We all deal with things differently, particularly when you’re delivered life-threatening news. For me, it made me want to hold onto my husband very tightly. It also prompted me to think a LOT harder about our financial future. We had virtually nothing in place, should something happen to one of us. And there we were; in the middle of “something.” My husband, Toby had been diagnosed with cancer.  

He had never had a colon exam, and it was something that I essentially forced him into doing. While it may make you feel awkward about having it done, it’s an incredibly simple process for early detection of cancer. I think it’s safe to say that we’d all prefer to not have our lives cut short. I’d like to think Toby’s life has been saved by the procedure, and I remind him of that often; particularly when I want him to do something for me. He will tell you that the worst part of the whole ordeal was drinking that God-awful gallon of noxious liquid designed to get your innards squeaky clean. The procedure itself was a piece of cake.

The good news was, his battle was not as vicious as what some people endure. His cancer was caught at stage 2, so two surgeries later, he was deemed cancer free. He’s back to normal; well, as normal as can be. If you’re at all familiar with my husband, the bathroom has always been a frequent place for him. He says he does some of his best “thinking” in there. I think it’s in your best interest to avoid the room after he’s vacated it.

At any rate, I decided to leave my 20 year career in radio, for something that provided better work-life balance, and a path to a better financial future. That new career was working out pretty well—selling memberships to the National Federation of Independent Business—despite having a territory that was almost two hours north of home. But then came December and January. That’s generally when many business owners put a death-grip on their spending. Working for straight commission, and putting about 1000 miles on my vehicle each week was taking a toll on the finances, so I decided to pull the plug on that venture.

Toby freaked out, but fortunately, it was only one week before the next opportunity revealed itself. I started working at Wehrs Machine & Racing Products in Bangor on a temporary basis. Being a huge fan of racing, it was a pretty awesome job to have. I was applying like crazy for all kinds of other jobs; landing a few interviews, but nothing ever fell into place.

Timing is everything. Several weeks ago, I received a very random Facebook message from Jen O’Brien at Midwest Family Broadcasting. She inquired if I missed radio, or ever thought about getting back into it again. I have to be honest here; I had no intention of returning to radio again. It wasn’t what I thought I should be doing. I wanted work-life balance and that path to a better financial future. In radio? Please! But I agreed to meet with Jen for lunch at Piggy’s later that week. What could a conversation hurt? Plus, she said she would buy, so of course, I was down with a free lunch!

It’s amazing how when you go into something without expectations, just how incredibly relaxed you can be. That was probably the most enjoyable lunch that I have had with someone that I literally just met. (Other than the surprise of KQ afternoon drive DJ, Rachel Chase & Brittany Styles from Z-93 happening to walk in for lunch and spotting the two of us sitting together, the entire meeting was free of any awkwardness.)

Later, I had the opportunity to have a lunch with Phil Costigan at Big Boar Smoker in West Salem, to get to know him, and see if the two of us thought we would be able to work together. (TWO free lunches?!) We had to wait until after he came back from vacation, but as it turned out, we hit it off pretty easily. I’m convinced that over the course of this new adventure in radio, I will be sampling all kinds of wild game, thanks to Phil.

My point here is that this was a very thorough process, that none of us dove right into; instead we methodically explored it, taking our time to fully consider things. I’m sure there will be people from my past who are going to be upset with my decision, but isn’t that part of the lesson in life? You can’t make decisions based upon what others will think. You have to do what’s best for you.

In the end, I was convinced that it was right for me to venture back into radio. Chad at Wehrs Machine was very understanding, and didn’t insist on a two-week notice, so once we had an agreement struck; it was only a short matter of time.

If you’re friends with me on Facebook, and incredibly perceptive, you likely noticed earlier this week that I was suddenly becoming friends with many of the characters here at Midwest Family Broadcasting. I am finding that they are a pretty gregarious and fun bunch. I’m pretty sure that I’m going to like it here.  I’m grateful for the opportunity, and amazed at how life takes such interesting turns. And so, it begins… what was old, is suddenly new again.      ~Jacklyn