I admitted something to friends that I want to share with you here.
The admission was that I tend to wallow too much with the negative aspects of my departure from a career I enjoyed and I devote too little conscious attention to all the good times, the fun and the rewards that the career bestowed on me … and my precious family.
I’ve share with you already on this blog about the sudden end of my career. I was a victim of the changes that are overtaking — and overwhelming, in some instances — print journalism. I was angry at the publisher to whom I reported and to the corporate execs who have bungled the transition from traditional print journalism to something called a “digital presence.”
I have tended to look too much at that sequence and looking too little at the preceding joy I had pursuing the craft of journalism.
I have counted my blessings to be sure. This career I pursued for 37 years sent me around the world: to Europe, Asia, Latin America. It allowed me to visit my ancestral homeland in southern Europe and enabled me to return to where I served in the Army in Vietnam.
My craft put me in front of some of the most interesting, compelling and powerful people on Earth. I got to interview Vice President Dan Quayle; a former U.S. president, George W. Bush; one of the country’s most dynamic business tycoons, H. Ross Perot; U.S. senators and members of the House of Representatives; two Texas governors; a sitting U.S. senator from Oregon.
My career allowed me to attend two presidential nominating conventions, giving me the chance to experience up close the unique and occasionally strange process of selecting individuals who would campaign for the world’s most significant and powerful public office.
I took an extraordinary plane ride over the summit of an erupting volcano, Mount St. Helens. I stood in the same room, about 50 feet away, with Nelson Mandela, one of history’s most dynamic individuals.
My career journey enabled me to chronicle the stories affecting communities in suburban Portland, Ore., along the Texas Gulf Coast and in the Texas Panhandle.
I learned how to work in a darkroom. I chased sheriff’s deputies on a high-speed response to a serious motor vehicle accident in Clackamas County, Ore. I reported on an Oregon judge whose judicial temperament came into question.
And all along the way, I made lasting friendships with dedicated professional photo and print journalists who taught me about life and offered lessons on how to do my job better. We shared laughs and sorrow together. I will never forget those with whom I had the honor of knowing.
My intent from this day forward is to think more of the ups and think far less of the downers. I want to share these blessings today on the week we prepare to give thanks for our blessings.
Man, I’ve got a lifetime of them.