COMMENTARY

A True Labor of Love

Joshua Shaham, Cathy Whims and Hilary Berg talk pizza and passion at Nostrana in Portland.  Photo by Andrea Johnson.

By Hilary Berg, OWP Editor

When I graduated college with a journalism degree, I wasn’t sure what the future might hold. I hoped to find a job — any job in my field would do — but one that satisfied me would be the ultimate.

Boy, did I luck out. I LOVE my job.

The reasons for my level of employment enjoyment are many. As Shakespeare once wrote, “How do I love thee? Let me count the ways…”

1. People: Both in the office and otherwise, I work with some of the most diligent people I know. They are also genuine and love the creative process as much as I do. I treasure their friendship and respect their ability to excel, month in and month out.

2. Content: Wine? Are you kidding me? It doesn’t get any better than that. I could be working for an accounting publication — my worst nightmare — or one about car repair — okay, I probably wouldn’t land the job, but you get my point: Wine suits me just fine.

3. Location: I come to work in the quaintest of downtowns. McMinnville has small-town charm, fantastic restaurants and lots of coffee shops to choose from — essential for quality work. It also has some entertaining parades that pass right by my window — the alien parade tops my list. 

Being happy at your job is essential to overall satisfaction with life. I learned this from my dad who just retired after 42 years as an engineer at Cessna. He loved his job and took pride in what he did.

Which brings me to a recent discovery: Whether you design airplanes, lay out a magazine or throw dough, you should take pride in what you do. I was reminded of this important lesson during this month’s cover photo shoot.

The man tossing the pizza dough, Joshua Shaham, loves his job. Whether the picture translates his satisfaction, I could tell his pride by watching him in action. I was there with photographer Andrea Johnson and writer Kerry Newberry — two big reasons I love my job — as he expertly fired the dough into the air and paddled it into the flames. His sense of confidence was apparent, and his lively participation in the shoot made it fun to watch.

I complimented his technique. His response? “I take pride in my work.”

At that moment, a connection was made — whether he knew it or not. I related to his excitement in creating something people enjoy.

The pizza was amazing, one of the best I have ever had. Of course, I credit the talented Cathy Whims, but I do believe Jason’s passion — and skill — made it one to remember.

My hope is that as you read OWP, my dedication for this publication is reflected throughout the pages.

I truly love what I do. It’s a real labor of love. 

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