My friends pepper me with questions all the time about what I used to do for a living.
One question recurs more often than you might think: Do you miss the old days when you were under constant deadline pressure?
My answer might surprise you. At one level, I do miss the pressure; it was how I made my living, which turned out to provide a nice lifestyle for my wife, my sons and for me.
I miss the being asked to make a phone call or three to subjects of our newspaper reporting and commentary and to get a comment from them. Our sense of fairness in reporting required us to get the point of view of the individual being examined. So, we did … or, shall I say, I did.
That was then. The present day provides a whole new environment for newspaper reporters and editors. The pressure comes from media we don’t yet understand. At the end of my joyous ride as a full-time journalist, I was working for a company that owned that Amarillo Globe-News that did not grasp what it needed to compete in this new media age.
The result was chaos and confusion and we all had to deal with it in the trenches.
I do not miss that part of the craft I pursued with great joy and fulfillment.
My life has taken on a different meaning in my semi-retirement phase. My blog keeps me busy commenting on issues of the day, on various slices of life and lately, of course, on a personal journey I am undertaking as I search for an end to the tragic darkness that has shrouded me since February.
While I surely miss many aspects of the life I once knew, other aspects of that life are better left for others to pursue.
I had one hell of a ride for much of the time on the front line of daily journalism. Now, though, the journey toward places unknown awaits. I intend to be ready for whatever the future brings.