The premier seemed relaxed as he sat down to a packed room of reporters on Thursday and opened up about the toll his career has taken on his family and how the decision to resign was one he made with his wife.

“There’s a sense of relief,” said Gordon Campbell, who surprised the province on Wednesday by announcing he was ending his nine-year run as B.C.’s premier.

“People don’t understand how much time and energy it takes to do a job like this.”

Campbell said he plans to spend more time with his grandchildren and give his party and family a chance to hit the proverbial refresh button.

“When you get in public life, you take the good and the bad. The challenge is when the things that are said about me are visited on my (family).”

He added it had become particularly difficult to lead when every decision he made was weighed against the HST controversy.

“I can think of very few people if any that run for public office thinking they’re going to try and do bad things to the country,” Campbell said.