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No escape

May 2, 2013 - Jennifer Brookens
I took a little time off last week to enjoy what was supposed to be spring. Weather-griping aside, I learned something: as long as I live here, I will never be able to escape being a reporter.

Even on those days off, I found myself seeing things, spotting people and thinking, "Hey, I should check with him about..." or "That would make a good photo later this summer..." (Now that I'm back, why can't I remember those great ideas that I had to make myself dismiss because I was on vacation?!)

And if my mind can't escape it, neither can anyone else. Along with people asking me about the latest on this or that, there is also the request for my "expertise." Picking up my daughter from a friend's house, her mother asked my help in writing a dedication poem to their teacher. Going out for ice cream on prom night, one of the workers asked if I could get some photos of the teens in their dresses and tuxes with her camera. I didn't mind any of these; it's nice to be appreciated. But occasionally I've had a flattering request go too far, and then I have to draw the line.

So what did I learn from my time off? That if I Really want a vacation from being a reporter, I need to get outta town. And I did do some of that. I also learned how to get the best online deals on some of those hotel Web sites, that the Radisson in Bloomington actually has rooms with bunk beds for children, and that their waterpark is only open on weekends during the off-season. But even there, it took some time for me to stop jumping at every siren, wondering where it was going and if it was something I need to cover.

Maybe someday I'll recover from "constant reporter mode." Something tells me intense psychotherapy is involved...


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