When I first got the word that I was going to be unemployed I thought “I could use the break”.
At the end of my tenure I was tired. The last year, and especially the last 6 months, were stressful. It felt like I was trapped in slow motion. Everything was a long, hard push against increasing resistance. By the summer I had a pretty good idea that the end was coming. When I got into that final six month stretch the only thing that stood between me and the realization that it was over was my basic optimism. I wanted to believe that I still had the chance to turn things around, that we could find the solution to make it work. The deeper into that final phase I got the thinner that hope became. Please know that I’m not angry, that I’m not saying that I was treated unfairly. (Honestly, my wife and daughter are a lot more upset about the ending than I am). I have my frustrations with the process that came at the end but I can’t disagree with the conclusion.
It was time to move on.
At the end of 13 years and with all that pressure in those final months I was ready to sit out for a little while. The chance to slow down, gather myself, rest. January turned out to be very busy. A long drive to Missouri. Seven interviews in three days while I was there. Home for just a couple days then off and running on another trip. Home for ten days or so and then an unexpected trip when there was a death in the family. So the break has been pretty busy so far. The schedule stretching ahead into the rest of February looks much quieter.
In the times that I’ve had for a break I’ve been trying to prepare for whatever comes next. One of the things that happens while your busy living a life is that a variety of “stuff” builds up. Stuff that you plan on dealing with “later”. You’ll get to it someday but someday never comes. Well, someday is here.
So I’m taking the audio recordings that I amassed during my broadcast career and digitizing them. For some of those recordings it’s too late. The cassettes have deteriorated so badly that they can’t be salvaged. There are years of VHS tapes of family events and professional appearances. They’re being rendered digitally as well. While those are taking care of themselves (once you get them started you can pretty much walk away) I take care of the other more mundane details of life. I need to keep myself up (that is such a HUGE thing in the process of staying motivated and working) and the upkeep on the house. Feeding the cats and dealing with their issues. There’s plenty to do.
I’ve come to realize that I need to find ways to get OUT of the house as well. The cold and snow that have marked most of the beginning of this year haven’t helped in that pursuit. It’s clear that keeping in contact with humanity is important. So I make sure that I go to church, that I meet with folks when I can.
This break thing has turned out to be pretty complicated. I am starting to feel better, though. How do I know? Because I’m starting to get the itch to get back at it.
Whatever it turns out to be.
And I’ll keep you up to date on how that goes.