Sean and I were able to go away this weekend thanks to the extraordinary help of our family in Yakima and our family here in the area. We spent 2 days and 2 nights at the Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe, Vermont. It is where we spent our honeymoon 10 years ago. Back then we didn’t have kids, didn’t own a business or a home. We had loads of energy, opinions and belief in the future. I’d be lying if I didn’t say that our path back to Stowe was a little less buoyant. We still have opinions, but our energy has been flagging and our belief in the future has been somewhat hampered by our focus on the this-very-minute pace of our lives. This trip was much more about survival than celebration.
We’ve never been away like this. Ever. As the demands we face as parents, entrepreneurs and individuals increase, as threats to our health become less a what if and more of a when, and as we realize that marriage needs to be more verb than noun, getting away is critical. It doesn’t always have to involve a road trip and lodging, but finding ways to get perspective and reassert ourselves as people so we can do all that parenting, marketing, number-crunching and so on, is a requirement.
I spent the days before we left preparing to handle the weight of our leaving. I wanted not to feel selfish for leaving or, more to the point, for being so excited to leave. It worked, because as we drove toward our getaway I did not fret (too much) about the girls and I allowed myself to unfurl, literally and figuratively. Looser shoulders, clearer mind. We made the requisite phone calls, but for the most part we were open to the exeperience of distance from the day-to-day.
Saturday we struck out for the mountain. We were intending to repeat the hike we did on our honeymoon, which involved a gondola trip part way up and then heading to the summit by foot. When we arrived it was windy, misty and not a moving gondola in sight. Undeterred we headed up the face of the mountain, until about 3/4 of a mile in the winds hit us full force and it stopped being fun. We made our way back down and headed over to look at funky spray painted logos on terrain park equipment. As Sean snapped pictures of the boards I spied a trail. “Want to head up there?” I asked him. He was game, so up we went.Beneath the cover of trees we were sheltered from the rain and wind. The path went from wet leaves to a pristine blanket of fluffy snow. Each step sloughed off more of the day-to-day weight and brought to the fore a sense of promise.
My mind turned to the sorts of things that have kept me from fully believing in what is possible. I thought about what is more important, surfing Facebook or spending 30 minutes on 16 pages with my 3rd grader (Did the latter upon my return and it was awesome!) I thought about how what one person thinks doesn’t change my efforts. Sweat began to pour from my brow as the steps became steeper. I thought about feminism and the negativity that has clung to the term like stink on a sponge. I thought about how healthcare has become a lightning rod, blinding many from the reality that we are talking about people.
I want so much for my daughters, but mostly, I want them to have an equal shot. I want that for the daughters of other people, whether they were born here or not. I want for love between consenting adults to be legal and recognized in the same way mine is. I want the young people in our country to be educated. I believe more in granting than revoking. I believe more in accepting than excluding. I am willing to compromise, but not when it comes to what happens to my body. I realize that I put social issues before economic issues. I am willing to help pay for these things because of my beliefs.
I know that my truths may not be yours and I know that the reasons I will vote for Barack Obama may not be the reasons you will or, they may be the reasons that you won’t vote for him. That’s fine. The part that makes me feel like truthfully nothing is fine in our country is that people are either afraid to share their views or they can’t be spoken without contempt for the other side. Some way or another we have to move forward together. I don’t feel contempt for Mr. Romney, but I do fear his vision. My understanding of Mr. Romney is that much of what he believes in has very little to do with being together. We all have our truth. Mine does not make yours any less, what does make a truth less is when you are afraid to share it. It is for this reason that I am sharing today, voting tomorrow and pledging not to be afraid to stand up for what I believe.
Here is a post from a woman explaining why she is voting to re-elect President Obama.
Please feel free to comment on this post, but understand that if terms like idiot, asshole, racist, bigot, bitch are used I will delete your comment regardless of party. Few people have stayed completely aboveboard or civil in politics, my intent here is to say it should be ok to speak your mind. Kindly. If you feel a strong need to hurl slurs you may direct them toward me on Twitter @amandamagee
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