The electricity of election night is palpable.
During my years as a newspaper reporter and editor and then a TV news producer, I spent many election nights in cold, windowless newsrooms, which, on election night, fairly buzzed with adrenaline, bad coffee and jokes that remain, to this day, unprintable. (Why, yes, I was known as The Run-On Queen. Why do you ask?)
It was a little intoxicating, frankly, the long hours and the breathless pace and the access to power. Every third person was on the phone with a candidate or political pundit. The newsroom desk was usually occupied by someone doing an on-air piece. The bank of TVs behind the assignment desk was blaring and insistent. I stayed – heck, everyone stayed – until the bitter end. I usually drove home around 3:00 AM, every nerve in my body still tingling. It took me days to come off the adrenaline high.
Every once in a while, when someone finds out what I used to do with my life before kids, they’ll ask me if I miss it, if I miss the news business and the rush that goes with it.
On election nights, I miss it.
But then again….
Last night, instead of sitting in a control booth and whispering the latest election numbers into an anchor’s IFB, I sat in a dim nursery and cuddled a tired baby. Instead of talking on the phone to Mr. Important’s media spokesman, I watched Connor earn his gold belt at karate graduation.
Instead of feeling important because I took the pulse of the nation, I felt humbled because I am someone’s whole world.
Maybe I don’t miss it after all. After all, there’s urgent. And then there’s important.
I’m just starting to learn the difference.
Kelly also blogs at Love Well, which is both the name of her blog and her motto for living. Sometimes, it takes an election to make her remember that.