Well, my vote for President Barack Obama has been officially cast. I stood on line yesterday, encouraged by the fact that there were a good number of folks out waiting to vote on a beautiful Sunday afternoon in Florida, instead of watching football (although I must admit I was keeping up with the games on my phone, and I didn’t leave my house to go vote until the score in the Dolphins game was a comfortable Miami 27 – NY Jets 3). I am still very wary of how Florida will go and I think at the moment, Romney has a bit of an edge, but I’m not counting us out just yet.
I have been busy with some volunteering over the past several weeks, and I expect I will do a few more days worth of either phone work or neighborhood turnout efforts between now and next Tuesday. But in all honesty, folks, I think I am just about done for this campaign season.
I have been very focused on the political world, watching and contemplating the daily fluctuations with heightened interest. With the 24-hour media news cycles as intense as they are these days, it feels like I have already lived through multiple elections over the past several months. We’ve had winners and losers and talking points that have come and gone, outrageous statements and arguments and gaffes, and even some gratifying moments of clarity and inspiration here and there. But with all of this time and energy and effort spent, we still have another week to wait until we can find out how this will all end. And that’s the optimistic view – if it is close, if there are questions or recounts or God knows what else, then the answers we all want to hear may take even longer to emerge.
I have so much to do in my “real” life right now. It is a bit of a relief to know that I can ease up on the political stuff soon, and be fully available to my family, friends and work projects. But I still do not feel completely at ease now. If anything, I am as anxious and preoccupied about November 6th as I ever have been, and maybe even more so. It actually gets more acute, this feeling of gnawing anxiety, once you realize that your window of active participation has more or less passed, and there is nothing much left for you to do but wait. I have donated. I have volunteered. I have voted, and I have done what I can to help others vote. My ability to make any sort of impact on what will happen on election day is now over and done with, and I will have to grit my teeth and ride it out along with everyone else who is concerned about the direction this country will be taking over the next 4 years. It’s going to be a long, loooong road to November 7th, and I have no idea what will be waiting for us there when it finally does arrive.
As if that wasn’t enough suspense for one week, we are now keeping our eyes trained on the Atlantic Seaboard states, as Hurricane Sandy bears down in what is being described as a “once in a century” type of storm. We here in Florida dealt with some wind, rain and power outages during the end of last week, and schools were cancelled as we waited to see how much of an effect Sandy would have on us. Thankfully, we really had no major problems here in South Florida. But I can clearly see that those in the states to our north will not be as lucky. It will be a few days before we can really see the damages that this storm will bring to the area, and it will probably be much longer than that before life can return to normal for the folks living in Sandy’s path. Because I have many friends and relatives among those who will be affected, from Syracuse, New York all the way down to the banks of the North Carolina shoreline, I will be anxious about this event as well until it has passed and I can be sure everyone I care about has made it through OK.
I guess I will sign off here for the time being, and I will likely not have time to check in again until after the election. Between now and then, I am wishing best of luck to all of you who are in some way impacted by this storm, and I wish some peace of mind to those of you who are sweating out the final week of political craziness just as I am. Next week can’t get here soon enough, in my opinion, and I’m sure many of you feel the same way. Until then, we’re all just waiting to exhale.