What is this, some kind of love letter?

  • November 17, 2011

Hey Glenn,

 You know, I really look forward to seeing you, and I know it’s always going to be the quick “hi and bye.“  I know you got the basic gist that I’ve had a very full day today and we caught each other at the end of it.

 The funny thing (for me anyway) is that tonight a hi and bye was probably the exact thing I needed today.  Let me explain.

 If you know me – and you kinda do – you know that I’m generally not known for flying off a handle.  My thoughts get scattered often, when they do I try to gather them and think things through in my brain very methodically.  Actually, when I have too many thoughts in my head they all come out at once and I feel embarrassed about my lack of clarity.  I find that a very personal embarrassment which is part of the reason I prefer laying my thoughts out in a blog while I tend to be a listener in public.

 Today I felt really spun up.  In reality this has been a week long event, but it’s particular today.  Work’s been busy and I’ve felt like I’ve been working on tangents and not core duties.  In reality I’m a little afraid the tangents are becoming core duties and I’m just not smart enough for that.  I’ve been trying hard to tackle my chores and get some noticeable accomplishment happening around me to mixed results.  Getting more community involvement happening around me has really been a shock to my system.  Block Watch?  C’mon, I’m not a Block Watch guy.  Am I? 

I feel way over my head and stretched way too thin and I get scared that I’m going to collapse like a house of cards and get absolutely nothing accomplished.

I know we talked about Alison and the burr that’s put under my belt the last little while as well.  The little side stories I was telling you was all aiming towards the endpoint where the people most affected are the ones who are most ignored.  Meanwhile the self-congratulatory feel good laws are unenforcible and nothing has really changed at all in our day to day lives.  There’s been a change in the window dressing, but let’s be honest, we need new insulated windows in this joint.

Glenn, the hi and bye tonight was a touchstone for me.  For me, this is a journey that’s one lifetime and two years in the making.  It’s taken the lifetime to establish my values and over the past two years I’ve started making the most of them.

“I used to be a quiet, unassuming complainer who did nothing…“  Well, I’m not any more.  I’m definitely trying to make a positive impact around me.  Trust me, I’m not all sweetness and light, but I’ve got a good set of values and I deserve a fair hearing when I stand up for them.

This creation of ours, the Alberta Party, it’s been a reminder to me of why I’m trying.  Once again I was surrounded with great people who share a passion for fresh ideas, for openness, for welcoming a bigger view and a finer dissection of the issues within Alberta.  People who are willing to look at both the problems we wish to solve as well as the consequences of our actions.  People who have a constant drive to make things better, people who have the energy to act upon the change we believe in, people who have the courage to act for what’s right in the long term.

Me?  I felt overwhelmed and harried tonight when I arrived.  It took me a bit to put it together, but it’s just the anxiety before tackling a big project.  Being together tonight reminded me that I’m well on my way to creating something better around me.  To use a metaphor, I’m looking up and only seeing a steep path ahead of me while forgetting the mountain I’ve already climbed.

So to answer you’re question properly, I’m doing fantastic.  I’m sticking to my personal plan and doing the things I can to make positive changes I can tackle.  I’m surrounded by some the best friends a guy could ever ask for and live in a community I’m intensely proud of.  I’m impatient, though, and have to remember Rome wasn’t built in a day.  We’re going to get there.  We’re going to get there together.

Already looking forward to the next time you pass through.

  - Mark