Leaving the morning show

It’s that time of year where any thoughtful columnist should be writing something moving and meaningful about Christmas. But nuts to Santa and Frosty and early Christians usurping a perfectly nice solstice celebration for their own needs. I’ve got a spot of personal news.

The rumors are now beginning to hit that efficient and invisible medium known as The Grapevine, so I might as well tend to them. After all, it’s not often one has a chance to engineer his own a.m.f. press release. So here is personal confirmation that my last day as the host of the X morning show is coming up in January, probably on Friday the 14th.

Heck, no, I wasn’t canned. My employers have been very nice to me over the years. In fact, in the 14 years I’ve been doing the show, I’d have to describe the experience as a dream job. It’s been fun, enjoyable, enriching and rewarding. In short, the best job, probably, I’ll ever have. But I can’t deny that I’ve hit a point in my life arc where I really want to do two things: (1) get more sleep and (2) get deeper sleep. Leaving these aspirations unmet breeds a state of mind not particularly conducive to a tip-top morning radio show.

Some perspective on this sleep stuff. For the last 14 years, I’ve been getting up at 4 a.m., five days a week. At this point, age 51, I am feeling thoroughly crispy on that particular approach to life. As George Thorogood once sang in one of his drinking songs, “Man, I’m tired.” Maybe I’ve read too many articles about sleep deprivation causing cancer of the coccyx, vanishing eyebrow syndrome and extreme mole-heightening, but I’m beginning to suspect that my overall health has suffered because of this semi-sane lifestyle. It used to seem sorta glamorously eccentric, but now it feels more skewed and unnatural, slowly mutating me into a lumpy, gray-green wastrel, as ruined and chipped up as a Ukrainian presidential candidate. Look, whatever flimsy self-justification I may reach for here, I gotta say that I’m truly looking forward to sleeping again like a regular human being, seven days a week, just to see what changes for the better may be wrought.

I know, I know—woe is me, woe is me, I’m all sleep deprived, wail, wail, piss, piss, moan, moan. Wa, wa, wa. But this hunger for improvement in my sleep life, while playing a significant part in this decision, isn’t the whole quesadilla. There’s another reason for this exit, the reason that kept me from simply switching from mornings to afternoons. And that’s just a sincere desire to jump off the whole damned merry-go-round for a while. You know the feeling?

To those of you who listened, even occasionally, to the show, my thanks. Your support and patronage very often felt like much more than support and patronage, and that was, is, and will be memorable, even for a memory bank as tattered as mine. And hey, I’ll see you around. It’s not like I’m moving to Manitoba or anything.