I have a confession to make. When it comes to getting the news to you each week, I’m not sure if I’m a workaholic or a helicopter mom.
I spend way more time at work than at home, and even when I’m away from the office I frequently check — and answer — emails and texts about possible stories and issues.
The paper is kind of like a child. It needs coaxing and coddling, extra attention and direction to get it published each week. Then, when I see people reading the paper or hear them talking about something they read, I feel like a proud parent.
One thing I am sure of is my perfectionist nature. I fret over the smallest details and will mentally berate myself when I spot an error — especially after the paper is printed.
While the rational part of me realizes that as humans we do make mistakes sometimes, the emotional part often takes control and worries about what will happen if someone else spots what I did wrong.
Of course, there are those mistakes that do make it into print that I have no control over. But I still agonize over those.
Needless to say, relaxing is not one of my strong suits.
In the past, even when I was “on vacation,” I was checking my email several times a day, responding, forwarding or taking whatever action was necessary. I even logged into the paper’s operating system to monitor progress of the paper’s production or make sure that everything was sent to the website.
It literally took moving a mountain — or at least moving me to the mountain — for me to put work aside and focus on some R&R.
My family and I spent a few days in the mountains of Southern Utah enjoying national parks and monuments where cellphone and Internet connection was spotty at best. So we all unplugged and left our electronics packed away.
Instead we hiked through the forest to an alpine meadow and pond, enjoyed the beauty of the red cliffs and wildflowers, spotted assorted birds and wildlife, and listened to nothing, except for the sounds of nature.
At night we were amazed by the stars, so few of which can be seen near the bright lights of Las Vegas. We were fortunate enough to be there for the Perseid meteor shower, though missed the peak hours because we were exhausted from our mountain adventures.
Once I relinquished all that work, I admit it was really hard to come back to reality. It was so nice not to have to worry about setting an alarm clock to get up or make sure I went to bed early enough so that I could think clearly the next day. Plus, the mountains and meadows were so serene and peaceful it was impossible not to slow down and enjoy the moment.
I didn’t realize how much I needed some down time.
I feel rejuvenated, re-energized and ready to tackle the next assignment. I’m sure I will dive head first into the news pool that will fill the coming days and weeks. I’ll devote countless minutes to care for and nurture my print baby. That is, until the next adventure comes my way. Then, hopefully, it won’t take a mountain to move me to relax.
Hali Bernstein Saylor is editor of the Boulder City Review. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 702-586-9523. Follow @HalisComment on Twitter.