Erin's Journals

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Just a thought… Once you realize you deserve a bright future, letting go of your dark past is the best choice you will ever make. [Roy T. Bennett]

Rain in the desert. Rain, rain, rain. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining: I know it’s not the nasty precipitation that so many journal readers in Southern Ontario have had to endure the last week or so, but I’m just saying it in case you think I’m down here basking in the California sunshine when I could be staying in the Victoria area at home, getting rained on there! At least it assuages my guilt a little bit, for what that’s worth!

Why guilt, I wonder? Did I ever begrudge my parents’ trips to a spot in Florida when they were empty nesters and Dad had retired? No. Was I envious when my folks, who later moved to BC, decided they’d stay in Palm Springs for the winters to be in the sun and close to one of my sisters? Oh heck no. I figured they worked for it, took no tropical vacations (and we weren’t like the “rich families” who got to go to Disney World) when we were kids, and deserved to kick back and escape Canadian winters.

To be honest with you, the guilty pleasure that I indulge in most often is sleep. That most basic, most necessary and most appreciated element of our lives that so many of us either can’t fit in, or choose to put on the back burner while doing things that are seemingly so much more important.

Every morning – every single morning – that I awoke at 3:15 or 3:45 am (depending on if we were leaving our house near Georgina or the apartment downtown), I counted the hours until I’d be back in bed for a nap. And once I’d decided to leave the radio life, I began counting the days.

If I awaken in the wee small hours, I say a silent prayer of thanks for the opportunity not to have to get up for the day, or to set an alarm. When Rob pads into the room with a tray of coffee or I open my eyes to a lighted room and see him and Molly softly dozing beside me, I take a moment to count our blessings.

I also awaken grateful not to have a hangover; there were too many days of dull aches and regrets to count, and every morning with a clear head is one that I don’t take for granted. Some evenings are a challenge (or were at first) but the mornings are a blessing.

I wish that the upcoming softcover edition of Mourning Has Broken included an extra chapter on the year that followed the book’s publication back in February. I have been thinking a lot about 2019 – perhaps it’s with all of the best-of lists and years-in-review already showing up in my inbox – and wondering who else this year went from the bestsellers’ list to a rehab program. But that addition wasn’t requested of me and I didn’t suggest it.

My own struggle is to reinvent myself in 2020. To continue to try to gain traction as an inspirational speaker, sharing the message of the book and the perspectives on loss and joy that have come to me as a result. The invitations to talk to groups pro bono (or close to it) have been coming in, but if I’m not flying to that area for a paid engagement, it just puts us in the red, and that’s not what we’re aiming for.

And so, as my counsellor reminds me to “let go and let God” on the road ahead, I continue to hold myself open to whatever it is the universe has in store next.

Patience has never been my strong point; at 17 I was raring to go in this world of radio and at 18, before my second year of college, my parents and professor had to sit me down and talk me out of taking a first news job in Grande Prairie, Alberta. Thankfully – but with a lot of disappointment – I listened to their advice.

Ottawa, Windsor and Toronto awaited in the next two years; how lucky I was to have hit a time in radio where doors were opening for women, rather than 30 years later when trap doors are swallowing up many radio employees, both newbies and veterans.

As I read my weekly Broadcast Dialogue newsletter and watch the firings and (so-called) layoffs in the industry I loved so much, I wonder if Lauren would have been among the countless casualties at her radio station in Ottawa?

Would she have been moved to the protective custody of the morning show at 580 CFRA? Or perhaps, having been let go (as I was from Windsor), would she have mirrored my story and found her way to Toronto, where we all could have lived in close proximity?

I try not to think about any of those “what ifs,” but as I head off to sleep at night – to dream of her and our lives that should have been, uninterrupted by three alarms going off – it’s impossible not to wonder.

It doesn’t make me sad, it just makes me wonder. I have to trust in my Higher Power guiding us through whatever’s ahead in the new year, named so optimistically 2020 for the clarity of vision that I hold with hope, in my heart.

Have a lovely weekend and I’ll be back with you Monday.

Rob WhiteheadThursday, December 5, 2019