Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Here that? It's the winds of change...

Along with leaving a stressful and consuming job, the past few weeks I have been focusing on taking back control of my life by working out more and eating better. Last night, I did something I haven't done in as long as I can remember--I actually slept a full night's sleep. A life-long insomniac and self-professed night owl, getting to bed on time seems harder than changing my eating habits or getting to the gym each day. My body is so conditioned to function with little to no sleep, that it didn't know what to do when I turned in at 11 p.m. last night.

I slept through our alarm this morning, my son was even up on his own, eating breakfast before I woke up. I guess my exhausted body got a taste of real rest and it gripped onto it and didn't want to let it go. Once I did get up, I felt better than I have in forever.

So, the winds of change are blowing...but in other ways as well.

I cautiously approached the polls today to cast a vote that I never thought I would make. All of my adult life I have voted republican, but I consider myself very in the middle, politically speaking. I tend to agree with conservatives in areas of fiscal concern and national defense. On social issues, I am more liberal-minded. But, I am from Texas, land of Conservatives (except for my dearies there in Austin!) and from a family of staunch Republicans.

"Will you be voting Democrat or Republican?" the man said as he held my voter registration card and eyeballed me.
"D-D-Democratic," I stammered.
The words seemed so awkward coming out of my mouth. I almost felt like a fraud. Still, I feel it is important that I DO vote.

The man quickly stamped my voter registration card DEMOCRATIC and gave me my instructions.

Wait!!! I thought. I don't know that I WILL be voting Democratic in the final election. Does this mean I have to?

I had read in the paper that it doesn't matter how you vote in the primaries and it holds no bearing on how you have to vote later on. Still, suddenly, I felt something I hate more than anything---labeled. I also felt a little bit dishonest.

But, as I checked of my choice on the Democratic ticket, I felt good. I voted for Barack Obama. Why? It was very simple for me. I looked at all three of the main candidates and I voted for the one I felt could unite this country and our government the most. Period.

Yes, Barack is less experienced. Yes, I do NOT feel he has come under the same scrutiny that Hillary has. And, yes, I am angry that our first woman candidate has been treated in the way she has. I am saddened by the extreme sexism that still exists. I want a woman to be president more than ever...just not that woman.

I cannot vote for Hillary. I do not like her politics. I do not like her way of business. I do not feel that I can trust her with my country. Most of all, I do not feel putting her in office will do anything to help our country--and it instead might lock down congress into even deeper party lines.

And, quite frankly, McCain might have the same effect on our government.

When I look at Obama, I see someone who can possible help heal some of the racial tension in this country--something I consider one of our biggest national problems. He might also be able to get black voters out and to the polls, which is very important.

I also see someone who went to work in his own community to fix problems early in his career and had some big successes. I read Barack's latest book, The Audacity of Hope, last year and it was as if I was reading something a close friend might have written, or even myself. His attitude about dealing with the two bickering parties and dealing with difficult issues is something I feel good about.

I am not sure about Universal Health Care. It scares me. I don't want to see the quality of my family's healthcare plummet because of it.

Pulling out of Iraq too quickly scares me as well. And, I run that risk by backing Barack.

However, I am looking for a President who will be prudent, but who will also act and enact changes. We need big changes in this country. And I think Obama, of all three candidates I'd consider, has the potential to do that. Plain and simple.

Will I vote for Barack as president? I still do not know. I look forward to seeing the Presidential debates. I want to see who he names as his Vice Presidential running mate. A lot of these things will make my final decision there.

But, regardless, today it felt like I strapped on glider and I jumped off a cliff and let those winds of change move me. And, in truth, I have to felt pretty darn good.



Anonymous Angela said...

I'm with you... I've always considered myself Independent, but mostly voted Republican in all of the elections I've participated in. But this year, I am leaning heavily toward Obama. I'm still waiting to see how the debates go down the line, but I'm ready for a change in this country, and I think that he just might be the man for the job.

3:40 PM, February 27, 2008  
Blogger Babs said...

Funny, I felt the same way about declaring my party... and I've voted Democratic forever! But I happen to live in Williamson Co, which is definitely not the same as living in Travis (as you know) And it just felt weird to be labelled like that by the old people at the polling place. I know they need to keep track of that stuff, but isn't it kinda weird that your vote can be totally anonymous while your party isn't? I feel a huge admiration for all these people that have gone before us, and fought the worst in intimidation about voting. We do have it good. :)

And hey, I love that you got good sleep. "here that?" heh

3:45 PM, February 27, 2008  
Blogger Nicole said...

I've heard that a lot of Republicans in Texas are going to be voting for Obama just to vote against Hillary. But I think Hill's done for no matter what.

I've also heard that McCain is pulling more Dems his way than Obama is pulling Reps his way so it will be interesting to see how it all turns out. I'm not thrilled about McCain but I think that he would reach "across the aisle" more than Obama since he's done so in the past (that's why many Reps are not happy with him). And Obama has THE most liberal voting record in the Senate so I doubt he's be willing to "unite" with Republicans. I also think that in a time of war we need someone with military experience and that's definitely not Obama. I think his inexperience will show more and more in the national debates.

It is exciting seeing how more people are getting involved in this election. I'll be in the Fall the turn-out will be astonishing.

Glad you're getting more sleep! I this that is proof that you made the right decision about that job!

9:24 AM, February 28, 2008  

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