I set my alarm at 3:15 a.m. for one last time as I prepared to haul up my anchor and set sail for a new adventure at WRAL-TV.
It would be my last weekend anchoring the news at the Big 5. After months of deliberations, I had finally gathered up the nerve to talk to my boss about changing my shift.
The early morning hours and working weekends for four years had taken a toll on me and my family.
When I was offered the job, I was so excited for the opportunity that I didn't dare tell anyone that I am not a morning person. I did the best I could, but the limited sleep always caught up with me, and my family would pay the price. I'd be the first to admit that I am not very "pleasant" when I am tired.
I also think about the countless sporting activities and other events that I missed with my children.
Two out of our three kids also are in school now. I've come to realize that when your kids are in school, weekends are critical for quality family time.
The problem was that I worked so hard to get to the anchor desk and I hated to give it up.
But I also recognized that this time with my kids is fleeting. In a matter of years, they'll be pulling up their own anchors and setting sail on their own adventures.
So I made the decision to leave the anchor desk. And my wonderful boss agreed to let me work part-time as a reporter during the week.
In the end, saying farewell was bitter sweet.
My ship has sailed away from the anchor desk at WRAL, but I know what's waiting on the horizon happens just once in a lifetime.
Sloane Heffernan is a mom of three and a reporter for WRAL-TV. Find her here monthly on Go Ask Mom.