Editor's column: Birthdays, families and newspapersResearchers say that no one at the end of a life wishes that he or she had spent more time at work.
By: Naomi Yaeger, Duluth BUDGETEER News
A couple years ago, when I was the editor of the Hillsider, I worked right through my 50th birthday.
The next year, as editor of the Budgeteer, I worked through my birthday again. That night I wondered what the sense of working so hard was if I didn’t take time to enjoy life. I’ve been a stay-at-home-mom, unemployed, and underemployed, so I know what long days with little excitement are like.
Of course, my job provides me lots of excitement and I’m privy to events and meeting people that I might not otherwise meet and I thrive on it. But, researchers say that no one at the end of a life wishes that he or she had spent more time at work. I decided that at the end of my life I’d want my family to know that I had taken time out to observe the little “big” events in their lives.
Because I have lived all over the country, I decided I would soak in anything “uniquely Duluth,” taking advantage of things I could do here that I couldn’t do anywhere else. And I would make sure milestones in life were appropriately celebrated.
So I decided to plan a birthday party for my husband’s next birthday. The week it came, I told my staff that I would be leaving at a certain time whether the paper was done or not. I did leave in time for his party. While I believe the captain needs to stay with the ship, I don’t know if I would have left if I didn’t think the staff could put the paper to bed without me.
Since then, two of my husband’s birthdays have been celebrated with friends and cake. I’ve taken the time to raft down the St. Louis River with church members. And two years in a row, I’ve boarded the first sea-going vessel to reach Duluth in the spring.
So this year, what was I to do when I was invited to a book club discussion at a Duluth mansion in which a famous American author wrote a controversial book about race — on my very birthday?
Why, throw myself a party the day before, and go to the discussion on my special day to cover the event for the Budgeteer, of course. When I got there, I found the women in the book club had made me birthday cupcakes.
I’ll keep producing a Budgeteer for you to read while doing my best to honor the important events in my family’s life, if you keep inviting me to exciting events.