Just my Thoughts · Politics

Making Two Lists

I have been making two lists in my head.  This is not totally out of the ordinary for me.  I make lists all the time.  These lists, though, were brought on by a visit from a neighbor about ten days ago.

I was writing, totally absorbed in my work, this particular day.  I did not hear a car pull into the driveway and did not realize anyone was around until the loud knock on my inside door.  You see, my laundry room is huge and the back door opens into it but there is a door into the house/kitchen as the laundry room was an addition to the house.  Most seasons but summer, I keep this door closed so cannot hear anyone at the back door.  This particular neighbor knows this and came right and knocked on the inside door.  Scared the crap right out of me as I seldom have guests that I am not aware are coming.

Anyway, the neighbor happens to also be a local school board member and that was ultimately the reason for his visit.  He wanted to encourage me to consider a run for Board of Education this year.  This is not totally out of the blue.  I ran back in 2003 and lost.  My oldest’s first vote ever was in an election I was running in, a fact I have always thought cool though it did not seem to impress him.  I applied to fill a position that was vacated due to the death of a long time member.  I withdrew from this process after finding out how I would have to run again that next May and again the following May – hard to explain it but I did understand.

So out came the lists.  I have always said I am biding time in this area.  Don’t get me wrong!  I love it here and have loved raising my children here.  It is not where I want to spend the rest of my life.  Where that may be, I am not totally sure but I have always known I was going to be here until the last child graduates from high school – with luck and a bit of work on his part, two years from now.  I want to be able to travel.  I want to live closer to either a lake or a mountain or both.  I want a lot of things that I have put on hold, and willingly will continue to put on hold.

That said, the lists are looking a bit lop-sided.  The pros are service.  That is short and sweet.  I have always encouraged my children, through actions and words, to give back to our community, to our church, to others.  This is an opportunity to do so.  Unfortunately, this is the only pro that I can think of at the moment.  I know there are more, but I am drawing blanks.

On the con side are multiple items.  No pay – it wouldn’t be service if there were pay, would it?  Grief – NYS and most all of its school districts are in, or heading imminently for, fiscal hardships.  Tough decisions are going to have to be made in the next three to five years, most of these coming sooner rather than later.  Education as my community knows it is going to have to change in some manner or manners for it to fiscally survive.  Term – school board terms are three years.  What did I say above about my youngest graduating?  I would be committing to three years here in this community.  That is not a horrible thought.  Most likely, that is a good thing.  Time – I just joined a softball team.  I have goals in my running.  School boards are not a twice a month meeting commitment.  There is knowing what is going on in each building in the district.  There are committees and committee meetings.

I have the petition form.  It sits in my kitchen with no writing on it.  I have my reasons for holding off on getting signatures.  I have my own thoughts on what is the right thing to do.  I am just torn.  I need to decide and soon as petitions are due back by 5 pm April 16th.

29 thoughts on “Making Two Lists

  1. What an honor that community members think of you to fill this position Nicki. It doesn’t sound like the right thing for YOU though. And you already serve the community in so many ways.

    1. Lori – Thanks for the kind words. I know it is a lot of work. I am just not sure what I want. There is more to it than I have written, much more going into my decision.

  2. I say that it speaks volumes about you that this is the decision you are grappling with. Devoting time and energy versus fulfilling long-postponed goals and dreams. This is one of those problems that are good to have. I know what I would do, but will keep it to myself as this decision is yours alone. However, I will offer that you are teetering between two good, but not perfect, choices and in spite of the tension, I hope that feels good.

    1. Gale – you have it pegged perfectly. Time and energy to something I do believe in versus long-postponed goals and dreams.

  3. As mentioned above, what an honor!! This decision is a very difficult decision to make! I can see why you are grappling with it!

  4. Nicki, does it excite you? When you think about the idea – without letting your mind get carried away with pros and cons – do you get that excited feeling in your stomach? I think that’s important.

    Or maybe what excites you more is planning for all you will do (where you will move, places you will travel, etc.) when your youngest graduates high school.

    My dad serves on the local school board (very small town and school district). I think he enjoys it but also finds it very difficult, given the budget cutbacks.

    You should certainly consider it a compliment that you are being “recruited” to serve. Wow!

    1. Eva – the difficulties that are upcoming are the things that worry me the most. I have some background in what goes into budgets for school districts and what is coming. Education is one of those issues I have always loved. Now, I just have to decide what I am going to do.

  5. Hi Nicki, what a privilege to be having to make a decision about running for the Board of Education. I have immense respect for public servants. Running for office is no joke; serving in office is even less so. Both, I hear and see, are incredibly rewarding.

    Best of luck to you as you contemplate your decision.

  6. I join the previous commenters in applauding your stop-and-think approach. (I wonder if my head would be so swelled at being asked that I would leap in without first checking the depth of the water.) I wish you luck in grappling with the choice. Please let us know what you decide.

    1. Ah, Kristen. I am glad I am trying to think it through. I have done the jump first and ask where I am headed second before.

  7. Wow, good comments. I agree you need to think about if it excites you. It’s a huge obligation. Will it take away from something else you really might want to do in that time??
    And yes, quite an honor to be asked!

    1. Maureen – it will undoubtedly take away from something else. I do not know what yet and that is what bothers me. If I could see the future, this would be so much easier.

  8. Hi Nicki – This reminds me of something I’ve been thinking/writing about – Can we have it all? And what do we have to let go of that we might love in order to live a life we love? Of course, I don’t know the answer, but they’re worthy questions that you’re asking and I admire you for that. I’m also going to write more about this topic on Thursday.

    1. Patty – as I said in response to Maureen, if I could see the future, this decision would be much easier. Something will have to go but I do not know what. I have come to the conclusion, through many thought processes, that having it all is not what I want.

  9. Good luck. We’ve been grappling with a hard decision right now, too, and making the pro and con lists. Service is a pretty important pro, even if right now it stands alone!

  10. First, Nicki, I can relate to the no pay (but apparently some prestige and an important job to do). My Blog Editor job is like that. I do it out of love and because I was interested in creating something worthwhile.

    Second, and I don’t mean to sound dorky, but a HUGE laundry room? I am jealous! Here in tract-home-ville the laundryroom is a corridor on the way to the garage, which means I can’t open the dryer door without having it smashed flat when someone comes in the house. And I can’t store any laundry baskets in there!

    And lists – yes, totally a list person. I have a list of blog entries I have to get to right now.

  11. Linda – Not to make you feel more jealous but the laundry room is as large as the garage. They were built onto the house together. Of course, the basement in this old farm house is a dirt floor so useless so these two are basically storage. But yes, it is huge!

    I have a list of blog entries also. Slowly checking them off.

  12. Good luck in making this difficult decision. My gut is that you can’t go wrong. If you do it, you will do it thoroughly and well. And if you don’t, you won’t look back. It is evident that your life is chock-full of good things that will keep you engaged and smiling. Like so many others, I applaud your hesitation and ability to step back and think.

    (ps – I really wish I were more of a list-maker!)

    1. Thanks, Aidan. I guess the decision is almost made. Just a little more thought and then some signatures to get on a petition if I go ahead.

  13. I, too, am a list maker. More often than not they are in my head and driving me bonkers. But when I write them down I seem to lose them AND my ability to remember what the heck was on them. What IS that?

    Anyway…a grand decision. I kind of sense your decision already, but will not weigh in because I know you are going about a process which many of us here envy. The pros and the cons, the weighing of options, the commitments…

    You are one hell of a woman, Nicki. 6 kids. Super active. Self-motivated. Bravo, woman!

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