In Artesia, many of us have the shared memories of gathering as a community to kick off a new season of football every fall at the Bulldog Bowl — the stadium is crowded, the sound of the marching band echoing loudly above the constant hum of chatter amongst fans, the smell of popcorn lingering in the air, and those Friday night lights shining.
In my opinion, the thrill and excitement circulating in our community during these special events make our town so amazing. Despite any of our differences, these games and activities present a common interest and the opportunity for us to participate as a community.
In a lot of ways, the love of the game, whether it’s for competition or just for pleasure, is integrated into our lifestyle. In our culture, games like Duck, Duck Goose and Hide ‘N Seek are introduced as early forms of play. Can we all agree that there is nothing better than the sweet smiles you get from a Peek-a-boo game with a baby? In addition to the emotional and physical benefits of play, the problem-solving and social skills that are learned through games like these are critical to early development.
As we get older, it is common for the love of the game to intensify as our skill, strength, and luck are tested. The competitive nature of games triggers our brains to release endorphins, the “feel-good” hormones that promote stress relief and overall well-being. For this reason, games are the most popular and accessible form of entertainment for every age. Whether it’s backyard games, checkers, video games, a tailgate with friends, or an episode of Wheel of Fortune, we can all agree that games make us happy!
It is always our mission to provide our readers with content that inspires and enriches the sense of community in southeast New Mexico. This issue is a collection of stories and ideas that highlight the love of the game and the communities built around these organized activities. Beyond the stories themselves, we want to encourage you with this theme of GAME ON!, a phrase that is often used to imply readiness for a challenge. When I think of it this way, I am reminded of the resilience of our community as we have adapted to many challenges in the last six months. These are hard times and everyone is feeling it in different ways. Shout out to our health care services, schools, restaurants, and local businesses that have gone above and beyond to continue serving Artesia’s residents safely. We cannot go without thanking our advertisers for their continued support of our publication; their ads in this magazine are a reflection of their shared commitment to this community.
I just can’t believe that we are already making our way into the later part of the year; something about quarantine has the days flying by! Although I will miss the freedom and enchantment of summer, I gladly welcome the lower temps and traditions the fall season has to offer. Unfortunately, the restrictions due to COVID-19 have impacted just about every aspect of daily lives including many of the organized activities and festivities that make fall so fun. As we navigate these times of uncertainty, it is so important that we try to focus on the good. In this issue of Focus on Artesia, we’ve brought you stories and ideas to do just that.
Happy Fall, y’all! Let’s make the best of it!
Jessica Addington, Editorial Director
Article originally published in Focus on Artesia 2020 Fall edition.