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Brooks: Too frazzled to conquer the big things

August 09, 2012|By Crissy Brooks

I am not sure what the view from the mesa is this week because I am overwhelmed by laundry and homework.

The dog needs her shots, the car needs to be washed, and all I want to do is sit on my cluttered patio to finish the novel I have been "almost done" with for a week.

My head is down in my own little world.

I know a man died in our community this week, and it seems like I should care about that.

A friend sent me a text from the Costa Mesa City Council meeting this week and I felt a twinge of guilt for not being there.

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My inbox has an invitation to an event to get to know candidates running for the November elections.

How can I prioritize campaigning when I cannot even make it to the grocery store?

Sometimes it is hard to care about the things we care about. Some days I want a pass.

I don't want to read a blog. I don't want to write a blog. I don't want to call my senator or my mom.

Most days my definition of things being right in the world is reconciled relationships between those in power and those not, enough for everyone, justice, mercy and people walking humbly with God.

But some days, things being right with the world gets, dumbed down to my dishes being clean and all phone calls returned.

I just read Steve Smith's call for someone to run for the school board. He chided us as a community for getting riled up about things and not being willing to do the work to make the changes needed.

Most days I would be right there with him, passionately calling for people to step up. Today I am just hoping to make it to my first appointment.

Caring for my own life seems to take so much energy. So how do we pull ourselves out of the funk of the mundane? How do I lift my head from the real ordinariness of life to be a part of positive change in our city?

I do not have many answers in this department. I am open to suggestions.

Here is what I am going to do to fan the embers of community passion in myself: I will say no to something, stay home and dig myself out of laundry and homework.

I will pick one thing: have coffee with a neighbor, attend a candidates forum, go to the block party, write a letter, show up for the volunteer orientation, finally make the donation online, give my three-minute public comment.

I will do one thing to remind myself that I can make a difference, that my life is more than just alarm clocks and making outfits.

Let's all pick one thing now and do it. Then let's do more laundry and then do the next community thing until we shake free from our every day-ness paralysis and live in a rhythm of action that does more than hold our own lives together.

CRISSY BROOKS is co-founder and executive director of Mika Community Development Corp., a faith-based nonprofit in Costa Mesa, where she lives.

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