It’s been said that nothing bad can ever happen to a writer because all it is is more material to write about. And what writer doesn’t love that? I love having that perspective for when things go awry. True, there are a lot of things that go wrong that I may never want to write about. But when things do go wrong, and they are things that I want to write about, it feels good to know that something will come of it (I’ll let my audience be the judge of whether it is good or bad). It is also amazing to have that release valve to be able to write about the things that may be causing me distress. (Like homeschooling, for example.)
Some of the things that go wrong are big things that I have to take seriously in my writing. Writing about them helps me sort through my own feelings and explore other perspectives. But some of the things that go wrong are just little things, minor inconveniences that could “ruin my day” if I let them, or could become more light-hearted material for my blogs and whatever else.
So today when I went to vote and found myself at the wrong end of a very long, slow-moving line I thought: “Well, this is interesting.” I was grateful that my friend had offered to let Simon stay at Oliver’s joy school for the day because I’m sure the boys would have made it almost impossible for me to wait in that line. But as the line moved slowly down the hall of the school and I was able to observe people and take mental notes on “democracy in action,” I was happy to have so much time (and so few distractions) to mull it over.
But then, as our wait got longer and Elsa started getting fussier and fussier, and as I realized that I was going to have to nurse her while I was standing in line, I thought, “This is awesome.” (Even as I was kind of annoyed and also really grateful that the boys were not there with me.) The icing on the cake, however, was as I was almost to the front of the line and Elsa, bless her little heart, had a blowout. She made my life so much easier in that moment. And also harder. Especially when one of the nice old ladies running the polling station wanted to hold her.
I’m grateful that I took the time to vote today. Grateful that we can get a break (I hope) from the political coverage and mudslinging and general incivility. But also grateful that I gathered some more writing material, and could find something good in an unfortunate situation.