I had a bit of a flashback yesterday at the mailbox.
I took the dog over, as is our routine, and pulled out two envelopes, including my ballot for the NDP leadership this year. In truth, I didn’t think I would be voting this year, but a membership that I had thought was expired turned out to be current, and now I have decisions to make.
What receiving this brought back was the last leadership race – when I was not a member, did not campaign for anyone, but knew that whoever the membership chose would be my new boss. Whoever won would make my office their own, bring in their own people. Things were heading for a change, and all this after one of the hardest years at work I had ever had.
And when I weighed the pros and cons, I decided my time on the hill was done for now. There was a period of time when I felt as though the work we were doing was worth leaving my daughter every day, and then suddenly it wasn’t. I don’t know if there will ever be another leader I would dedicate myself to in that way. Working in politics take time, energy, passion, and dedication. It can tear you up and spit you our and you won’t ever really understand what happened.
And still I wonder if I could ever go back, because there is nothing else like it. The right time, the right leader, the right cause. There is nothing like walking up to Centre Block knowing that you’re doing something every day that may make a difference in the lives of those around you. To be around people you might disagree with, but you know they care as much as you do, and are giving up just as much as you to be there.
I don’t know where this race will lead, but I know a lot of good people will keep doing great work.