The Highland Quilt Guild Show at St. James. Brilliant!
Vaccinations complete . √
Visa and passport approved. √
Flights booked. √
Unless I win the lottery and have to go to Moncton on October 25th. to pick up my cheque (!) , I plan to be on a plane to India. As some of you know, I am going to volunteer with a non profit group in Southern India but I hope to see many other places in this vast country before I return at the end of April. Yup. That’s 6 months. I expect that there will be plenty of fodder for book number 4.
I already have enough material to write the first chapter. It will be titled: ” It’s Not About The Destination, It’s About Getting The Visa. “ While the book will be somewhat a travelogue, it will be laced with humour… in a respectful way. I cannot imagine being an immigrant or more importantly a refugee. It’s hard enough to get a valid government document sitting in the comfort of one’s own home, but trying to do this under duress must be enormously stressful. I was astonished and perplexed at how complicated it can be to get a piece of paper.
Once I arrive in India, my “ Faces in the Crowd “ piece on Thursdays will have unfamiliar faces but I hope you will continue to read about the lives of other people who have not necessarily grown up with many of the things we take for granted. And Monday Morning Musings should give you an overview of what I am experiencing.
I have received more Town Council candidate cards in recent days than I received Christmas cards last December. Yes, the municipal election campaign is in full throttle with only a handful of weeks to go before the voters have their say.
Having run for office ( successfully three times and unsuccessfully once ), I know a bit about the rigours of campaigning. I have also run several marathons, including Boston twice. While I am not an expert on either endeavour, I certainly know what the experience feels like and I`m here to tell you that there are eerie similarities. In both cases, the planning starts weeks, if not months in advance. You first have to have the notion that you want to tackle it. You chat with others who have done it before, get some coaching, prepare a game plan and then hit the road. And it is a long road filled with pain, doubt, frustration and sometimes the fear of failure. But it is also filled with enormous satisfaction as you meet many wonderful people along the journey who inspire you and prop you up when you need it most.
There is usually a crucial moment when you wonder, “ what in the hell have I gotten myself into,” but this is fleeting.
The hardest part is the last few weeks. You are physically and mentally tired and it is very hard to get up in the morning knowing that you have another day of hard work in front of you. This is also when a small knot in your stomach grows daily as you see the finish line and wonder about the outcome. Sleep becomes more difficult and your agitation level increases as every whisper you hear becomes a roar.
The day of the race comes and all of your hard work and dedication is on the line. When you cross the finish line, I guarantee you that the first emotion you will feel is relief. The joy or disappointment will come later. But if you have given it your very best, there will be a deep sense of satisfaction because, let`s face it, very few people run for office or run a marathon. Trying and failing is much better than not trying at all. ( With thanks to Tennyson who is responsible for one of my favorite lines : “ Tis better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all.” )
Good luck to all the candidates and to a few of my running friends trying to qualify for Boston.
Have a great week.