Small Talk

What I look forward to next

October 26th, 2009

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.

Claus and Uncle Paul

Claus and Uncle Paul

7) Taking sewing classes? I like to sew.

8) Kiln-glass making at Hawaii Kiln Glass.

I made this for holiday gifts.

I made this for holiday gifts.

9) Walking the dog.

IncaKHNL 008

10) Kayaking

11) Surfing???

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!

29 Responses to “What I look forward to next”

  1. Rosette:

    yes do one step at a got a lifetime to do whatever you want.

  2. Rosette:

    do one thing and enjoy it to the fullest..then next!

  3. hemajang:

    I agree with Rosette the wise, but I think you have enough energy and ability to do many things and enjoy all of them to the fullest.

  4. maxcat:

    Yup! You have a very cool head on your shoulders Diane. Great plans.

    I went from a 27 year military career with some incredible high points (and a few lows) to ten years of teaching high school. The second career also had some incredible high points (and a few lows). I had a bachelors and masters and had to go back in my late forties to do ed stuff. And, I got to take some classes just for fun. It is great fun to be a student a bit later in life because you are usually a pretty good student. Plus I took perverse pleasure in screwing up the curve and actually reading everything. That really aggravated the younger students who were looking for short cuts. Finally, you already have the writing skills and can crank it out you are way ahead of the game. Yeah, go for it. But it has to be really exciting to have so many possibilities. Good for you.

  5. buddahbelly:

    You will do well. I have experienced many highs and lows in life and in retrospect have found it true that when God closes one door he opens another. Imua!

  6. CatDogMan:

    Take the time to do nothing much. The right direction will come to you. School and learning are always great choices, but if you took all the classes on your list, you would be busier than working the news. Clear the head, lose the stress and breath.

  7. carol:

    I got terminated from my job 2 years ago and am still adjusting.....little ego buster but I now only work sporatically and am getting used to a more laid back life after frantically being career oriented...its a way different life...especially in these financially stressed times. Definately getting in touch with activities long forgotten....even got out the sewing machine today.....been hitting the waves often and remembering how nice it is to have relaxed times with family and friends..."Nothing to do and all day to do it....Nowhere to go and all day to get there."
    Enjoy the new chapter in your life!!

  8. Melissa:

    Good luck, Diane! I call myself a "white collar migrant worker." Unemployed life is actually a lot more hectic than when I had a job!

  9. Eldon Rahmiller:

    We will miss you on the mainland. My wife and I watched you for years on KHNL (via the web) and we learned a great deal about the news on Oahu from you. We are snowbirds from Iowa and have visited often over 42 years. (Came to Oahu for the first time on R&R in 1967 and returned often.) You and Dash seem like family to people in Iowa Falls. Keep writing and keeping us informed. Aloha!

  10. Rodney Lee:

    You forgot to add SUPing to the list 😉

  11. Melissa K.:

    Hi Diane, you did an awesome job being on TV and you are an awesome mom to your daughter...that job is going to be bigger than anything you could do career wise. Motherhood will be your biggest reward with the longest payoff, you will not regret it. Enjoy these times with her and cherish every moment of childhood because it melts away before you know it. Wishing you the best in everything you do, by the way those glass plates are killers! They are gorgeous. Aloha and blessings to you & your family, Melissa K.

  12. Diane Ako:

    Hi all- I have spent more time on the computer today than in the past 6 months combined. Seriously. And I enjoyed it. Thanks everyone, thanks Iowa Falls, thanks Hawaii. 🙂 First day was pretty cool. I'm not tired, I'm not going to sleep and it's 7 minutes away from my former bedtime, and I'm not having to prep for tomorrow. I think I'm gonna like this! 🙂

  13. labrat:

    Ha,ha you are starting to sound like a retiree. So the next time I see you on TV it could be as Judge Diane. Please don' t be a cranky judge. And if I by chance have to come before you remember to be nice to me. Have mercy.

    Take care. It seems to me you are still one very busy person.

  14. gombei:

    How Rude!!!

    Diane Ako is gone from KHNL. Find her at Her last day was Oct 23. Do not leave emails here.

  15. maxcat:


    Hmmm, am tempted to email but won't. The link here still goes to that email address.

  16. Diane Ako:

    Hello, hello. gombei and maxcat. I'm confused about the last 2 exchanges, but I'll try to clear it up?

    gombei, I knew in short order I'd have to leave some kind of forwarding, because my account would be deactivated at KHNL. I posted that auto-response to give people some way to find me. I don't want you to e mail me there and think I still get it! I am realizing it's confusing to find this blog! I wish it weren't! so... sorry if I offended you?

    maxcat, I'm not sure what link you mean, but nothing at the Advertiser is linked to KHNL. THey're not partnered as business entities, and this blog is in no way related to my former job. I took it because I wanted to, not because managers asked me to expand my public profile. Seemed like fun, wanted to write, and have confirmed those theories over the past 6 months in finding it is a nice way to connect with the community.

  17. Jim:

    Hi Diane:
    As a person who used to work in an ad/pr agency, please go ahead and dust your resume. Someone from a pr/ad agency or an org with a communications department will come knocking on your door. But enjoy your time off for now, because you may be on the other side of the camera doing press conferences soon.

  18. arkimoto:

    Hi Diane:
    I have been following your blog for a few weeks now and have been enjoying myself immensely. I look forward to hearing about your future activities.

    Anyway, I wanted to share something funny that happened to me yesterday at KTA in Hilo. A man came up to me in the freezer aisle and asked me, "Are you Diane?" I said that I wasn't and was confused. He then explained that he thought I was Diane Ako! I thought it was really funny since I have recently become a big fan of yours. I loved the compliment!

  19. David In Oregon:

    Diane, the email address listed when clicking on your name (under the About the author section) here on this blog, is your email address at the station.

  20. maxcat:


    David just clarified my comment. Sorry, I should have been more specific. When you click on your name by the box with your picture "About the Author" on the upper right of the page this email address pops up . Btw, that is a nice picture of you.

  21. Diane Ako:

    David, gombie, maxcat- I get it now! Thanks. I tried to fix it this morning here on WordPress, but I can't. So, the alerts come to my Yahoo account, but the emails go to KHNL. I forgot that's what I gave the administrator when I was first getting this blog set up. I have to ask her to change it. Thanks for the heads up, and sorry for any surprise. I have put in the request.

    arkimoto- Cool! Hilo doppelganger! Send me your photo. I'm curious!

    Jim- those are some nice words. Would consider corporate spokesperson!

  22. arkimoto:

    Hi Diane:
    You don't have to post this to your blog... It's just a message to you.
    I am looking for a great pic to send to you so you don't feel insulted! Some people think all asians look alike! Unfortunately, I don't have any fabulous pics of me. I guess a non-fabulous person can't take fabulous pics. Do you mind sharing your email address with me so I can send the pic?
    Another funny anecdote... about 10 years or so ago, my husband was mistaken for Russ Shimaoka once when we were at the Mauna Lani! We are the reporter wannabe couple! Anyway, when your email address is updated, I'll send you a pic. I was almost going to add you as a facebook friend, but I don't want to subject you to my boring exercise log. That is all I use FB for! That and to keep up with what is going on with my friends.

  23. Rodney Lee:


    To change your email address, on the Dashboard where you type your blog entries, the top right hand corner should say Howdy Diane Ako. Click on your name, then scroll down. There you'll see where you can change your email address.

    Then make sure you press the Update Profile button all the way at the bottom of the page.

  24. David In Oregon:

    Eh Rodney, will that change her email address from the other blog page too, the one that lists all of the the blogs on the Advertiser's site ? I just noticed that page listing all the blogs shows her khnl email address as well.

  25. Rodney Lee:

    @David In Oregon - I'd think it would change the email address on the blog list page too. But not 100% sure.

    @Diane, I just tried to mess with my email address on the Midlife Crisis blog and it looks like we don't have the authority to change it - so ignore my post.

    If you email me your new email address, I'll pass it on to our webmaster.

  26. James:

    People like you and Howard are too polished and high profile to go unnoticed. Good luck whatever you choose to do!

  27. Diane Ako:

    Rodney, thanks for the help, I emailed Sandee yesterday, so I'm sure she'll get to it soon. 🙂

  28. guest:

    "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."

    Try it! But you will quickly realize that this is NOT something people do "for fun."

  29. Doug Correa Jr:

    HI Diane just wanted to say Mahalo Nui Aloha for your article about our range and Cowboy shoot.The entire range is first and foremost safety and all the great people we have met over the years have been outstanding and helpful to Myself, my Wife, and my
    friends.Thank you so much for an honest and well needed article that truly depicts the good and responsible registered firearm people on Oahu.

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