I’m not sure when I became a news junkie.

I know I didn’t grow up as one. I lived through some extraordinarily important times in our history and, frankly, wasn’t always as aware as I could have been of how meaningful these events were.

I knew we were in grave danger during the Cuban Missile Crisis, but had no idea just how close we all were to the brink. The Bay of Pigs Invasion? Didn’t pay much attention.

Sure, I was a writer even in high school, but didn’t consider myself a journalist quite yet. (I’d often tell people in those days that I planned to be a novelist, but, just in case, would become a journalist so I had something to fall back on. Can you imagine?)

No, there’s no one time or incident I can say caused me to become a news junkie. It just happened.

When I retired, my love for news did not cease.

Now, though, now that I have gone “to hell and back,” as one old friend said, I am realizing that there’s a whole lot more to my life than awareness of the news.

I’ve gotten a little bit closer to my brother and to his oldest son. I have met my brother’s two youngest children and look forward to spending more time with them.

My family keeps expanding. Our great-nephew told his mother the other day after my Closest Companion and I visited, “I like them. They’re nice.” Serious praise, as far as I’m concerned.

The day I had my open-heart surgery, my great-niece was born. At 4 ½ months, she’s working on fine tuning sloppy raspberries and deep belly laughs, two extremely important skills as far as I am concerned.

No longer am I scouring newspapers, watching TV news or scrolling religiously through news websites. I mean, I still pay attention to some current events, but it’s not like it was before.

I’m wondering whether my most recent adventures are in some way responsible for this change in me.

I’m 69. I’ve had three major surgeries. I’ve beaten cancer.

So maybe it’s time to actually BE retired. Slow down. Watch the river flow.

Love, talk and laugh. Happiness will find you.