}

Saturday, February 13, 2016

The thing not mentioned

We all do things that we don’t bother to tell others about, things that seem unimportant or uninteresting, things that are personal, maybe even things we’re embarrassed about. But sometimes we don’t talk about things we’ve been doing, and we have no idea why we haven’t. Today’s is that sort of story.

On Monday, I mentioned that “I had some developments of my own—not news, exactly, except maybe to me. The thing is, if it was something I’d blog about, but never did, did that thing ever actually happen?” I was joking because I think it’s so funny that I didn’t mention it at all.

The end of March last year, I was elected (unopposed) the secretary of our local Labour Party committee, called a “Labour Electorate Committee” or LEC. The LECs exist to organise the Labour Party in electorates in preparation for the triennial nationwide elections. I remember debating with myself at the time about whether I should mention in on my blog or Facebook, and I decided not to so as not to give people the opportunity to assume that my opinions were party positions (they’re not necessarily, of course).

I don’t remember specifically what was going on at the time, but the urge to self-censorship won. Part of the reason for that is that, as is so often the case, once the topic cooled off, I lost interest in writing about it at all, so I never did.

The development is that on Monday I emailed the rest of the officers and most active volunteers to tell them that I wouldn’t stand again (for any position) at the LEC’s Annual General Meeting next month. I’d already told my closest friend in the group, and the chair, so this was making the news more widely known before I discussed it publicly.

Then—that was it. There was no response to the email from my colleagues, which, while not at all unusual, nevertheless reinforced for me that I’d made the right decision.

I decided to leave for one reason and one reason only: Party activity was taking up WAY too much of my time, energy and attention. Regular readers of this blog know how much I struggled to keep up with posts last year, and this is one of the reasons why that was. I want to blog regularly; I also want to podcast on a regular schedule, and this past year once a quarter was the best I could manage, once a month an impossible goal, and once a week? Heh.

And then along came my renewed interest in YouTube videos, and the constant conflicts for my time. When I get busy, I cut YouTube, then my podcast, then this blog. And it happened FAR too often.

The connection with Labour Party work is that I ended up with tasks and work to do simply because no one else stepped up to the plate. They’re all busy people, and have much to do, but I saw things that needed to be done, knew that if I didn’t do them nothing would happen, and I took on far more than I could safely handle. That’s my fault, and no one else’s: If I’m right that had I not done things nothing would have been done—and I am—then I should have allowed that to happen, whatever the consequence. But, I just couldn't do that.

What this means is that my problem was taking on too much, and that was frankly made worse by the poor organisation from head office in Wellington. On the whole, I have no problem with the party or its leadership: It’s the people they hired to do the work that have caused me problems.

My greatest trigger for gout attacks is stress, and because of all this stress from my political activity, I’ve had gout attacks of one sort or another for months—so much so that I haven’t even been able to deliver flyers that I normally would deliver (because I couldn’t walk).

So, when I can’t do the stuff I mentioned—blogging, podcasting, and videos—and when the thing blocking that also has caused me health problems, the only logical solution is to cut out that problem. And, I have.

I’ll say again for any mischief makers that this has NOTHING do to with the leadership of the party or its political direction, and has everything to do with my own inability to say no, to care less or not at all. I can’t fix everything, or even much, necessarily, so I’m simply removing myself from the stressful situation that’s, at least in part, of my own making.

And that’s the news I never mentioned, that had a development this week, and that remains something I’m not really comfortable talking about publicly even now. Still, I made the right decision, one that will help my health as well as my personal goals. That alone is proof that I was right.

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