There’s nothing like a 12 hour day sitting behind a table in a very hot small gym at my kids’ former elementary school to make me fall in love with my life. I’m thankful that, until next May’s primary, I don’t have to get up at 5:15 in the cold dark to open up voting machines and post sample ballots and move tables and chairs. I’m thankful that I no longer have to write down voters’ names and more voters’ names and yet more voters’ names in two little books, when 20 minutes’ passing seems like an hour. I’m thankful that the sad stories we heard from some people yesterday haven’t happened to me (though there are a few happy ones I wouldn’t mind having).
I’m thankful that the woman who says the same things every year, making bad puns on people’s names or asking the married guys if they’re brothers, wasn’t there; and I’m thankful as well for our supremely competent Judge of Elections, who likes things to move as fast as I do. But all in all, I’m just so pleased not to be still there. I can take a walk on a beautiful day, or rake leaves, or go to yoga, or do nothing at all.
But it also makes me feel as if (as if?) I’m getting old. For 20 years I sat at long tables in hot conference rooms in meetings about brands of toilet paper that don’t exist anymore (or that Kimberly Clark has downsized), and then for another 10 I sat in workshops in hot hotel conference rooms saying the same things week after week, watching people realize they could change their lives but not their organizations (because organizations have no more loyalty to their people than Kimberly Clark did to our brands).
At least, as Obama has famously told Republicans, “elections have consequences.” Meetings about ScotTissue, or personal mastery workshops … not so much.
So: two days a year? I think I can handle it – and be thankful for the perspective.