By Diane Ako
I got up after the sun was up today. I walked around the neighborhood while it was still cool, with my daughter. I felt fantastic! Here's what else I am excited about in the next chapter of my life:
1) Being the mom who runs and jumps and splashes and chases her kid, not the mom too tired to go anywhere or do anything too energetic. I gave the best of me to work. Now I can give it to her!
2) Seeing my husband for more than one hour a day. Actually staying up and watching television with him or talking to him after Olivia goes to sleep.
3) Looking into a PhD in political science. Higher education is fun!
4) Taking cake decorating classes at Cake Creations in Manoa. My mom is a great baker. I like to cook, but I am motivated to learn to bake so I can decorate cakes for Olivia!
5) Returning to jujitsu. My dojo only offers night classes. I missed six months of training.
6) Travel. We postponed a trip to Denmark to see Claus' ailing uncle, because I did not want the double whammy of traveling with a two year old on a 23 hour journey, and because I was deathly afraid to throw off my body clock.
7) Taking sewing classes? I like to sew.
8) Kiln-glass making at Hawaii Kiln Glass.
9) Walking the dog.
12) Living, loving, laughing, and staying in the light! Life is beautiful. Let's enjoy it!
I read a wonderful article about reinventing onesself. Novelist and radio host Kurt Andersen recalled his own firing from New York magazine 13 years ago as something freeing. "Getting fired was traumatic. Finding my way since has been thrilling and immensely gratifying," he wrote in Time magazine.
He also quotes a Japanese Zen master, Shunryu Suzuki, who said that "in the beginner's mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert's mind there are few."
I'm an expert in my craft. I write a story in ten minutes. I can execute a flawless live shot with 30 second's notice. I'm proud of that... and I'm tired of that. I wouldn't have been had I not been laid off, but think I subconsciously disconnected, such that I've turned the corner to embrace a new life outside of news.
I found it harder and harder to wake up in the morning. That was the biggest clue. I was counting down the days till the final show, and I was excited. It was an impatience that grew, and reminded me of being a child and waiting for Christmas to come.
I didn't mean to disconnect. It wasn't a matter of anything negative. I was not bitter and I wanted to do a great job till the end. I consciously was happy and energetic at work through my last day. However, how could I not start mentally winding down? It's only human nature.
People keep asking what's next. I know they mean a career. They are not satisfied to hear, "Be a mom." Is it that obvious I like to work?
I have always freelanced a LOT in all kinds of capacities - pretty much anything within the scope of my skill set, which is writing, reading, reading out loud, being on camera, and public relations stuff. People find me, somehow. I have regular work from a mish-mash of clients. I'll keep that up.
For fun, I want to really think about a PhD. I don't necessarily want to use it. I just think it would be an interesting journey to earn it.
I mentioned in a previous blog that I don't know about a second career. But here's the more thoughtful answer: Most journalists go into one of three industries: public relations, law, or politics. Law sounds like the most feasible, most realistic option. Would I want to endure more school? Gosh.
And again, these are just random thoughts I've got percolating in my head right now. Things might be different when I'm actually ready to do something. I think that will be a year or two away. Maybe there are more possibilities out there that I haven't considered. I'm just open to whatever life brings me.
...I'm hitting the personal reset button now!