On Saturday evening, my 11 year-old David announced, I think I'll watch the presidential debates.
My husband and I have talked about the upcoming election intermittently (upon telling our 7 year-old the basics of the democratic and republican platforms, she's already declared herself an Independent), but presidential politics isn't really part of our family's everyday patter.
Perhaps because early Friday morning, with the country astir over the Iowa caucuses, I thought — wouldn't it be fun to attend a Mitt Romney town hall in advance of the New Hampshire primary, and wouldn't it be fun if David went with me. I'd never been to a political rally, neither had he, why not make this whole presidential campaign more tangible?
Photo courtesy of Emily Anthon
David was immediately ‘in', so I called my friend Emily who is having the exhilarating experience of working on Mitt Romney's campaign (every presidential campaign is no doubt thrilling — talk about some genuine head-butting); I asked Emily where and when and we were off.
So often I imagine doing something, especially something spontaneous, but rarely do I actually do it. I (perhaps you are too) am primed to stop at imagine, whether it's because I don't want to try something I'm not good at. Or in this case, be impractical? After all, why date an idea, if I'm not going to marry it?
So let's look at what happened simply because we went to New Hampshire for a few hours.
1) I practiced moving from imagining to exploring, an important aspect of daring to dream, and, in turn, opened the door to David exploring his possibilities.
2) David not only came along, and is more interested in debate than ever, he has a picture of himself with a presidential candidate: images can wield a powerful effect, positively or negatively, else the advertising industry would be out of business. David also tells me this photo will garner some oohs and aahs from his surprisingly (because we live in MA) conservative 5th grade classmates.
Photo courtesy of Emily Anthon — I tried to take a decent picture, which is why they are looking at me, Emily gratefully got the shot
3) Presidential politics is now more real to us. David wanted to watch the debates, and when we wouldn't let him stay up to watch the democratic debate, thanks to Tivo, he watched it this morning.
Will this experience be pivotal for either of us?
Odds are no.
But isn't it true that the more we explore our possibilities, the more possibilities there are.
When have you recently listened to your gut, and not only imagined, but also explored?
Have you gone back and done a what if I hadn't, considering how your future changed because you explored?
P.S. There's a fun entry written by Elizabeth Williams sharing her experience of attending the democratic Iowa caucus. It just makes it all so more real, doesn't it? She's got great jewelry too.