Sunday, July 14, 2013

My Sunday Feeling

I did something the other day that I hope I won't come to regret.  I agreed to become the President of the Hillcrest Residents Association.

Our immediate past President had to resign to tend to family business due to the unexpected death of his father.  That was certainly understandable.  But when the Nominating Committee unexpectedly turned to me in this dark hour not only was I surprised but I was also extremely ambivalent.

Don't get me wrong.  I was flattered.  And I love my neighborhood.  If my life's plan works out, I will leave here feet first and my earthly cremains will be stuck in a wall over to the Methodist church about 6 blocks from my house. That's why I agreed to serve on the Board in the first place when they asked me aboard a year or so ago.  

And still, it's not like the Board of Trustees at a college, or the Board of Directors of Women and Children First where I once served as President.  The stressors are few with this group.  The meetings typically revolve around such issues as graffiti in the neighborhood, crime in the neighborhood, what's going on in the local schools, stuff like that.

Occasionally, we have speakers.  For example, a couple of meetings ago a developer addressed the group seeking approval to build a driveway in such a way to avoid a certain street.  The adjacent neighbors objected.  Everybody got to get it off their chest.  

But every now and again there is an issue before the Board that involves something that folks on all sides of the question have a lot of emotion about.  And a couple of meetings have gotten ugly.

But I had to ask myself, did I really need this?  After all, even though I don't consider myself "retired" I am enjoying my mostly stress free life right now.  I enjoy pretty much doing whatever the hell I want to do whenever the hell I want to do it.  

When I looked at the situation through this prism, it made shirking responsibility seem pretty attractive.  

Still, these folks know me pretty well by now.  "Look," they said. "You're a lawyer, you're plugged in with the Mayor and with law enforcement.  You know everybody in town. You've run Boards before. And you've got the diplomatic skills for the job."

Hated to tell them that not very many people have ever accused me of being a diplomat.  I am polite, respectful and I mind my manners.  But I am no diplomat.  But they didn't know that.  So I didn't tell them.

But still, it wasn't until I had a beer with a former Board member that I decided to go ahead and do it.  

"You've got to admit you've got more time than anybody," he said. "And it couldn't be as hard as running a women's shelter."  

All true.  Keeping the doors of the shelter open and putting food in bellies and clothes on backs got pretty dicey at times.  The HRA by comparison deals with the Christmas tree lighting ceremony and the Ice Cream Social on the 4th of July.  And we're not even quasi-governmental.

In other words, I cannot possibly screw this up.  Which allowed my acceptance of the Board Presidency to conform completely with my new acceptance of my utter complacency and uselessness.  

Hell yes.  I'm in.  

Guess I'll have to quit drinking before the meetings now though.  


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