Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Can I Do This?

I don't know where to start, so I'm just gonna jump off the deep end.  <deep breath>  I am running for City Council.  Big job, bigger responsibility, huge side effects, and it has the possibility for monumental backlash if I should get elected.  But... the opportunity to have a chance at making a small ripple in a big pond... The risks are worth the effort.

"Why, Ami?  You are a nut!!  Why run for City Council?"  This first question and the several answers that follow are the catalyst to the bumper car thoughts whipping about in my head.

The biggest reason why I am stepping away from my little comfort zone of home,
out of my comfy sweats and slippers is probably the most simple explanation:
I need to set an example by being the example.

I tell my kids ALL the time, "Do something!! Don't just sit there and whine about it!!"  Sound familiar to you?   I thought so!  I don't know many parents who haven't uttered those words, aloud or under their breath at least once.  I can't tell my kids to take action concerning who took away whatever toy when I'm not willing to do the same in regards to the town I've lived in my whole life.  And it isn't just about setting an example for my kids, either.  There are dozens more, like me, who want to have a say in what happens here.  However, they may feel or have been made to feel like they stand no chance at winning, or have been told not to try.  The reasons may be due to their 'social standing' or small bank account; or due to a fear of public backlash; or maybe fear of lost business; or even the fear of putting their only source of income at risk ...  I need to be the example.  If I can find the courage to do this, then others, who aren't so different from myself, can find their courage too when they're ready.  And I can't say that I blame them for being hesitant, either. There are cruel, vindictive, and ugly people who find pleasure in wickedness.  They are adult bullies who will stop at nothing to make life practically unbearable and down right miserable for those who would stand against them.  They can do that to someone who just stands! Not necessarily standing against or for anything, but for just standing in the way of an 'agenda'.  I've seen that sort of ugliness happen to my father, and I've experienced that kind of spitefulness to some level on my own accord with events I had charge of.  It's the reality in which we all live in, but, I find reassurance in quoting Ecclesiastes 3:17.  Look it up.

So the next question is, "Can I handle it?"
I am the grand-daughter of Denis Cooper.  I am the grand-daughter of Margie Tallent.  If you ever knew these people when they were alive, then you already know the answer to that question. 
If you have never had the privilege of knowing them, allow me to quote both side of my family tree:
"How bad do you want to find out?" 
(Let me also add that this would be said as more of a threat-like statement than an actual question.) 
So the nut doesn't fall far...  In other (very confident) words,
"You bet I can."

"Am I nervous? Scared?"
I once thought that admitting fear would show weakness and showing weakness painted a target on my back. I thought that being nervous was my que to turn around and run away, but that was before I had children. What they have taught me about fear is this:
If you're not scared, you're not doing it for the right reasons. If you're not nervous, you're doing something wrong.

"What do I have to offer?"
That's the other big question I've been asking myself. The first thought that pops into my head is 'absolutely nothing'.   I don't know the first thing about city government other than what I recall from a week at Girls State, and that was... many, many years ago. I can remember my campaigne slogan back then as it was quite catchy! "Cooperation Begins With Cooper". <sigh> I was 17, we had to do it, and you work with what ya got, so...there ya go!  lol.  I may not have the experience that seasoned incombunts have, but that doesn't mean I can't aquire it.  What I have to offer is all that I am.
I know what I am and I know what I'm not:
I am smart; I am a fast learner; I am observant;
I am curious; I am kind; I am a Christian; I am patient; I am a listener; I am a truth seeker;
I am a voice; I am loyal; I am ambitious; I am creative; I am open minded; I am a mother, a wife, a daughter, a sister, a grand-daughter, a neice, a cousin, a friend...
and... I am a little crazy.
I am not stupid; I am not blind;
I am not afraid to ask questions; I am not afraid to pray; I am not judgmental;
I am not above anyone; I am not below them, either; I am not dishonest;
and I am not as quiet as I seem.

I believe in alot of things.  I believe in God, and I believe we are all chosen for a specific purpose.  I believe that on our way to discovering whatever devine purpose that may be we are given opportunities to learn a skill, or a trade, or a lesson that will aide us in deciding which way to go next.  I believe one of my opportunities is to be a specifically set before me to mother a 'differently abled' child.  Does that qualify me to be a City Council member?  Not entirely.  But I do believe the lessons I've picked up along that road has made me more compassionate, more patient, more accepting, more determined and committed than if I had never been given this path.  We are all given certain paths that lead to other paths, and along each one...between this road and the next...we learn alittle bit more about ourselves and just what we are capable of.  Our character is strengthened and defined with every step forward, thru this rut, around those bumps, up hill, down hill...whatever it is, we keep moving forward knowing more lies ahead - good, bad, or indifferent.  Belief is the fuel that keeps us moving...pushing us past all the crap.  Faith is our guide, and it is as strong as what you allow it to be.  Knowledge is what we gain, it's one of the many gifts we're given in the process to becoming what God intended.  My desire to be part of this Council is what I've been led to, and I'm eager to learn just what that opportunity can teach me on my way to the next one.  If it doesn't happen this year, then it wasn't meant to be... I guess that's just part of the lesson intended for me to learn, but I can safely say I don't give up easily.

If you are reading this and happen to live in the 1st Ward of Belleville, I would really appreciate your support and your vote on April 3rd.  My thanks goes out to all that have already.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

My 35th Birthday

The first 24 hours of my 35 years on this planet has produced a massive sinus infection and the prompt usage of a humidifier and antibiotics.  My birthday was yesterday.  I am 35 years old and old enough to officially run this country.  Scary to think that everyone I grew up with is now that 'age' deemed responsible enough to screw millions of people. 

My birthday was a peaceful success... to a point.  I had one kid home from school sick and another kid just home...and also sick, so it really is no surprise that I find myself in their snot filled company. 
A game of high-low to recap the last 24 hours 
High - I only had to get one child ready for school. 
 Low - discovering I need to do laundry on my birthday. 
High - my mother taking him to school for me. 
High - getting to stay in my pajamas, fuzzy robe, and new slippers until noon. 
High - Fed Ex guy showing up with Madison's ipad replacement.  
Low - did not have a bra on when he showed up. 
High - watching a movie I had never watched before "Time Traveler's Wife. 
Low - bawling like a baby. 
High - nearly 60 degrees outside. 
High - opening my windows. 
Low - feeling a bit unsettled doing such on the 4th day of January. 
High - being wished "Happy Birthday" 163 times on my facebook wall. 
Low - realizing it doesn't take much effort to do that since Facebook
has a quicker feature to write on everyone's wall within seconds for such occassions.
High - Bowling with my mama. 
High - having 3 margaritas bought for me. 
Low - a score of 63. 
High - not giving a shit. 
High - coming home to 4 excited faces and 5 beautifully wrapped gifts. 
Low - not really getting to unwrap any of them by myself. 
High - a card perfectly sought after with long thought and 
hand picked from my husband reminding me just how much he loves me. 
High - Kansas Jayhawks beating Kansas Wildcats.
High - getting to talk some smack about it. 
High - getting to bed before 10pm. 
Low - waking up at 5am with a nose full of unblowable snot and an expired drivers license.  oops.