Stayin’ alive

A kidney dialysis/transplant diary


The sky is falling! The sky is falling!

Best advice from someone who’s already heard early  crackings and been knocked for a loop or two by a blue-sky chunk crashing the party hard down here: deal with it … and keep smiling.

My friends and former colleagues in the Gazette newsroom are dealing with some harsh realities right now, realities that shake the whole future of their chosen profession, slash at core beliefs and – just for a little more twisted pathos – can throw a humongous monkey wrench labeled identity crisis into the mix.

I feel I have some recently acquired expertise in this area since a goodly portion of several of my personal skyways have toppled onto my now battered (should I really add the godawful trite “‘but unbowed”) head. I don’t know if “I coulda been a contender”, but I do know I shoulda been wearing a safety helmet as I walked through the past year or so.

The people in the newsroom and in the corporation as a whole knew this had to be coming. Of course they knew it logically, but even though heavy heavy looms large and casts a shadow as huge as Dorothy’s house twisting over Oz, the shock when it bangs down on your corner of the world is devastating.

 I don’t sympathize, I empathize. My sky fell last fall. The reasons weren’t the same — my exit was prompted by medical devils, not economic ones. That my leaving the newsroom was financially beneficial to the company was tangential. Nevertheless, business is business, and all those other old saws that make sense … when it’s somebody else cleaning out her desk.

Thirteen news staffers gone.

How do you pick who goes and who stays? Who has to  weigh the pros and cons of who goes and who stays? Do you keep the leaders or the followers, the explorers or those who stay the course?

I’m glad it wasn’t my decision. I’ve been loathe to ask who went. I’m sure I’d have questions about many of  the decisions.

The 13 news staffers who left Tuesday undoubtedly had no more control over their going than I did. It wasn’t shoddy work, lack of enthusiasm or talent. It wasn’t even an unwillingness to change. It was tornadic outside forces screwing with life and a good portion of the screw was thrown my way.

No, I am not saying the company screwed me. The tornado winds of life, yeah, they took me for an unpleasant ride.

But I have learned you can rail against a tornado, but the tornado usually wins.

Maybe best to shake  your head, exclaim, “Wow, what a ride! I’m amazed I lived through it,” pick up the pieces and get on with life.

Like my son, the tattoo artist and philosopher, says: Shit happens. Deal with it.


February 26, 2009 - Posted by | diabetes, dialysis, economics, fistula, hard times, health, kidney, renal diet, renal recipes, transplant, weight loss

1 Comment »

  1. It sure felt like a tornado this week. Or more like a flood, to reference last summer’s tragedy.

    No, our building wasn’t destroyed. But our foundation was. Last summer’s Epic Surge was supplanted by an Epic Purge this week.

    We hope it’s over, and we can move forward. But we see the economic realities of our day, and our industry, and we know: If we don’t do something dramatic, soon, what happened this week may be just the beginning.

    We’re in the midst of something dramatic now. It’s our best hope for the future.

    Comment by Richard Pratt | February 27, 2009 | Reply

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