Archive for June, 2009

Mom. Wife. Writer. Chef. Woman. There’s no one word to sum up who I am. I wear many hats and most days I’m not sure which one defines me. Perhaps it changes depending on what’s most pressing in my life at any given second. I’m not sure where this post is coming from but I felt the need to write. I’ve had a lot on my plate these days and sometimes wonder if it’s too much. Should I be weeding out some of the non-essentials on my to do list?

I started out the year quite involved with the PTA at my daughter’s school. What began as a co-chair of the Wellness Committee evolved into de-facto chair since my partner, as passionate as she remains to the cause, got a new job that gobbled up every moment of her free time. I spent the first two months on a renegade cause to get soap and towels in the school restrooms. Sounds like real anarchy, eh? The principal had decreed these necessary tools for proper health and hygeine were best kept in the classrooms, lest kids clog up toilets or squirt soap all over the floor. After numerous emails, some community activism and calls to the DOE, I won the battle and a letter soon went home to all families that our concerns had been heard and all restrooms would be properly stocked. It’s an ongoing battle to keep them replenished due to lack of priority and an understaffed custodial team. So, why I am rambling?

I had to dramatically cutback on my volunteer work at the school as my own professional life needing much tending to. Work became very busy and since the bills have to be paid, and truth be told I really love what I do, I had to re-focus my priorities. As PTA elections rolled around two weeks ago I started feeling extremely guilty. I just checked the list of officers for the 2009-2010 school year to see there is no one listed for the Wellness Committee. Now for all I know, maybe the committee has been moved to the School Leadership Team as discussed with the PTA president eariler in the year. I suspect, though, that no one really understands how important it is to address the sorry state of our school lunch program or fight for simple things like access to supplies to aid in proper handwashing. For now I pack the healthiest lunch possible and tuck a tube of hand sanitizer in Isabella’s lunchbox. That doesn’t solve the big issue though. These are out tax dollars being squandered on red tape and supporting a food system and agribusiness that is robbing our children’s nutrional future.

I feel like I’ve let my IRP down in some way by not continuing my work on the Wellness Committee. I would’ve been happy to help but I don’t have the time to lead. It’s moments like this that remind me how delicate the balance is and humbles me. So, what do I feel like today? A failure, and that’s a label I refuse to accept.


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