Change of season brings changes to job

My Turn - James Wilson
Sports Editor

Earlier today I was walking along the freshly refinished Spanish Traverse Trail, admiring the smoothness of the finished trail. It was midmorning and the sun was just starting to get perfect. I walked along in my T-shirt and admired the birds circling above.

I got to the summit I was heading for and breathed in the view of American Valley. I couldn’t hear anything but the sound of the wind rustling through the pines around me.

On the way up, my mind wandered through a wide array of topics: what I was going to make for dinner, how I want to bring up my soon-to-be-born child, whether or not I should start a band, and what would life be like if I could fly.

At the top, though, I didn’t have a single thought in my head. I grabbed my camera between heavy breaths and snapped a photo. Then a thought popped into my head.

I love this job.

A story I was working on about the work done on the trail brought me on this little hike, which was a nice reprieve from the office. With the weather warming and the seasons changing, I’ll more than likely be doing more “work” like this in the upcoming months.

Spring and mostly summer are my favorite seasons at the newspaper. During the school year, games and events are scattered throughout the week, which makes it difficult to take a full day off many weeks. In summertime, it’s rare that I don’t get two full days off in a row.

Another reason I love writing the Sports and Recreation section in summer is it forces me to go out of my comfort zone. There are several weeks where no big event or game is taking place, but I still have a full section to fill. This gives me the chance to explore interests I normally wouldn’t have time to cover.

Last summer, a conversation with my coworker Debra Moore summed this up perfectly. Debra was working on one of those involved stories that would affect the people she was writing about. She clearly felt the weight of the story.

As Debra was fretting over her desk, I cheerfully popped up from my desk and piped out, “Well, I’m heading to the creek to go crawdadding!”

Debra looked up at me straight faced and stared at me for several seconds.

“Shut up,” she mumbled quietly as she got back to her story.

It’s times like this that really make me love my job, though it’s not all fun and games. Debra offered to trade me beats on multiple occasions, but on one condition: only for the summer.

During the school year it’s often a completely different story. For one, during football and basketball season, I don’t get home until 11 p.m. multiple nights per week. Oftentimes I’ll have to drive through less-than-favorable weather conditions to get to games in Chester, Greenville and Portola.

There are also weird times in the seasons when two seasons overlap. Summer events will still take place in fall, and the fall season of sports will overlap with the winter season. Unfortunately, I still have to cover both. Those weeks double my workload without giving me more time to complete it. Another conversation between me and Debra sums this up perfectly.

It was November and I was trying to gather enough info to finish this article I was working on so I could move on to one of the next 12 I needed to complete within two days.

I was zoned in to my work and a little stressed out when Debra merrily spoke up.

“Well, I’m heading to Carey’s Candy Company to take some shots of some gift baskets!”

Now it was my turn to get jealous. “Shut up,” I muttered as I buried back into my work.

Now that spring is here, the enjoyment factor in my job is up exponentially. I have a handful of stories for this summer in the back of my mind that I’m already looking forward to researching.

If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you’ll see me at some point in the upcoming months covering one fun activity or another. If you see me with a wide smile on my face, now you know why.

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