I made a lot of decisions in 2010, though I’m not sure which I would consider “wise” and which would simply fall into the category of pragmatic – as in decisions that had to be made the way they were. Bargaining decisions definitely were pragmatic. The decision to tear down our garage and build a studio was also somewhat pragmatic – I had the money and the garage was going to fall down anyway….. and I haven’t lived with any of my decisions long enough to decide whether they were wise or not given the way they might play out.
But on reflection, the decision I feel the most unburdened by is my resolve to not run for my union position or any higher office in the coming year. After years of traveling up the ladder of political leadership, I was stopped short this summer when I realized I was continuing to strive out of habit more than desire for the role I sought. And as much as I recognize my competence and ability to do the job (not to mention all the training I’ve had over the years), I have a visceral reaction against the travel, stress and negativity that I know go with the terrain.
And so, this fall through all the other craziness of bargaining and ratification votes, I’ve been informing people of this decision. Making it real by removing my name from the ring, feeling a certain gladness at knowing I can go to our convention in May without having to prove myself to two hundred people for 72-hours straight (after having to prove myself for the last three years, five years, how long has it been?).
Instead I am making room for my real desire to come back to me – a focus on home, family and community, perhaps some higher education (that long-lost master’s degree is calling), and possibly even looking for other work as a way to redirect my energy.
I don’t know if this decision is a forever-type of decision – or just one for the next few years. What I do know is it feels exactly right for now, and I’m feeling a lot more hopeful for having made it.