illustrate why the Stephenville area is an awesome place to live, raise a family and pursue your lifestyle. 

I waited anxiously this past week for my paper to come.  It came in a different format and it was as I expected.  The news was there, the layout was unique and it was full of all the things I have grown to love since living here. 

I had a bit of withdrawal when I had to wait a day or two for the next issue.

However, I kept repeating, “Good things come to those who wait” and it was worth the wait. The Tribune rose elegantly to the occasion.

The change is taking some getting used to but doesn’t all change?  The difference is the same old friends are there, each issue is packed full of local news and activities taking place in the area and I see each new issue becoming better and better as the transition comes full circle.

I’ll probably never be one to read the paper on the internet but I will be one who gives the benefit of the doubt to those involved.

Congratulations to those who are working hard to make things bigger and better.  Congratulations on a tough decision to make your business model better and congratulations on jumping into it full force with the hope and promise that it will grow and get better.

With change come insight, wisdom and knowledge.

Congratulations Empire-Tribune on being a part of this community. My prayer is you will continually hold this community near and dear to your heart and be the voice we can trust and depend on.

 Melinda Clements is an E-T community columnist. She can be reached at melinda_clements@centurylink.net.