Thanks for listeningPosted: December 17, 2015
Six months ago, I walked to work one morning. It’s a thirty-five minute walk from my house to the CBC. I walked and I thought. The book I am writing was tugging on my sleeve. The view from my garden was playing on my mind. A hundred tasks I’d put aside were nagging my to-do list. The work-out I hadn’t done that morning was waiting impatiently for me to notice it.
I walked and I thought. I had a plan. Plan 2017. By the fall of 2017, according to my plan, my book would be done and ready to launch. I’d be embarking on a book tour, and, the plan was, I’d leave CBC and slide back into my interrupted life as a writer. The work toward that goal was obvious: get finances in order. Figure out an independent health benefits package. Line up some freelance clients. Develop more writing workshop teaching opportunities. Get an agent. Get a publisher. Finish the book. Plan 2017 was a good plan.
Thing was, I realized as I walked, the fall of 2017 was more than two years away. And my footsteps were heavy with dread. I had begun falling out of love with CBC as a workplace a year before. Every show felt like a huge uphill push. Increasing workload, decreasing resources, massive workplace uncertainty. a lack of leadership. My colleagues were still the dedicated, creative, hard-working, amazing, inspiring people they’d always been, but the place itself, the work, was starting to crush me.
By the time I rounded the corner that brought the building’s logos into view I knew: work was no longer working for me. It wasn’t working for my body. It wasn’t working for my mind. It wasn’t working for my spirit. And it definitely wasn’t working for my writing. When I started at CBC, I made a deal with myself that if it started to interfere too much with my writing, I’d choose writing. Even though hosting Mainstreet is a great job. Even though writing doesn’t pay.
And so I made the decision, back in June. I would leave before year’s end. And now here we are. Most of Plan 2017’s items are undone. It doesn’t matter. To be the host of Mainstreet, you’ve gotta be all in. To write books, you’ve gotta be all in. You can’t do both. Well, maybe you can. I couldn’t. Well, I could, for two books’ worth. Anyhow.
I have no regrets. I am not afraid, I am not sad. I wish the best for my colleagues and my show. I have loved talking to you on the radio every day for the last seven years. And I love the idea of not doing it anymore.
Thank you for listening. You gave me a gift the size and shape of which I will wrestle with for some time yet. I hope I gave you something too. Thanks for listening to Mainstreet today. And thanks for letting me go.