I'm mid-point in a 17-day "try-out" for a position as liberal political editor for a major online info website. Early November, my son-in-law suggested that I submit an application, so I did. To my surprise, on Jan 5, they sent me an email expressing interest, and offering me a trial run that started on Jan 7. (My son-in-law, a freelance writer, works for them as national editor on an entirely different topic. )
My task is to create a website, using their God-awful software, devoted to current liberal (not Democratic) issues and emerging liberal leaders, with a fair and balanced, not ranting and raving, perspective. Typical me...for the sake of perfection, I make the job big. Then exhaust myself.
I must provide balanced and brief explanations, relevant links and issues papers on.....get this....social security privatization proposals; the economy, monster trade deficit, income taxes, jobs and outsourcing; environmental concerns as global warming, preservation of wildlands and recycling; election reform and voting rights; death penalty; the wars on terror and in Iraq; abortion and Roe v. Wade (which I don't support, but still must explain); faith in public life (my idea...I have so much to say); health care; homeland security; stem cell research; education and "No Child Left Behind;" the USA Patriot Act and civil rights; and immigration reform. And leadership.
I'm tired with just 8 days under my writing and researching belt. But not too tired. That's part of the test....passion and perseverance, not just knowledge and writing talent. I have passion and perseverance in spades, so I'll finish this race, and finish it well.
But if I get the gig, which is not assured, the race will just be starting. I'll finally and officially be the journalist (press passes!) I started out to be when I was an undergraduate. I already find my mind continually preoccupied with news cycles, press releases and CNN breaking reports. I find myself eating badly and quickly, not exercising, drinking too much coffee, sitting all day and neglecting things I don't want to neglect.
My youngest is now 13 and almost a high school student. She's the last child at home. It's the perfect time for a new, satisfying venture to fill my life, but I'll need to learn to live it better than I have this past week. I'll need to integrate this new endeavor with my usual peace and serenity of everyday life.
Or else it's not worth it.