Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Making it official

With six weeks left before the closing of the paper, I signed documents today, officially accepting a severance from The Ann Arbor News.
The exercise was painless, lasting all of five minutes.
I signed my name twice and wrote in a date of the latest I will be paid. I slid the papers across to a notary who stamped them and put my forms in a pile with the others.
I returned to my desk and went back to the story I had begun working on a few hours earlier.
And just like that, the last step of my departure - other than cleaning out my desk - was complete.
Every day, the closing of the paper gets a little more real. People ask me what I am going to do and what's going to replace the newspaper.
I answer the questions politely, knowing it's not their fault that the paper that has served Ann Arbor for the past 174 years is closing.
In the next six weeks, I will stay busy. I have to. It's my way of putting off the reality of not knowing what lays ahead.
I have a couple of stories I am really excited about. I know they will demand my time and full attention – two things I am happy to surrender while I wait to learn of where I will be next.