Hell Froze Over
January 3, 2013
It was time to get ready to collect petitions if one wanted to run for a state level office. Some folks were encouraging me to run. We had collaborated on a mayoral campaign in recent months, and it seemed to make sense to continue the momentum of working together for change.
But I was tired. Running the policy shop for the (unsuccessful) campaign for mayor of a major American city while working a full-time job had left me spent. I had taken a long vacation after that political season came to a close. I thought that would re-energize me. But I was still exhausted.
So I did the unthinkable. I moved out of the neighborhood I had called home for 40 years and into political districts where no one knew me nor expected me to run for office. I withdrew from the re-election leadership team of my long-time state senator whose last campaign I had helped to save in the face of stiff competition. I told another friend who was running for state representative that I would write him a check, but I couldn’t co-host an upcoming fundraiser. And I put myself on a year-long sabbatical from politics.
My sabbatical started on September 1, 2011. It ended the following August, just in time for the height of the 2012 presidential race. Friends and colleagues kept asking me if I was going to jump in as a campaign volunteer as my sabbatical came to a close. I chose not to seek any formal engagement. The irritation that arose in me as I participated in political discourse on Facebook alone was enough to remind me why I had put myself on sabbatical in the first place.
This blog journals some of what I learned during my year off and what I continue to learn along the way. Some of it will be about politics very particularly. Much of it is about how one’s life might change when one fights off one’s addictions or gives oneself more time and space to think, play, and pray. Regardless of your political persuasion or even interest in party politics, I pray that you’ll find useful (and maybe entertaining) some of my reflections and that they may stir you to re-examine your own priorities.
I promise to keep the entries short and sweet. I expect that they will come in weekly installments throughout the year.