This week has already gotten away from me. After a weekend of cleaning up after two sick little girls and returning to work after 6 weeks of leave, I am exhausted. My husband was lovely enough to stay home with the girls Monday and Tuesday so I could get back to business as usual at my job. Which I would have if they had system access for me. Instead, I plowed through 300+ emails and spent part of the day doing side by sides with a coworker.
Yesterday, after returning home from work I settled down on the sofa with some tea and watched the inauguration festivities. I had caught bits and pieces of the swearing in at work and on NPR on the drive in and home. My girls were napping, the husband had gone off to the gym and Costco, the boys were still at school. So with the house quiet, I gave my full focus and attention to the monumental event that was taking place in our country as Barack Obama became the 44th President of the United States of America. It was exciting, overwhelming, exhilirating I was at times overcome with emotion. I can't describe fully in words what I was feeling.
I registered to vote a little over a year ago in order to vote for Obama in the primary. I had never voted or even considered registering to vote prior to this election cycle. Something about Obama gave me hope, hope that things could really change for the better, hope that we could have a leader that actually cared about not only the state of this country, but each and every individual that calls the US home. My husband and I spent months discussing and debating, glued to CNN each evening. Together we watched on election night the thousands gathered in Chicago to welcome the long awaited change Obama symbolized. Realistically, I understand it is not within the power of one man to fix everything that is wrong with this country, but he inspires people and that can make all of the difference.
This weekend, I received text messages from Obama's campaign encouraging people to give back in a day of service. Coincidentally enough, this week I begin my volunteer stint with a local hospital. My family, like many families today dealing with a struggling economy, doesn't have much money to spare. However, we still give back by donating our time. We try to encourage our kids to give back and each time they receive allowance a certain portion is set aside to be donated to a charity of their choice. Our 7 yr old's charity of choice is the Ronald McDonald house.
We had the privilege of staying at one of their houses in LA several years ago when he underwent one of his three heart surgeries. It was a welcome respite for us during a period of stress and struggle. Thankfully, he came through the surgery with no issues and we were able to return home 2 weeks later with our beautiful boy. Our hearts were touched and we have never forgotten their organization's help and assistance during a difficult time in our lives. This evening, my family and a few leaders from our theater are providing a meal to families at a local Ronald McDonald house.
It is my hope that everyone will be inspired, not only by the new President, but also the people that surround them. Each of us have to make a concerted effort to do our part for change to occur. We can't just rely on one person to bear all of our burdens, we each have to give back. Off my soapbox I go to load up my car and head out, there are hungry families waiting to eat.