Life Outside the News Room

I'm running through a field of new spring grass, the sun is shining. No one else is in sight and the only sounds I hear are the chirping of birds and rustling of leaves in a gentle breeze. A dream? A flashback to a childhood?

No. It's me. Today at 50-something, untethered and in control of my time; time I never used to have, or at least time I seemed to be chasing from the moment I awoke until the moment I would finally and fitfully fall asleep..for a few hours. It's time I'm enjoying while most others, in the working world, are madly attacking their treadmills, the metaphoric ones in the work place and the real ones, in search of fitness (?) in their basements or local gyms.

I've learned there's another kind of fitness other than cut musculature and flat tummies. It's the mental and spiritual kind you don't get on a treadmill. I've found it in quiet times and easy conversation.

It may be hard for most of us to believe at the time, but life actually goes on outside the work place. In our own individual working worlds we tend to think that all that matters unfolds where we are. Yet while I had been tied up "making news" all those days, all those weeks and months and years, real life was happening off community halls, neighourhoods, mains streets and even open fields behind high schools. A conversation in the park between dog owners, while their charges sniff and play; a greeting in the grocery store that last last more than a few seconds; a lesson learned about someone or something; smiles!

Every morning now I read the whole newspaper, I drink ALL my tea and when I go into my closet and look at the rows and rows of my "on-air" suit jackets and high heels, I choose runners and yoga pants... Don't get me wrong I still clean up well and don the "anchor" hair for special occasions, like this Saturday's Hummingbird Ball for the Juravinski Cancer Centre.

An expert on the medicinal value of humour once told me in an interview, if you physically make yourself smile, you will feel happy and that the secret of true happiness is really choosing to be happy. You know what? It works! Even medical experts acknowledge the power of positive thinking in fighting life-threatening illnesses.

It's been a busy weekend, moving my son into a new house we purchased as an investment property ( we seem to buy property every time one of us loses a job...oh well, it's work out fine so far). The related stresses remind me of the working world pressures: impossible deadlines, unexpected challenges and crises. But it's Monday and not the kind of Monday I used to lament all those years.

I'm upstairs at my home office, where I spend a couple of hours "at work", staying connected in the hopes of one day re-entering that frightening working world. But I know it will be different next time because I'm different now. I take the time to breathe, smile, really talk to people and run through fields of new spring grass under sunny skies.