I’m done. So done. Done like a dinner. Finito Mussolini. Done! For someone who’s been threatening to retire for years, it’s about damn time!
I always said I would quit when the job ceased to be fun and then contradicted myself for too long when the enjoyment lagged below full measure.
This is no rap against my last employer. CTV Vancouver handed me an expressive outlet on my own terms. The folks there made it so easy for me to do what I do. Except that, despite appearances, it’s never really been all that easy….and now I feel I’ve hit a qualitative wall of my own construction.
Let’s be clear, just for all those ‘grassy knollers’ out there. I was not asked, pressured, harangued, nudged, noodged nor shown any semblance of a door.
It’s just me.
Nevertheless, it’s hard to stop when people tell you to keep going. It’s flattering. And since the business of broadcasting is substantially about ego, it’s a very soothing and persuasive argument.
But I have always held that one should always be their own worst critic. No one has been tougher on themselves than me. That’s how you do good work. That’s how you maintain a bar. If you’ve become a cliché, well, you have no one but yourself to blame.
I started all of this by doing ten years of ‘hard’ News…something for which I had nary a glimmer of fire in the belly. So I set out to craft a career in human interest story telling…along with a fair measure of comedic idiocy. You have to make a job like that. No one is going to hand it to you. So I did. I thought it would absolute heaven to be unshackled from the protocols and demands of the daily News grind. I wanted to call my own shots.
You have to be so careful what you wish for.
When it was good it was absolutely terrific! Boy, have I had some fun. But when it failed, because when you take risks you invite failure, it was pretty grim. It was a creative hell of my own making. I burned out a few times over those decades. But I had a responsibility to my employer, my family and my bank account. So I managed to grind it out in those concept-lean troughs…when it felt like I was hitting a runway with no landing gear and no layer of cushioning foam.
I don’t need to do that anymore.
There was a sweet spot in that 40 year run when there was money in television for travel and production and I was in the right place at the right time with the right skills set. I knew it probably wouldn’t get any better than that. I really did. (Hell, they paid me to go sailing!) I tried to make the most of it.
Now I can be satisfied.
I’m going to be funny for my grandchildren now. I’m going to put in endless hours of making strange faces and silly sounds, singing songs, reading stories and being goofy all over again. And some day, if those kids ever take a look at some of what I did all those years ago they can say ,”Oh, that’s where it all came from!”.
That’ll work just fine for me.