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Super Couple

Moving, Lent, and elections

Been a while since I had time to write, so I'll just dump some incomplete thoughts on the topics in my head:

Moving: We aren't. After giving us notice to vacate so they could sell, our landlords changed their minds (again). The same thing happened last time, and our upstairs neighbor cued us in that the winds might be changing, so at the end of our apartment hunt, just when we were cleared and ready to sign a new lease, I decided to call and confirm the plans to sell. Sure enough, they did a 180º, so we're staying.

It was a tough decision, and a really good one for us to walk through together. Competing priorities on money, time, proximity to work and friends, and a host of other lifestyle choices kept our options neck and neck, and though it was stressful to have it all up in the air, talking through it was—dare I say it?—fun and energizing. It also clarified so much about our values as a family moving forward. The only real bummer, other than not being closer to some of our friends (but to do that, we would have been moving farther from others, so it basically zeros out), was having to back out on the deal we were arranging with the couple whose lease we were going to take over (they are moving out of the country). These are all problems of privilege, however, and even the uncomfortable and difficult parts built character. It's good to see both God's provision and His ongoing work in us.

Lent: No idea what, if anything, I'll be giving up or doing differently for Lent. Don't feel an obligation so much as an opportunity, and I don't want that to pass by without due consideration. Want to use this devotional through the season; perhaps that will stir or solidify something more specific. For now, I'm just focusing on paying attention, which seems like it may be a complete enough discipline in itself.

Elections: Lots and lots of buzz here. Some (too) quickly jump into a mode of telling what their fellow citizens should think, believe, and do, a posture that almost immediately makes me recoil (even if I agree). There are a couple of factors related to my personality and outlook that affect my approach to the process:
  • I don't find passion valuable in and of itself. What really matters is what that passion backs up, and for me, that's all about specifics. Passion is just wrapping paper.
  • Both my hopes for and my blame of government are quite limited.
When my ability to connect with others regarding politics breaks down, it's often on one of these two premises.

In my geographic and social circles, there's lots of Obama excitement. While I've paid some attention and even dutifully watched video and read (OK, skimmed) emails, I can't pretend I fully connect with what the big deal is—possibly because of the two factors above. Neither do I have any particular problem with his candidacy (there are particular points of disagreement, but they aren't with Obama alone). What's odd is that I actually find myself pulling for him a bit (even though he's unlikely to receive my vote) simply because I fear that so many of the people around me will be unbearably pissy should he lose. That's one of the reasons I don't pin so much on politics.

My fears may be unfounded, but I wonder what the response would be to an Obama loss. It is an election, after all, and by definition, only one candidate can win. Could a loss be accepted gracefully and without disenfranchisement as an understood possibilty in this process? Part of me would rather deal with policies I disagree with (there will always be some, regardless of candidate) in an Obama presidency than to face four years (at least) of "if only he'd been elected." Currently, I find the ongoing drumbeat of whining about George W. Bush far more grating than the man himself, and this threatens to be worse. Civility seems to be leaving civil affairs, if it hasn't exited the building long ago.

Comments

I really admire your attitude about marriage/life challenges. I wish I approached things that way. :|
Thank you. I hope it doesn't sound like I have it together, because it's pretty messy in the day-to-day. This is where I work it out (like at the end of a Doogie Howser episode), so it probably sounds like I have a better attitude once I've processed in writing. That's one of the reasons it's good for me to write, and why I suffer when I don't have the space to do that.
Yeah. I can relate to that.

(Anonymous)

yay!

Glad to hear you're staying in the 'hood!
-Hugo

Re: yay!

Us too.

Re: yay!

The more it sinks in, the more relieved we are. It's such a great neighborhood and we're blessed with good friends.
I know what you mean- I hate how grumpy people get and how disenfranchised they feel when "their" candidate doesn't get elected. I don't feel that way about "my" candidate (whoever it is), so if they don't get elected, I just figure it's for the best, and in God's hands. But it is frustrating to hear whiny people. Anyway, I totally get where you're coming from on that. I'm getting more excited about Obama, but a lot of it has to do with the things you addressed.
I'm so glad you were able to attend today (read your entry on Metroblogging Seattle earlier)! It's shaping up to be a very interesting election…

it probably does not help that I work at a newspaper

Oh man, I am TOTALLY with you on the politics. Just can't put that much (or that *kind* of) hope in a fallible mortal. The way people talk about Obama, it's downright messianic- he's inspiring, but not much else to this point. I like him, though he's not likely to get my vote...

Obama is appealing to the 'nice' in everyone and he's by far the most fashionable candidate. And our culture is, at this juncture, all about what's fashionable.

Re: it probably does not help that I work at a newspaper

Well said. I know there are those who have far more well-considered reasons for supporting him (or others), but I do find myself concerned that some would be willing to vote solely on the basis of "inspiring" (or, worse yet, "fashionable")—one can be inspired by many people without electing any of them president. It's not the same job.
Being an independent in California, I could only vote in the AIP or Democratic primary. I voted for Obama. I have no idea what would be worse, but I believe in voting and all of the polls said Mrs Clinton would win our state. The communist teacher in the room next to mine also voted for Obama. I think he will be shredded in a debate with a competent Republican, but who knows. I really am sick of the Clintons and have got the willies from them. I don't bother them, but they bother me. The only time I ever saw Mr Clinton was in 1994 when his photo-op entourage blocked me from getting to work to help clean up after the earthquake. That was annoying.

'I don't find passion valuable in and of itself. What really matters is what that passion backs up, and for me, that's all about specifics. Passion is just wrapping paper.
Both my hopes for and my blame of government are quite limited.'


That's me, boy.

I agree.

I vote because I believe my right to voice an opinion about the future actions of a president relies on my interaction with the process--yet I have no vested interest in any man (or woman.)

I am reluctant to join intense political discussion because I would rather invest myself in different types of "heated" discussions--if any--which have greater consequence in my opinion.

Re: I agree.

Good to choose one's battles wisely.
I think those two premises are really starting to affect my hopes for the election. I want good things for the country, but the president has stunningly little to do with that. The presidency seems to be a repository for too many expectations and a shocking number of daddy issues—at this point, a good portion of me just doesn't want my neighbors to be unbearably disgruntled, even if I think they're being ridiculous.

Edited at 2008-02-09 03:58 pm (UTC)
Well put and spot on, as always.