Removing The Nail
"Change of any sort, requires courage"
How hard could it be? Something is bugging you, causing you pain, remove it...right? Not necessarily.
I got such a kick out of the video clip someone sent to me or posted a few weeks ago. If you haven't seen the YouTube clip "It's not necessarily about the nail" watch it by clicking here.
I thought it was so funny, not only, because it captured a bit of the communication gaps that can exist between men and women, but how stuck we can become when something is bugging and we can't seem to see through the fog of decision-making processes and pull the damn nail out. That's kind of how I've felt the last couple of years.
I love my job. I feel blessed to have it and to have landed it at a time when my heart was calling me home to the Central Coast. The part I didn't like when I took it was the hours. I expect to give my life to a new job for the first year. You kind of have to in television. Establish (or in this case re-establish) contacts, go speak to rotary and Kiwanis clubs, ride in parades, you know, get yourself out there. Let people get to know you, and hopefully like you enough to tune in an watch the news. What I wasn't looking forward to was working the so-called "nightside" shift, or as some call it "the swing shift".
I wanted to come home and I wanted the job, though, so I took it. That has meant, for almost the last four years, coming into work around 2:30 p.m. and working until about midnight...on a good day. Then there are the luncheon meetings and chamber breakfast club meetings, and the part of I love most about my job, stories to cover. Those must fit in before your shift usually, and sometimes after to write what you shot in the morning. So that has meant a lot of long days. There just isn't much flex time within your actual work day when you are doing the 5pm, 6pm, 6:30pm, 10:00pm, 11:00pm news and all the updates that come in between.
It has been my goal since I took the job to work myself into a place financially where I could cut back and not do the later newscasts anymore. So a year or so ago, I dove into a side business (rubyshoeswine.com) hoping it would help bridge the gap. Good idea, but more obligations going on my calendar. It's a fun side biz and growing but it not at a level where I can start fazing out of my real job yet, nor would I want to necessarily. So the nail.
My contract was coming up and I was growing with anxiety with every day that passed. How long can I do this night shift? It's hard on my sleep, it's a bit isolating, and frankly lonely to come home to a cozy neighborhood I love when all the lights are out and everyone's asleep and everyone's gone to work when I wake up. It's hard on relationships, social life, family and friends who want to spend time with you but must try to fit into your busy weekend. It just was like a nail in my head I couldn't seem to remove until I whined enough about it to exhaust my bosses, co-workers, boyfriend, friends and strangers. Finally the pain got to be enough I focused my eyes on the big nail in my forehead and pulled it out.
I have worked my last night shift. At least for the foreseeable future. I worked them most of my adult life in the television business and I came home to live my dream life on the central coast. Too often, it has felt like life was passing my by. I was covering life, talking about it on the news, even attending a lot of fun social outings as part of both my jobs. But I wasn't living the life I dreamed of. So, I'm shaking things up.
Starting Monday I will no longer be doing the 10pm and 11pm news. The very capable and awesome Kathy Kuretich will be taking over, pulling the nail out of her head that was the morning shift, and moving nightside which works better for her and her new baby and husband. (They are still looking for a permanent daybreak anchor so any of my anchor-type friends who read this, let me know if you are interested.) I will still do the 5pm, 6pm, and 6:30pm news, but will spend the first part of my shift doing what I like best...telling stories, connecting with people and maybe being better about keeping up on emails, blogs and things that fall through the cracks now.
Once I did it, (pulled the nail out) I wondered what the hell took me so long. Yes, there are some financial ramifications of my decision and I was scared. There's a chance I become less relevant to KSBY and they decide it's best to phase out the aging anchor altogether. But most of my regrets in life have centered around letting fear get in the way. And my only regret is doing that in this case, and waiting so long to decide. It's cost me in other ways through my fatigue, stress levels and feeling stuck. I have missed too many dinners with friends, television shows everyone talks about (do you know I have only seen one Seinfeld episode?), movies and sleep. It's time, at least for me, for right now.
There are new challenges I'd like to take on. I'd like to work my way into management in a newsroom. I'd like to write more. I'd like to live more, love more, sleep more, catch more sunset serenades that happen steps from my home. Lofty goals? Not at all. You just have to notice the nail once it's lodged itself into your skull...pinpoint the source of pain, and pull the damn thing out.
See you at the coffee shop Monday morning! Let the new adventure begin....