Government shutdowns, more fake news, Russians and possible election interference. It’s all just too much.
So I am not going to talk about any of it.
Well, maybe just a little.
There’s enough reality going on all around us, what I think about it honestly makes no difference at all; it is going to play out as it does regardless of my opinion. The only thing I will say is that if federal government workers don’t get paid during a shutdown then those in the House and Senate who can’t work out their problems to fully open the government again shouldn’t be getting paid, either. And kudos to businesses across the country that have offered many services free to government workers to help them through. U.S. citizens can rally to aid each other, it’s a shame our legislators can’t seem to do the same.
OK, off the soapbox.
It’s January, there are five Wednesdays and that means I get to throw in an extra column for this month. Actually, I could throw in a column whenever I want (since I know the editor) but there’s not always time to write one each week.
Nonetheless, the year has started and we are already a few issues in. I am still weeding through the various items that were supposed to get into the paper in 2018 and working hard to get them all in these pages within the next few weeks. I’m also striving to find more of a balance between work and play. Quite a shocker, right? Hopefully you were all sitting down for that.
Maybe it’s finally the recognition of the passing of time, how quickly it flies by, that is prompting this reassessment. My daughter will be getting married in October. Married. Wasn’t she just 11-years-old and in that phase where I knew nothing and she knew everything? Weren’t we just getting started on that adventure known as competitive travel soccer that would span almost a decade and see us travel thousands of miles? How can it be that our special mother-daughter Wednesdays when I would pick her up from school and we would have an afternoon together could have possibly been some 15 years ago? It didn’t even have to be anything major, in fact, it was often just a trip to the park or going out for an ice cream cone but it was time specifically set aside to spend together.
So about this new balancing act; work takes up a significant amount of my week but there has to be a way to squeeze out some ‘me’ time in all of it. Everyone needs that, the chance to take a breath here or there, to focus on doing something they enjoy. Not that I don’t enjoy my work, I wouldn’t still be sitting here all these years later if it didn’t give me some satisfaction.
But I also realize the value in relaxing. A recent trip to a Stockton Heat hockey game with some co-workers and friends was proof of that; give me the chance to watch a live sporting event (that I don’t have to photograph or write about) and I am a happy camper. The chance to boo when necessary and cheer when appropriate, plus share the experience with friends and colleagues that are as much family as co-workers was just plain fun. Hockey, to me, is awesome to watch live and it is very easy to get caught up in the scrums along the boards, the occasional fisticuffs being thrown about, it all adds to the excitement of the night.
There are other ways I can find to relax as well; reading for pleasure is one of my favorite pastimes and there is no shortage of authors whose work I enjoy. There could be some new books in my future.
So, it’s not really a resolution but more of a self-suggestion, in 2019 my quest will begin to make more time for myself. Next time you see me, ask how it’s going.
Marg Jackson is editor of The Escalon Times, The Oakdale Leader and The Riverbank News. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 847-3021.