It is at this time - the early part of the day - when I am most at peace. With the other early riser in the house, our youngest dog Daisy, our routine is predictable. I hear her or she hears me and we trundle off downstairs to greet the day. Aside from her sleepy presence - it is quiet and still - and even when I was working I seemed to need this time of calm - this opportunity to be alone . While Kirk and our other dog Samuel snooze away, everything that happens for Daisy and I happens in the same order - a mindless routine that rarely varies. During working days I would sit with a cup of coffee (stronger the better) at the computer going through all of the emails that I missed or set aside (I literally received hundreds of them each day) without the distraction of a ringing phone or someone's urge to have a meeting to talk about what they'd just laid out in written form. I'd scan the news stories from the night before - listen to early morning radio - and generally know what I had to prepare for. But now, while I still can't help the urge to find out what is in the news - the fact that I no longer have to think about how one might respond to these developments from a communications perspective - has broadened my perspective - perhaps made me more critical of the incoming because I no longer am accountable for how such issues are managed - or not. The journalists that I gravitate to and even those in which my interactions started off from a place of suspicion on their part and often downright deceit about where they were really going with their questions - are all part of an endlessly fascinating circle for me. Those that failed to appreciate the power of a relationship and that being fair meant building trust - with the reward being far more information than we might have otherwise provided - such is the nature of the dance when communications and journalism join hands.
In any case, detaching my fingernails from the need to feel "in the loop" has never really worked so well - and I guess it is one of the things that keeps me going - looking at stories with a critical eye, asking questions (to myself) when answers aren't immediately apparent, and pondering how I might have responded differently. I suppose you can take the reporter/communications person out of the girl, but the sheer fascination with these worlds never tires for me. I am awake to it all in the early morning hours - a ginger-eared dog at my side - a steady stream of material whizzing by and my personal commentary to keep me company.