The Republican U.S. presidential primary election season is well under way and this week was Super Tuesday, the day in which 10 states held primaries and caucuses. It is the Super Bowl of the political season and there was nearly frenetic chatter about all the resources and energy that converged on this one coast to coast “race” day, March 6.
The pundits and talking heads have discussed the manic pace of the candidates as they charge around early morning to late evening through multiple locations and settings in a single day. They say the candidates are approaching complete exhaustion and look tired and worn out.
In listening to the radio there was something familiar-sounding in the story line that I couldn’t quite put my finger on. Hmm, the politicians are scheduled every minute, regularly eat on the run and need to switch gears constantly as they interact with groups and individuals.
Finally my thoughts became clear 6:00 a.m. Saturday while loading the mini-van with sports equipment, all-weather clothing and a contraption made of cardboard, a dolly and duct tape. As I contemplated the day I knew that from that moment forward every minute would be crammed with activity. I would be driving all over the county from auditoriums to outdoor venues. I would be loading and unloading the vehicle at several stops. I would be setting up, breaking down and gathering equipment for several kids. I would be constantly switching gears and interacting with small and large groups of people and grabbing a meal to-go. Yes, it was “Super Saturday!”
While Super Tuesday only happens every four years, Super Saturday is a weekly occurrence in most families. Although running a household is certainly not the same as running a national political campaign, there are more than a few days each week that feel like a chaotic convergence. Wouldn’t we all love to have a scheduler, handler and “advance people” to help us through the week?
Then it hit me, I had it backwards. The stories about the campaign trail resonated because as a mom I am the support team, not the candidate. We help our kids so they can always be prepared and “fresh on their game.” But, in our enthusiasm to provide opportunities for our kids we have to be careful that the candidate (our child) and the campaign manager do not burn out.
As reminded by the election news and advised in the documentary, Race to Nowhere, I need to find more ways to cut back on “Super Saturdays and Tuesdays” every week. More importantly, I need to always be mindful of maintaining personal balance and not lose sight of the real goal – raising a healthy, happy human being.
Carol Lewis Gullstad, March 5, 2012
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