I realized last night that I may need a 12 step program after this election is all over. I still remember those AA commercials and I see myself with the flashlight saying “My name is Michelle and I am an electionoholic” (better word needed). I was on the phone with a good friend of mine but I was too busy flipping between CNN, MSNBC and FOX to pay attention to her. Then she asked what are you doing? That didn’t get me to stop I just started going on and on about the election how Gov. Palin is just a distraction because after all how does any of this help with my gas, food and the fact that my company is going through “voluntary separations” with “involuntary” to come later. Then there are those that are just shutting down or outright laying off. How does this help me get my kids a decent education? I gave up the idea of retiring at 50 a long time ago but will I at least be able to retire someday? My 401k is looking a little shaky. We went round and round, but we kept coming back to our kids. By the time I got to bed I was drained and still seeing images of me with the flashlight.
This morning I realized that the reasons I am addicted are my children, my nieces, nephews and all those kids I love dearly. I have this host of brilliant little ones I am related to. My daughter is a fearless girl my middle son is an artist at heart and my oldest has the biggest personality with a smile to match. My 8 year old nephew is going to be one of the most successful people I know. How do we make sure they are better off than we? As a parent I know fear, we are on very intimate terms. He lives with me rides to work with me sits at my desk and sleeps with me every night. My prayers only makes him move a little out of my sight but is presence is constant. It is fear that makes me wonder how we manage if John McCain, Mark Sanford, Sarah Palin (I personally was rooting for him so we could be rid of him) and the like are in charge for the next X number of years. My concern is not where we drill for oil but how do I pay for the gas to get to work. As a single parent I fear for the social programs I rely on like after school programs and summer camps that I can afford. Programs that will help mine or my girlfriend’s teen when they need it. Help for those kids in abusive homes, or in need of a fresh start. I can barely feed my own family so my donations to the food bank are non existent these days. Will there be scholarships for my kids? Will there be student grants for their education? If my daughter or my son’s girlfriend gets pregnant what type of choices will they have? What kind of jobs or careers can they have? The outcome of this election will have long term ramifications. How will history deal with our decisions?
Over the course of the last eight years I have watched my bank account dwindle, my prospects for a better position vanish, and everything I touch is 2 to 3 time as expensive while my paycheck barely registers an increase but we can spend 1 billion dollars a month in Iraq? Many more of my younger relatives are in harm’s way. Then we get this bunch telling us it will all be fine, actually we are fine. Give me a break! Sarah Palin’s daughter will be fine but what about my girlfriend’s pregnant teen? McCain’s daughter will get to go to the college of her choosing but what about my baby brother or my brilliant children? Barack Obama is the person I am willing to trust to turn things around. I am tired of fear. I want a real date and a warm body in my bed. So, for now I hold that flashlight and hope my withdrawal isn’t too bad Nov 5th.