Confessions of a Recovering News Anchor

I write this watching the sun rise over the sea in July. July is a ratings month in television

So, it’s a sight my erstwhile life seldom allowed.

But careers are not life.

Great as they can be, they do not throb with the utmost meaning. They are means to an end. I made a great living in television. Some of the stories effected good change, affected hearts and minds in a good way. But the demands steal from us. We trade time for money. We miss events we can only imagine, now that the time has gone.

This morning, some ways I would trade time differently.

I would bring my parents to the shore with me. They were proud. They should have lived more of my life with me.

I would buy the damn boat sooner. A scarcity mentality kept me from it. I’d have gotten my captain’s license and gotten far away, long ago.

I’d be more generous with myself. My forbears taught me this. I got caught up in the harvest instead of the banquet. More strangers would come to my proverbial table.

I would work out then as I do now. It’s easy, taking youth for granted. Now I get to work at it, hard. I would have then.

I would be better at walking toward what sustains us and away from what depletes us. I would be plenty less codependent.

I would spend much more time with people who know the difference between a smoke bomb and a volcano. Yes, that’s code for not pitching a fit over nothing.

There would be more quiet time. More contemplation in faith. Less noise of nonsense

Speaking of, I would speak less. Hear more.

I would become a better son, better husband, better boyfriend, better father. On some of these, it’s not too late.

It’s never too late, long as we carry a pulse. Eat the cornbread, run another mile, believe no lies about too old, too sad, too disadvantaged. I would be more honest with myself and others about how I am. They call this being vulnerable, when we let ourselves be seen for who we are. I believe such vulnerability is strength.

After so much time behind neckties, before cameras, amid all that rectitude, it does me good to confess some things.

I hate milk, love hot weather, and I drink like a ten year old girl. I despise drunkenness, love sex, hate meanness, and will run on a beach when it’s 105 degrees. I detest human suffering, believe generosity and kindness make us civilized. I know not every emotion we feel ought to come out of our mouths. My mother taught me not to tell everything I know, or feel, but to take inventory of it, find what’s worthy. I believe Zig Zeigler was right, want to get what you want, help others get what they want. I have never played golf, and never intend to. I would rather throw a baseball hard against a wall, then go see a game. I love to write, to read the greats, I enjoy the catharsis of swearing, and go around in a constant prayer for grace and of gratitude. I have never had a beer in my life. I love weight training and can’t stand an exercise bike. I have no use for redneckery, but will love on a redneck nonetheless. To me identity politics is a sure tool to divide a life by two, then shatter it. I have beautiful friends, from way back, and zero tolerance for cultivating enemies. I love to be alone, and I enjoy a crowd, especially when people are having a good time. I adore femininity in a woman. I love the water, despise the cold, and could not give a damn about hockey. Football to me is a sport, not a way of life. I love a symphony, Bluegrass and Earth Wind and Fire. I am 61 years old, determined to live like he’s 25, and I have a four and a half year old daughter whom I absolutely adore. I love some good church, an old spiritual, and a new idea spoken well. I realize some of this makes me an odd boy. I don’t mind. There are fewer regrets in simply being yourself.

Fewer still in getting better at it.

There’s more I could say. I’ll keep it to myself. Let the sea have its say.


One Response to “Confessions of a Recovering News Anchor”

  1. Heidi Woody Says:

    Hello Michael, Congratulations on finding your new best life. I’ve been wondering where you were after the loss of your Mom. I think she’d be happy that you are practicing self-care for yourself and your family.  You are blessed to be in the position to retire at 61 and live the life of a 25-year-old.  I wish you all the very best in this chapter and look forward to reading the next.Kindest regards,Heidi


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