After 18 years working, 14 in journalism and 9 in ITV, I am for the first time in my life taking a break. Enrolling on a short term contract as a housewife. There it is in black and white. Although until I’ve started my new job, it will not really seem true.
You may not be so surprised to read that the primary reason for vacating the news anchor hot seat for 6 months was not so much a desire to bake cakes (at which I’m useless) or throw Tupperware parties (if they even exist now). It was a more a decision motivated by the importance of nurturing the personal and the professional in equal measure.
We spend so much of our early careers competitively chasing ambitions sometimes it’s all too easy to find ourselves taking the most important things in life for granted.
So, it was time delve into my memory bank of Tricolore textbooks, draw on my high school linguistics , and follow my heart and husband to France – albeit temporarily. Actually, the textbook part is not quite accurate. The control freak in me signed up to one-to-one conversation lessons in Roath eighteen months ago. Just in case. As luck would have it, the lovely wife of the manager at my hairdressers is from northern France and teaches the language privately around looking after their children. It was fate… always best to be prepared.
Of course, the pros of such a Girl Guide mentality are, like everything balanced by the cons. The kind of over-planning that saw me packing the never-worn-but-could come-in-handy shoes x5 into my luggage ready to begin my continental adventure. A trait that drives my more impulsive husband round the twist, until he reluctantly has to concede its benefits when my Mary Poppins handbag produces the emergency item he didn’t think to bring.
So, you are probably getting the idea. For a ‘what-if’ woman ‘ like me, that likes to plan for every eventuality, taking time out from a fiercely competitive job and dipping a toe into the unknown has been a daunting, though somewhat liberating, decision. There is no choice now though but to jump in and swim. For the duration of my sabbatical, ‘what-if woman’ will have to find her inner ‘go with the flow’ girl.
Inevitably though, I can’t step away entirely from the familiar. Standby for a flurry of activity on social media. Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest (once I work out how to use it) will all be working overtime under the ‘andreabyrnetv’ handle. Beware, by the time I’m finished hash-tagging, our new puppy Hank will no doubt have followers all of his own. And then there’s my blog too of course www.andreabyrne.tv/blog
I think that’s every outlet covered. Forgive me, but if I don’t indulge myself in some kind of journalism, there’s a danger Lee will return from training to find me reading the news to myself on the sofa and pining for an auto-cue.
And that is your news. You’re up to date. From me, goodbye and goodnight (for now). *smiles *shuffles papers *logs off studio laptop ….
Read my column monthly in Cardiff Life magazine.