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The Road Being Taken

By RD Heldenfels Published: July 10, 2005

  As you know from today's Beacon Journal (or from www.ohio.com ), I am about to embark on my annual trip to California for the summer TV critics' press tour. In addition to stories in the Beacon Journal, you'll be seeing notes and remarks here. I hope to have the first posted late Monday, after I have arrived out west.


  While you know all that, what you may not know is that, before just about every one of these trips, there is a moment when I don't want to go.


  This year, I actually went through a series of moments, but was hit hardest around 8 this morning as I was getting ready for a busy day. It would have been busy anyway, with church and errands and the like. This day was busier than usual because I had to finish packing, a process that -- with a trip that lasts almost three weeks -- can be formidable. I don't just move into a hotel, I nest there, trying to make it a resting place and a workplace, one where the walls don't close in too much.


  But it wasn't the packing that made me especially unhappy this morning. It was the leaving. For three weeks, I will be away from my bride (a word I don't use jokingly; we've been married less than a year and a half) and from my sons. I will be away from the day-to-day issues that need attention, making a contribution only by phone and e-mail. I will be away from the household projects that take up my off-work time, unable to complete the things I have started. In other words, I will be away from my home.


  As I often say in the paper, it does no good to complain about going to Hollywood and hanging out with television stars. There are far harder things to do in the world. So I'm not regretting what I'm going to do out there; that's part of my job, and there will be times when I will be reminded what a neat job I have.


   But I do regret that I must leave people and things back here. That's what makes it hard to go. As much as I love my work, I love my home and family more.


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