Writing Samples

Life's a Fish Bowl and We're All Just Swimming in it.

Around the beginning of last year, the rumor mill began churning over who was going to run for what across the board in Georgia. There were the obvious decisions that shocked no one, like Lt. Governor Casey Cagle and Secretary of State Brian Kemp running for governor. Or Senator David Shafer running for Lt. Governor. What was less obvious was what Senator Josh McKoon would do. And what was even less obvious was what we, the Robertsons, would do. When Randy came to me and said he wanted to run for the State Senate, I was a little surprised. We had talked about a lot of options for the these next few years of our life together, but this was new. It was hard to deny the excitement and passion in Randy's eyes. And that is the only way I can describe what I saw when he talked about the possibility of running for this particular elected position. His reasoning was logical and so thought out. He wanted to be able to effect the most change for the largest amount of people.

So, we set out. We filed the necessary paperwork. We gathered friends and supporters. And I checked off every box on my seasoned list of Campaign 101.

District 29 is home for us. Randy was born in Hamilton, graduated from Harris County High School and has served our community as a Law Enforcement Officer for 31 years. He has advocated for those who wear the badge on a local, state, and federal level. I worked with and for Senator McKoon during his first run for office, I worked for Congressman Lynn Westmoreland as his field representative covering this area, and I was born and raised in Columbus and attended LaGrange College and Columbus State University.

I felt like I knew what I was doing. I run campaigns. I love campaigning. I love the rush of it all.  I love the strategy, I love the meet and greets, the fundraising, the sign blitzing, the sign waving, the phone calls, the nights and weekends spent working hard. I hate math. But I love election math. I love figuring out what precincts a candidate needs the most, which ones they can stand to lose to the opponent, and where the focus should lie.

Running this campaign was a natural as walking to me.

Until it wasn't. Because every other candidate I have ever worked for wasn't my husband. Every other candidate was a friend. Someone I was invested in. But we didn't have the same last name. And while I was in it to win it every single time, and as disappointed as I would have been or was with a loss, it's was different this time.

I was naive beyond what I care to admit.

I had no idea what I was doing.  Working with the candidate's spouse and being the candidate's spouse are two totally different things. Dealing with a candidate who is tired from a week on the road and standing across the kitchen counter from your candidate while you cook his dinner are two totally different things. Discussing a campaign platform with your candidate and having impassioned and personal discussions over campaign platform with your spouse is totally different. Negative comments and mud slinging is annoying on any campaign, but having it directed at your spouse and having it affect your children is completely different.

Before, when this is what I did for a living, I left my candidate after events and went home and focused on my personal life for a few hours before hitting the trail again the next day. Now, I fall asleep next to my husband talking about tomorrow's campaign schedule. My personal life is this. There is no down time. There is no walking away from "work". Even going to the grocery store turns into a campaign event. 

And I love it. Most of it. Almost all of it. I love it because I love Randy. I love this because I love our home. I love our neighbors.

Yes, now, more than ever, we live in a fish bowl. Not really a new revelation for us, but a more heightened awareness, for sure. And our lives leading up to this chapter prepared us on so many levels. 

But in that heightened awareness, we have made a commitment to each other and have made it to the people we hope to represent; what you see is what you get. We are the same people at home that you see in Billy's IGA or Target. We are the same people with our family that you see on social media (although, let me be perfectly clear, pictures taken inside my home do not always depict the exact level of cleanliness that exists in reality). We are just us. And we are going to stay us. We welcome the slap upside the head if you ever see us not being true to our word. 

We are not perfect. And have never claimed to be. But honesty is a big deal in our home. Character and integrity are big deals in our home. We have kids that we have raised with those values. We have practiced tough love on our kids and grandkids. We have skipped church on Sunday more than a few times. We wake up with bad attitudes sometimes and Randy leaves his shoes in the living room. I can rarely get dressed with the first outfit I try on and poor Randy bears the brunt of my frustration. Our dog pees in the house sometimes and we don't mow our own grass. And cooking dinner is almost always the last thing on my mind when I get home. If the laundry gets done at all it's because of Randy. And I get hangry VERY quickly. It's one of my worst qualities. 

I don't know how being in the State Senate changes or fixes any of these things. Mostly because it can't. We are just going to keep on being us. And I guarantee you Randy is going to keep leaving his shoes in the living room. 

So come swim in our fish bowl with us one day soon. The water is just fine. 

Photo by Ahmed zayan on Unsplash