I know I say this pretty regularly, but I am incredibly fortunate to be able to do what I love for a living.
It’s a wonderful gift to be able to spend my days doing my part to keep America the land of the free and the home of the brave, and it’s certainly not a charge I take lightly.
Like any profession, working in the politisphere comes with its own set of challenges. The news cycle is never-ending, there’s always another article to write or another issue to research, more ways I should be volunteering in my community, and the ever-present feeling that I can always do more.
Just after my three year politiversary, I’ve come to a very simple conclusion, a conclusion that I’m working hard to implement. I probably should’ve waited until after election season, but I never do things the easy way, at least not the first time. That conclusion is simply that none of this really matters.
I don’t mean that nihilistically or even negatively, of course. Nor am I implying we should stop fighting the good fight. But if my life is reduced to nothing but politics, then it’s a life wasted.
During the time I’ve worked in the political arena, I’ve met many people who, like myself, love the work they do and are passionate about saving what’s left of America. All too familiar is the story of those so committed to their work, their personal and family lives suffer. The justification is also homogeneous: if I don’t do this, my kids won’t have a future.
I don’t have kids, so there’s an element to this argument I’m not going to pretend I understand. But here’s what I do know: When I’m on my death bed, I’m not going to be concerned about my electoral victories, Drudge hits, the scalps I’ve collected, or kickass digital campaigns. I imagine I’ll be more concerned about the kind of life I chose to live, the opportunities I seized, and the people in my life who made it a wonderful place.
What virtue is there in saving America if in the process, I lose my family and everyone I care about?
About a month ago, my Granny went to be with Jesus. For most of my life, she was my only grandparent. For everything she was, she was my Granny and she loved me. And I loved her very, very much.
She was a woman ahead of her time. A professional who started as a teller and retired the Vice President of the bank in the small town she called home. She made many personal sacrifices to get what she wanted from her career, most of her choices negatively impacted her family. She was one heckuva broad.
When family and friends gathered for her funeral, no one talked about her time at the bank. No one mentioned her professional accomplishments. Because none of that mattered. Rather, stories revolved around how feisty she was, her quick wit, and her annoying dog.
The politisphere has given me not only a humbling and rewarding career, but some of the best friends I’ve ever had and in many ways, an entire family.
Earlier this week, one of my best pals visited from out of state. Although the visit was brief, I was once again reminded of what’s important in life. And it’s certainly not work.
Balance, everything in moderation, and plenty of other cliches apply. But a life filled with love seems to be the only way to do this whole life thing. So that’s what I’m choosing: love, friendship, and family. I imagine my work will be all the better for it.
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