Posted by: penelopefly | November 6, 2008


While running trails today I found myself daydreaming about being Barack Obama. Not wishing I was married to him, but thinking how nice it would actually be to BE him. I have never, ever aspired to the office of president; my 2 year stint as an elected school board member rapidly eroded any allusions about the glory of a political career. However, I did spend my entire adult life before having children working within community organizations toward the single vision of making this country a better place to be a child.

By the time I left my work to stay home with my daughter, I was tired. Exhausted from fighting a battle that only a few seemed to care about. Tired of traveling all over a conservative state trying to craft a message that would resonate. Frustrated with a political climate that didn’t support the issues that I considered vital. When I quit, I stopped volunteering. I denied requests to serve on boards and advisory committees. I went to a few meetings, then I disappeared. I poured all my energy into parenthood and I completely turned my back on what had been a 14 year passion for making a difference.

This January, about the same week of the inaugural ball, I will be starting a graduate program for writing. To say that I am excited is an understatement. I’ve wanted to take my interest in writing fiction to the next level for many years. However, when I hear our president elect talk about service and community organizing; when I read about his vision for people living in the South Side of Chicago, I can feel all that old fire stir me up. I want to run right out there and do that thing again. I cry.

So, maybe its not really that I want to be Barack Obama. Maybe I just want to thank him for igniting that spark, thank him for agitating my apathy. Now when I think about my writing, I have new energy and direction to pour into it. When I think about my former colleagues, I might actually pick up the phone and see what I can do.

In what ways has this election inspired you?



  1. […] away writers block or settle business strategies and negotiations. It’s where penelopyfly felt encouraged about her upcoming writer’s program. Heck, it’s where we came up with the idea for this blog (ok, that time I wasn’t alone, but […]

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