This is the latest in an occasional series of blog posts commenting on impending retirement.
The older I get the more I learn about myself.
One of things I am learning is how adaptable I have become. Actually, I’ve know about the adaptability for some time. My family and I moved from Oregon — where I grew up and spent most of my first 34 years on Earth — to Texas. I adapted just fine.
My journalism career brought tremendous change over the course of 37 years. In August 2012, when I started sensing my days were numbered at the Amarillo Globe-News, where I worked for more than 17 years, I fell back on my last line of defense in an effort to keep my job in the face of a reorganization scheme. I told my employer: “You’re asking me to make changes in the way I do things. Well, my craft today bears next to zero resemblance to what it was when I began, so the changes you’re asking me to make amount to a tiny fraction of the change I’ve already gone through.”
That pitch didn’t work. They assigned my duties to someone else and I walked away.
Adaptability: That’s my middle name, yes?
Well, I have found a whole new world of new things to which I can adapt.
I’m still writing. This blog is one outlet. I also am writing for Panhandle PBS — the Amarillo College-based public TV station formerly known as KACV-TV. I blog about public affairs programming: PBS documentaries, news specials, Panhandle PBS’s “Live Here” public affairs program. It’s a blast, man. I’ve taken on another writing assignment, for KFDA-NewsChannel 10. I write for the station’s website — newschannel10.com — and they use those news stories as the basis for weekly on-air broadcasts. That, too, is big-time hoot.
Now I’m taking on another task. Let’s call it “managing editor in absentia” for the Quay County Sun in Tucumcari, N.M. I’ve been asked to assist in producing the paper each week — from my home, using my laptop, cell phone and e-mail communication with a reporter who’ll produce the text. I’ve implored my friend, David Stevens — who works as executive editor for the parent company that also publishes daily papers in Clovis and Portales, N.M. — to please keep looking aggressively for a permanent managing editor. He assures me he will.
But you see, what I’ve discovered is that there really is a market out there for old guys with (lots of) gray in their hair.
I still am looking forward to retirement, although it’s looking less likely that I’m a candidate for The Pasture any time soon.
My wife and I still have plans — eventually — to relocate closer to our granddaughter and her parents, who live just a bit north of Dallas. I hope to take much of my work with me, if it’s possible. The Internet Age has made that kind of transition available, even to old guys like me.
They have that saying about hindsight’s perfect vision. Our foresight remains quite fuzzy.
Neither my wife nor I ever could have imagined this stage of our life together turning out this way.
Hey, everyone needs some surprises in life.
Adaptability makes it easier to cope with them when they show up.