For most of my journalistic career, I’ve kept an odd sleep schedule.
Most recently, I would go to bed at 5 or 6 a.m., just as the sun was rising, sleeping through the morning and early afternoon to greet the day at 1 or 2 p.m.
Vacations and days off never moved the needle toward what most would consider normal. After all, I would just have to go back to that odd schedule when my next work day rolled around. It simply wasn’t worth the trouble.
That’s no longer the case.
After six years at my hometown paper, and 10 years total, my career in journalism has come to a screeching halt.
For official reasons I can’t divulge at this point, I accepted a severance package that hastened my departure.
Personally, however, it was the right move. I’m 35 years old, my wife is 31, and we both want to start a family. Our careers in journalism, especially mine, were rather large stumbling blocks toward that end.
My last blog post described the delicate balance my wife and I struck, with a hopeful, if somewhat scared, nod to the future.
With that future now the present, we’re prepared. We’re ready. But we’re still scared.
Is there a future in journalism? Do I change careers? What’s next?
It’s simply too early to answer those pressing questions.
Rest assured, I’m prayerfully tackling them, trying to fight through the fear and find peace and strength in my faith, but I would be lying if I said it wasn’t difficult. Extremely so.
I’ve entered my second full week of unemployment as I try to ready myself for whatever lies ahead and concentrate on what I can control.
While my future may be unclear, I know I want a somewhat normal schedule. A brief interlude spent working in an oil warehouse afforded me that opportunity, and I miss it. I want to get back to those 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. days, with evenings, weekends and holidays spent making memories with loved ones.
So, I’ve tried to reset my body clock, with the hope of starting my day at 7 a.m. I’m getting there, with patience and strategy.
No matter what time I head for bed, no matter how much I sleep, I set my alarm for 9:15 a.m., which has made for some exhausting days and killer afternoon naps. I’ve moved my workouts from post midnight to around 10 p.m. And I’ve tried to get to bed earlier and earlier, with the idea of eventually setting my alarm earlier still.
I’ll get there.
As for my future, I’ll get there, too.
I’ve been unemployed before. This time, though, I’ve applied lessons learned, and I’m better off for it.
Here’s to a new normal.