How Can It Be 30 Years? No Regrets.

by admin on September 5, 2012

By: Andrea Heairet, RMR, CRR, CLR

I started reporting in 1982 – barely 20 years old, so darn excited to finally have a real job, in a respected profession, providing a service to highly-educated people.   It didn’t cross my mind how intimidating that should have been.  Ah, arrogant youth…

My household now includes a college sophomore and a high school junior, and how we got where we are is a common topic in our conversations.   I think about that often.  Teaching and social work were on my possible-careers  list.  Dad served on the local school board and there was much unrest at the time – teachers striking, lots of conflict.  Dad strongly discouraged that choice.   The social work thing?   Mom and Dad both pointed out I may have too soft a heart for such work.  And that it involved lots of college.  Good points.   I wanted to get into that Working World as soon as possible!

I was thankfully able to clearly see that my Motherhood urge was a strong one, so flexibility was a big factor (even though I was an ancient 30 years old when I had my first baby).  And, um, I’m a bit embarrassed to admit that the reputation of reporters making a nice living factored in more than it ever should have.  But I was intrigued with the legal world, did well in typing and shorthand classes, found the English language fascinating, played a few instruments, had a reputation of being a perfectionist (but now can call myself a reformed perfectionist), have a real love of learning new stuff, and always enjoy meeting new people.  Off to reporting school I go… and then to Willmar/Southwest Minnesota, Fargo-Moorhead, Colorado Springs, back to Fargo-Moorhead, and Minneapolis/Central Minnesota I went.

I love being a court reporter — always have.  I had a possible career-ending scare about 15 years in.  Not a unique story:  court reporter = overuse syndromes.   Cannot tell you how thankful I am for my insurance guy practically insisting I get a disability policy, especially with my “odd” type of work.   So for five years I was not a Court Reporter, but a Mom and Wife – and don’t think for a minute that didn’t involve a humongous amount of soul-searching and way too much who-am-I and what-is-the-purpose contemplation.  I considered retiring permanently, but I always enjoyed working and the challenges it gave me, so I knew at 35 years old I was only on sabbatical.   But what else could I possibly do?

Hours were spent researching my career options.   I came to the realization how spoiled rotten I was to have a job I loved and was pretty good at and challenged me and paid me a very nice wage.  Because of my disability policy, I was able to doctor and take care of myself, enjoy the opportunity to be home full-time with my boys and get involved in all that cool stuff we get involved in when our kids are young, and still contribute financially.  That my faith was challenged and strengthened immeasurably is simply humbling.

Thankfully, I healed after not sitting in a static position for hours and hours at a time.  Our bodies were designed to move.  My insurance company paid for new equipment when my doctors and I had to admit that I was feeling great.  I was armed with tons of knowledge about prevention that I didn’t have before.  I was so excited to be able to get a second chance to be a reporter!   And what an amazing second chance:  I’ve been part of Team Paradigm since November of 2003, and am in constant awe and amazement of the stellar and talented group of individuals I’m surrounded by.   I’m looking forward to the next 30 years!

Previous post:

Next post: