Wednesday, October 29, 2014

A Life Well Lived & Loved

Saturday I delivered a tribute to one of my favorite people – my Uncle Richard. It wasn’t in my notes, but at the end, I looked at my aunt and my uncle’s kids & said something like, Thank you for the opportunity to talk about my favorite uncle.
When my aunt asked me to speak, I felt deeply honored. And then, really nervous. I was a child when my Aunt Liz married Richard. And I wondered what I should say.

My Aunt Liz's (my dad's) family deserved some attention. 3 of her siblings wrote me back with their thoughts about Richard. 

I brought those thoughts to Boulder on Saturday. My dad's thoughts about debating NASA funding with his fellow government colleague. My grandmother's "Oh Richard" when she realized he was teasing her. My aunt & cousin who reminded me that the minute Richard walked into a family occasion he'd ask "When's dinner?" Except for Christmastime - he'd ask "Where are my presents?" I had to tell him every year that he wasn't getting any presents. And my Aunt Liz thought I would have mentioned in my tribute that I told him he wasn't smart enough to be around us Litkowskis. I think I was 11 maybe?

But I didn't. Because he was. I did say that while I liked him initially for giving me 2 cousins that were girls & around my age, I found that he acted my age sometimes too.

He was kinder than most of us. A Southern gentleman who really cared about family and teased with wit, but a smile that softened the joke.

After the tribute, I came back to my seat and Luke squeezed my hand and my brother said "Good job." When the service ended, a few people came up to me to say they liked my speech. But one person said, "I could feel your connection with Richard. That you respected & loved him." 

So when I said at the end, Thank you to my aunt & Garth, Blakely & Emily, I meant 1) I was glad to know this man and 2) thank you for trusting me with a sacred time. 

I am so glad that you have his voice recorded - it was so distinctive and beautiful and witty.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Gym scheduling

Lil came into my room the other day and said "Mama, you really need to get back into going to the gym everyday."

I go to the gym 5 days at least every week. I take a couple classes, sometimes just do 30 minutes on the elliptical, but I feel like a failure if I don't shower at the gym.

When I started going to the gym in the fall of 2009, the amount of energy I felt was amazing. I was able to fight off colds better and I really felt the physics maxim of energy breeds energy.

I walked more than 3 miles in a couple hours today on the campaign trail. My jeans don't need to be unfastened to take them off.

But I still look at my body and wonder how to slim it down. I could give up pizza, wine, my beloved Slurpees...but I know that denying myself everything would make me really grumpy.

Where's the fine line?

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Trust falls...

Did you ever do acting/drama classes? I had a hard time with the trust fall. I have 2 older brothers and I often played with them in our concrete floor basement. The two most common conversations in that basement were, for me, "You're adopted" and "Trust me, it won't hurt." In the words of today, that last might sound bad, but for me, it meant my brother had learned a new wrestling move & would experiment on me. I knew he wouldn't go too far - the one time I did get injured on his watch, falling from my bike, had scarred him. I trusted him, but was kinda scared too.

Pool parties really frightened me. I can't swim. I didn't figure out until I was 13 how to breath correctly while swimming. Relying on my minimal physical strength, I could make it to the wall. But that was under my control. Going to a pool party opened me up to lots of tricks and craziness where I found myself thrown in a couple of times. Frightening the shit out of me. That feeling of "I'm going to die, I may hit my head, no one cares" made pool parties the least fun activity for me.

Sitting here on my couch watching Miss Marple solving a murder mystery and reading Tom Coale's reflections on today, trust is percolating in my mind. All three cats are curled up with us. That trust from the cats means a lot because animals are excellent judges of character.

Reading Tom's comment, thanking us for campaigning for him, touched a similar nerve. In March, he reminded us that political campaigns are a trust fall - because he cannot do this on his own. That made sense to me so I said to Luke, "Hey, we have to do a bit more." He agreed and now I've got this job as Field Director.

And sometimes it's like getting thrown into the pool. But I've figured out how to swim in the deep end. Still scary sometimes, but I'm learning.

Because Tom is trusting me and that's what pushes me. 

We've had so many amazing people help us. If you've ever been interested in politics, contact me. This is the most fun I've had in a long time.