Thank you for all of your comments on that last post! It was just one of those days. I had a great weekend though... we got together with Craig's whole family and his brother shared some interesting stories of people they've met lately. I got to finally see my new nephew! And all the kids are just growing up quickly. I've been thinking a lot lately about what's most important to me and how to fit it all in. And how to eliminate some of it too.
Linnea is a runner (and an illustrator!) and suggested that I read "Run Less Run Faster" if I want to actually take running seriously. Now my family would giggle at this point because as much as I used to run when I was younger, it was never very well or fast or serious. It basically allowed me to sprint down the basketball court or work off stress from teaching. I have very long legs which grew very quickly when I was young and that put some stress on my knees and ankles. Regardless, running is something I've always wanted to do and wanted to be decent at. I have always wanted to do a 5k marathon but thought it was impossible for me. This book is hopefully going to prove me wrong!
I also noticed on Linnea's blog, a very interesting link to Zen Habits and an article called "Attack Your Limitations: Turn Your Weaknesses into Strength". When I actually wrote down what I thought my weaknesses were, I could start to see how to view these as potential strengths. It was fascinating! It mirrored what Craig's brother was telling us about in his story of the power of words, which we all agree is very powerful indeed. When I was complaining on Friday, I could have turned some of those situations into something constructive. Understanding myself and what my strengths are allows me to focus on doing them well. It also made me anxious to try to start running! I challenge you to just read that article and see if it doesn't make you see things in a slightly different way (or maybe a completely different way!!).
Becky was right, too, that I do need to vote. I watched the debates on Friday night, which I'm very glad they held. I knew Barack Obama was a superb orator so I wasn't sure if John McCain could explain himself as well. I did learn something from each of them. I do have to state that it would be presumptuous to say that I understand the ins and outs of all aspects of government so well that I can tell them what should be done! John McCain definitely does understand foreign affairs by the breadth of experience he has. This reminds me a lot of when Carter ran. I do remember that! We did a mock election in fourth grade and only my teacher and the teacher's pet voted for Carter. The rest of us wanted Gerald Ford. Of course Carter won and I remember little Amy Carter going to the White House! As you know, Jimmy Carter is a good man with a great heart for people. He just was terrible at foreign policy. I see that a bit with Barack Obama except that Obama isn't a committed Christian (at least, he doesn't attend church nor does he support the belief of all life being important.) That's his decision but that's where he differs from Jimmy Carter. I just don't understand why Barack can't see that "choice of insurance" is better than "government run insurance". I think that we could actually have both. It would make sure that everyone is taken care of and also keep the system at a high quality of care by allowing people to choose their own physicians. He also doesn't see that corporations' profits are what allows them to offer benefits to their employees. They pay the taxes that fund our schools and the programs in the cities they are located. When you increase their taxes, they have to be able to pay their employees, continue to grow their business, pay for healthcare, so they will just raise the prices of what they produce so that they can stay in business. Who pays for that? Us! Profit is an important part of capitalism. It's not evil. That being said, I don't think we should be spending trillions of dollars to bail out failed institutions. There should be regulations on banks as well as monopolies who control our utilities and whose impact on the rest of the economy is felt within every aspect of business. We should make decisions keeping our children's futures in mind and the world they are to be stewards over. We should regulate the use of science in our natural world before we allow companies to be creating unnatural species that take over all natural things. (Monsanto!) We should help those who can't take care of themselves, but give education and opportunities to those who can so that they can get on their feet again independently. We should call apples apples. Our Social Security tax is just tax... not a retirement fund that we can expect to pay for our living expenses after age 65. We should have a CHOICE in how to save for retirement. A CHOICE for healthcare. A CHOICE for education. A CHOICE of who to hire and who to let go when they aren't performing their responsibilities well. A CHOICE of raising children without fear of being hurt or exposed to things like sex education when they are too young to understand it. A CHOICE of saying "no" to birth control because it's against my belief in harming life. A CHOICE to stay home to take care of my own children because I can afford to live on my husband's income and not have to depend on two salaries just to cover a mortgage and food. People shouldn't have to work so hard just to get by. I get tired of hearing about choice but it only pertains to killing a fetus. (To me, it's no different than choosing to kill a neighbor or someone in my family. They are all living and it's premeditated murder whatever the case.) Give me real choices because that's what American life is based on: freedom and liberty! I respect both candidates' passion for making changes in our government to benefit our country. You can't argue with that on either side. One last thing: anyone who ever has had children and been involved with any sort of responsibility will know that when a job needs to get done efficiently, creatively, and with kindness... the best "man" for the job tends to be a woman. She asks for very little in the way of thanks or recognition, she keeps the greater good in mind which usually involves the futures of our children, and she knows that there is always something to do and some things take precedence but with a bit of juggling, anything that is important and valuable, can be accomplished! People question Sara Palin's abilities. She is a mom of five children and a woman who has accomplished things already in her time in office. She is no different than the many woman I work with every day who keep our communities running smoothly. There are men who do this too. It's just that I would never doubt a mother's ability to do a great job.
So with all these things I'm juggling lately, I'll turn my weaknesses into strengths, I'll try something new, and I'll quietly take care of the little details and jobs that somehow get done at our local school, behind the scenes, with hardly any recognition... I'm a mom, a woman, and a pretty awesome person! So are you!