Monday, September 29, 2008

Big Decision Coming Up

I have a big decision to make soon and, no, it has nothing to do with the upcoming election. It has to do with whether or not I want to commit myself to another half marathon.

I blogged this same time last year about a half marathon that I ran earlier this year on January 12. It was an amazing accomplishment and a feeling I won't soon forget. Since then a lot of people have asked me about the marathon. They ask me how hard it was, how much training I did, how tired I got, how did I motivate myself, how did I prepare?

When I explain what the hardest part was about the marathon my answer takes most people back a few steps. To most people it may seem like the actual 13.1 mile run is the hardest part when in fact that couldn't be further from the truth. What is the hardest part (at least for me) is the decision to actually do it. For me, once I make this big decision there is really no turning back. I am committed. Baring an injury or crisis of some kind, there is no quit in me.

And that is where I stand today. Looking at a marathon that will come in February 2009. Which means I have to start right now to get myself into shape and start to train for another great feat. But I haven't made the final decision. I teeter on it. Should I. Shouldn't I. Should I. Shouldn't I.

I am giving myself to the end of this week because if not I will never have enough time to train myself. I will let you know what I finally decide.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

A Sad Text Message

I was at the store yesterday making a purchase when a text message came to my cell phone just as I was approaching the cashier. It was from a friend of mine who, over this past year, I have been developing a friendship with. Her daughter is in my son's daycare class and she works in the office at the day care. We have attended kids birthday parties together and other functions outside of day care. Our conversations are usually about kids or school or tv shows. We have never talked about politics or news.

So I get this text message and here is what it says:

"Can you believe Obama is screaming about change? Do U know what CHANGE means? It means Come Help A N*** (substitute the N word) Get Elected."

When I read it I thought it was spam of some kind. Until I looked at the sender and saw that it was my friend who sent it to me.

I was so upset and flustered that I didn't realize that the cashier at the store was asking me for payment. I was shaking so bad that I could barely get my money out of my purse. I fumbled through but as I left the store I couldn't contain the tears. I made my way back to the car where my husband and kids were and he asked me what was wrong.

"I am sick. Heart sick." I showed him the text message and he got as upset as me.

On the way back all I could think was that this friend of mine who I really liked is truly a RACIST and not very smart. First of all, she has no idea which political candidate I am supporting (which just happens to be Barack Obama) and had no thought that perhaps I was not in line with her. She made a bad assumption. Why would she assume that? After all, we have never even uttered a word ever about politics. Second of all, I suppose she assumed that I am a racist like her and that such a comment would not offend me. The latter point leads me to believe that she leads a fairly vacuous, intolerant life.

I am not naive to think that there aren't racists out there. What is shocking is the brazen attitude. There is just no excuse for it. As I get ready for church today, I will be sure to send some prayers her way and then try to prepare myself for tomorrow when I will see her again.

Monday, September 22, 2008

We Interrupt The Election Season...

to announce a historic moment that is going to occur this week.....

Bring on Must See Thursday night on NBC.

The Office

Monday, September 15, 2008

What Do I Know....

I'm just a baseball mom to 4 kids who works 40 hours a week. I intended today to speak of my joyful weekend where my little princess started her first season of soccer but instead decided to deviate a little. I hope you don't mind a little political intervention on my blog. I don't usually blog about politics and that is by choice. I don't really care for negative comments and I don't like shutting down comments and really everywhere you turn is someone's opinion on this election.

Today is a bit different and I am about to break my #1 rule of this election season which is never to talk bad about the person you are NOT going to vote for. After all, if you really support your guy (or girl) then you should be talking about how he (or she) is going to make your life better as opposed to how the other guy (or girl) will make your life more miserable.

This time is different because I feel strongly in defending my honor as a woman, wife, mother, and company worker. I also feel the need to write because everywhere I turn I keep hearing and reading about St. Sarah know, the woman who has prompted even those working-mom naysayers who I frequently would run into after I had kids and went back to work to change their opinions and say "women CAN do it all!" I keep wondering why they aren't asking Sarah Palin if working so soon after having babies is really in the best interest of her children. I often fielded that question.

What I do feel for Sarah Palin is embarrassment at the selection. I feel embarrassed for her because she was used as a pawn in the political game and I am not sure if she realizes it. I had to turn away and cringe when she implied that she knew about Russia because you could see it from land in Alaska. I needed the smelling salts when Sen. McCain mouthed these same words. I feel embarrassed because she won't talk to the media and then uses it as a badge of honor to her base. I feel embarrassed because she repeats the same mantra over and over and never once changes the message. I feel embarrassed because she put herself in the same sentence as Hillary Clinton. In the spring Sen. Clinton is a “whiner” according to Gov. Palin for her complaints about sexism, in the fall when you want to get some of those 18-million-cracks-in-the-glass-ceiling-voters you have nothing but word of praise for Sen. Clinton even though your stance on the issues could not be farther from one another. I feel embarrassed because she still seems to think that the U.S. invaded Iraq to get the guys who did so much damage to Americans on 9-11. I feel embarrassed for her because she is being used to wage a sexist war against her opponents. She either doesn't care or doesn't seem to get it.

As a fellow working woman, I know how hard it is to work amongst men. I know what the perceptions are out there when a woman gets hired over a capable man. I just started a new job a few weeks ago and have been in new positions many times along my career. Each time I work extra hard in those first few months to prove myself. To show my boss and my compadres that the best person (not woman) for the job was chosen. I volunteer to speak at meetings. I volunteer to fill in for my boss. I do all that because I want to put myself out there that I deserved what was awarded to me. Where is Sarah Palin? Hiding behind a teleprompter. Hiding from interviews. Speaking words that are written for her.

I firmly believe that the election is not about whether Sarah Palin can do a job and have kids at the same time. Both women and men have been proving it true for many, many years. The election isn't even about whether I like her or her running mate. The election is about what they are going to do for this country on day 1, day 2, day 3, and so forth.

Sarah Palin would have done a lot of us a big service if she would have said "Thanks but no thanks" to that potential job in Washington. Just like she said "Thanks but no thanks" to that Bridge to Nowhere.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Getting Past A Fear

One (but not the only) fear I have is a fear of big needles. Well, really, any needle for that matter. I am not sure when it started though I think it had something to do with a bad experience I had 16 years ago when I was giving blood for a blood drive. One of the nurses who was administering the needle for my blood withdrawal really didn't know what she was doing and totally inserted it wrong. It was working for the first portion of the withdrawal but then as the bag started becoming full, the needle started hurting worse and worse until I could no longer take the pain and it had to be removed. Fortunately there was enough blood in the bag to be useful but the experience scarred me for life. I have never gone back to donate blood since then.

But lately I have been reflecting a lot on how small donations can mean a lot. I ramped up my grocery donations to my church's food bank and signed up to be a Special Olympics volunteer. Just then a notice came home from my son's daycare that the Red Cross would have the blood bank at the daycare on Sept 11 for anyone who wants to donate. I decided I was going to get past my 16 year fear and set aside an hour in my day to make a small donation. If I can do it, so can you.

I am very confident that things are going to go well this time and I am actually looking forward to it and making future donations.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

An Interesting Dinner Conversation

An interesting discussion happened at the dinner table yesterday regarding politics and the presidential election. It actually started because my older kids were talking about how this subject has been coming up in their history classes. I then started feeling that I didn't do a good enough job in discussing this subject with them. So off the conversation went and it was a lot of fun.

I got them to start really thinking about issues and I really tried hard to explain candidates and what each of their policy plans are and how they affect America. I explained the process of elections from primaries to the general. I decided that my explanations would be based primarily on fact though it does get a bit hard at times to not inject one's personal opinion. I still try and then try to warn them when it is my personal opinion.

I never wanted my kids to grow up deciding a vote just because their parents vote for a certain party or candidate. I always want them to be able to decide for themselves and to mature enough about what is important to them.

I also teach to them that everyone is equally entitled to a vote and opinion and that above all else we should be respectful of that very idea.
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