‘You are all part of my village’

Thankful for family, friends, co-workers, community
Kim Pytleski at the Oconto Falls Community Library
Greg Mellis | NEW Media
Kim Pytelski

I have so much in my life to be thankful for; I live a truly blessed life. I have a family I love and I live in an area that brings me joy. When I was asked to write about why I give thanks, the message that kept coming back to me was that I give thanks each and every day for the people in my life.

I am thankful for the family I was born into, the family I married into, the family I created, my work family, and my community family. You are all part of my village. It’s the people in my village for which I am most thankful.

Each morning after starting the coffee, I read a daily reflection in the hope that it will inspire me to be my best self that day. A recent reflection was a quote by Matthew Kelly, “We are at our best when we give thanks.” I have found that when I have a heart full of gratitude, I am then the best version of myself.

While my life often feels so busy, it is a fairly simple one: work, community activities, and my family. That may not sound glamourous, but that schedule puts me in contact with people every day — and I like people.

People are often in search of deeper connections. While deep connections are wonderful, it is the simple act of connecting that fills me with joy and gratitude. Look around our community and you will see those connections everywhere. Small towns offer a special blessing of multi-generational connections. It’s a complicated tapestry of people woven together creating the moments for which I give thanks.

I love the half-hour after church talking with people until my family threatens to make me walk home. I love stopping by the library, going to Witt’s, walking into St. Clare’s, or attending a sporting event. I have an extended family in so many pockets of this small town community. My favorite thing about living here is that no matter where I go, there’s always a connection.

I give thanks for being able to kiss my family each morning and ask God to bless their day. I give thanks for having a job where I not only love the work but the people. I give thanks for living in a small town. Those blessings are my life, but it is the little pockets of people in this community that create the village that I so dearly love. I am most thankful for the people.

So when you see me around town, let’s talk. It will make my day. You will leave me with a smile and a heart full of gratitude for being part of this community. For all of these things, I give thanks.



Kim Pytleski is the Oconto County Clerk.