Faith, hope and love

taken by Callie Shell - Jan. 8, 2008
This photo pleases me, as do many of the others Callie Shell took while following Barack Obama on his campaign.

I haven't been able to figure out why I've been so glum lately. Rich worries when I say things like "I'm just. so. tired." so now I just think it really hard and try not to say it out loud and make him fret. Rich reminds me that we're in such a better position than we have been. We used to wonder if we'd ever be together. We used to live many miles from each other and wake up at 5am to drive home and make it to work on time. Rich used to have a job that sucked the life out of him. We used to live in a tiny little house that was overflowing with our animals and junk.

Then Rich moved here and we got married in front of all our friends and his mom got better and we found the perfect big house on a beautiful lot in my favorite neighborhood and we have dogs and cats and two zone heating and pumpkins on the porch and everything is fantastic. And yet, I can't get out of this funk. I'm anxious and bitchy and convinced everything is falling apart around me.

I look at the relationship I have with my husband and see so much strength in it. We may not agree on everything (including what's trash versus treasure), but there is never a doubt that we're on each other's team. My mood lately has taken a toll on Rich. I told him (through tears in my eyes) that I know he's wanted to beat up the thing that has made me so sad or buy whatever would make me smile or use his bare hands to lift the car that has been weighing on my heart. I just haven't been able to tell him what magical thing would make me feel better.

I don't know that it's the entire reason, but I'm sure this election has taken its toll on me. My mother commented once when the Iraq war started and my father was reading everything he could and fretting about wounded veterans that "Daddy was fighting this war right along with them all from the living room." It was something personal for him. While I have some basic issues I believe strongly in, this election year has been a personal one for me.

It's as if for months now we've been watching an endless hockey game in overtime and I am holding my breath that no one says "shutout" and jinxes it. Money is tight and time is scarce and when I think about the stresses we have, I can't imagine how others are making it. I imagine that a large part of the country is not making it.

Then late last week I looked at that photo of Barack and Michelle and I saw a lot of Rich and myself in it. For me, that picture speaks of partnership and teamwork and faith and love. They are both probably very tired tonight, as are John and Cindy McCain. But I don't have an image of the McCains like I do of the Obamas. I searched all over Google and I couldn't find a single photo of John or Cindy McCain that appealed to me, even on his own web site.

I've always been a pragmatic person, so a campaign based on hope can seem a bit hokey. Many of the issues I vote on are very personal for me, though, and having someone speak to my heart as well as my head has been refreshing. I don't know that I'll suddenly feel 100% better on November 5th, but I'm holding my breath just a little longer that whatever is making me so full of angst will finally release some steam and relax. And in the morning I'm going to wake up at 5am so I can be one of the first at the polls to vote for the Obamas.