Life is full of changes.
Some of the changes we choose, some of them are thrust upon us whether we want them or not.
When my wife and I had our first child, it was by choice and not a case of ìYOU'RE WHAT!?î
No, that change was thought out, planned out and carried out.
I must admit, I had the easy part in the pregnancy department. All I had to do was, um, er, well you know. My wife was the one who had to carry around this growing little human for nine months, all the while making things like kidneys, lungs and all those other little bits it is best to have a child born with.
After nine months, the little woman had quite enough of being pregnant. If the choice was hers, she would have been in the delivery room the exact day of her due date, but Junior decided to be stylishly late and was born almost two weeks beyond his expected arrival time.
Folks, that was a long two weeks. The Missus was bigger than a Volkswagen, she was retaining more water than the Titanic and was so hot I could roast marshmallows off her belly.
She was also a tad on the cranky side, and by a tad I mean a pack of rabid, post-Apocalyptic trolls wouldn't have messed with her.
But eventually, on a beautiful summers day, Junior arrived.
Having read books, taken pre-natal classes and talked to other people with kids, we thought we knew what we were in for ñ just like all new (see naive) parents.
Once we got Junior home, the work began and there was a lot of crying and wailing, but eventually I calmed down and discovered parenthood was not that bad.
Having a child was a choice we made, a choice we repeated two more times and are choices I have never regretted. Even the teen years brings moments of parenting pleasure where they are perfect little angels ñ like when they are asleep.
Anyway, I was talking about choices and I recently made a choice to apply for a new job. After my first in-person interview since 1986 – that's right, I said 1986 – I was offered, and chose to accept the position.
The decision brings with it an end to a 21-year newspaper career. I chose to go to college and learn how to become a reporter and photographer, and now I am choosing to leave.
Two decades in the newspaper industry have been at times exhilarating, at other times demoralizing and at other times down right scary.
I never could get used to people threatening me with bodily harm simply for trying to do my job.
My new gig will likely see me spending more time chained to a desk and less time running around with a camera and a notebook.
And I am OK with that. I am happy with the choice I made.
But wait, what about my column that several people have come to regard as something they read in a newspaper?
Fear not, I hope to continue these ramblings, even though I am no longer a staffer at this fine, upstanding publication.
Filling this space with my sometimes pointless, occasionally immature but hopefully always entertaining ramblings has been one of my favourite parts of the job for almost five years now. (The other favourite part was going home at the end of the day.)
Some people like it, some don't.
To those who like it, I say 'thank you.' You obviously have good taste, and are an intelligent breed of human. To those who don't like it – too bad.
See ya next Sunday.