When I've Got Nothing
July 7, 2022
July 7, 2022
Every Friday morning for the past 13 years, I've been the weekly guest on Rochester's soft rock station, WARM 101.3. The 7:40 and 8:20 breaks are for my KidsOutAndAbout.com segments about family-friendly things happening in Rochester each weekend, and between those segments, I'm just part of the morning show crew with Tony, Kristie, and Nikki. The point of morning radio isn't so much information as connection: We talk about things from the news, from our personal lives, from radio service lists of hot topics of the day, and—on Fridays, at least—from science. (Our new segment, "Talk Nerdy to Me," is at 7:50.) If we're doing our job right, you feel connected to what we're saying more often than not, and we become your invisible friends keeping you company in your car.
Sometimes, when we're off the air because a song or commercial is playing, Tony will look around the studio and ask, "Who's got something?" Usually, one of us will answer, and we'll quickly bat around the idea to see whether it would work. Personal stories—ideally told in under a minute—work best. Occasionally, though, everyone's answer to Tony's "Who's got something?" question is a blank stare: I've got nothing, we say. Of course that won't do, the song will be over soon. So we scramble: We search our memories, we scan other media outlets, we search Wikipedia. And we prove ourselves wrong every time.
Anyone who is a parent has had this feeling. Those young people need information, they need comfort, they need dinner, and they need it NOW. You're convinced that you're completely depleted, of answers and warmth and creativity. You're sure you have nothing left to give. Then you scramble and make it work, and if you're feeling generous toward yourself, you appreciate that you are magical.
I face this issue myself every time I sit down to write. Last night, I looked at the blank gray pallet that is my column space to fill, and thought: I've got nothing. I thought that for awhile, then got to work proving myself wrong.