Mondays are busy days in the Carroll County Newspapers newsroom, and today is no exception. A lot goes into producing a newspaper on deadline, especially one with a full-time staff of three people.
But in between writing stories and toning photos and proofreading pages today, Iím also trying to take a little time to enjoy my birthday and count my blessings.
Iím 52 years old today. Fifty-two used to sound ancient, but now that Iím here, it doesnít feel ancient. I feel pretty good, except of course for that danged arthritis. And Iím still excited to come to work every day, just as I have been since I came here more than seven years ago.
Moving to Berryville and coming to work at Carroll County Newspapers was the best thing Iíve ever done for myself. I came here in search of a slower pace and a work-life balance, and I certainly found all that. Iíve never been happier than I am today. I have an opportunity to do good work that I can be proud of, and also have a life outside of the office. That was missing for a long time before I got to Berryville.
It wasnít that long ago that I worked 10 to 12 hours a day, six days a week. If I got home before 10 p.m., it was cause to celebrate.
Today will be a relatively long day for me here. But still Iíll probably be home by 7, get a chance to pet my dogs and relax a little. Iíve already gotten congratulatory calls and texts from both my sons, their wives and my two grandsons along with too many friends to count.
I wonder what my life would be like if I hadnít decided to make a change.
Iíd still be 52 today, of course, but Iím pretty sure I would feel much older. I imagine I would be tired and stressed out, as I was for about 25 years. I worked nights, weekends and holidays all those years, and Iím sure I was a bear to be around.
I hope you readers will indulge my stream of consciousness. These are the things I think about on my birthday. Iím grateful to still be alive and kicking and enjoying my life.
The last few years, I always think of my mom on my birthday. She died three weeks after turning 50. I think of her not so much as it relates to my own mortality, but how short her life truly was. I try to remember that every day is a blessing.
If you had told me 10 years ago what my life would be like today, Iíd have jumped at it. One thing I will give myself credit for is being old and wise enough now not to take anything I have for granted.
I have a wonderful family, a comfortable home, food on the table, money in the bank ($27 counts, right?), a car in the garage, some really good friends, a job I love with the best co-workers in the world. Iím grateful every single day for all of lifeís blessings.
Itís been a happy birthday. But the truth is, theyíre all happy days for me now.