Resilience [ri-zil-yuh ns, ri-zil-ee-uh ns]
- the power or ability to return to the original form, position, etc., after being bent, compressed or stretched; elasticity.
- ability to recover readily from illness, depression, adversity, or the like; buoyancy.
- what I wish I had all of the time I don’t and just want to curl up and take a nap until I no longer feel the fear, doubt, and believe the self-defeating verbiage in my head.
I can tell the stories of being strong and fighting through adversity, and it always comes off sounding more valiant than it feels. I am not valiant; I’m simply trying to do what I’m supposed to do in life.
Recently I graduated Partners in Policymaking (Class 30) and I’ve been really pushing for the Stock Epinephrine bill to allow schools to keep a spare auto injector on hand in case somebody has an anaphylactic reaction while at school. This is not for the peanut allergic kid who you may feel is forcing you to come up with an alternative snack for your small one. This bill was for the child who did not know they had an allergy. It’s for when a child is stung by a bee for the first time and has an anaphylactic reaction. It’s for the family that has to still pick up their child in the emergency room (that’s where you go even if you feel fine after having a shot of epinephrine), but gets to leave with their child – in good health – just an hour or 2 later.
The bill went to House and Senate in Minnesota. I spoke with my Representative personally, made a number of calls and sent emails. My Senator sent me a nice email back assuring me he understood the importance. On the Senate side, it was passed off to a sub-committee and died a horribly anonymous death. Fortunately on the House side it was strong enough that it was rolled into an omnibus** education bill.
I continued to make calls and send emails to various government decision makers and most often simply left my information in their voicemail or hoped the email would see eyes. The summer recess was approaching, but since Stock Epinephrine was in the omnibus education bill on the House side I knew it would be addressed before they adjourned. Last Friday I was in St. Paul and met a person who introduced me to Senator Hoffman. The Senator emailed and asked me to call his assistant to have him pulled off the Senate floor when I arrived. I was VERY casually dressed, but he listened intently, treated me very well, and then pulled in Senator Dahle (a conferee* for the omnibus education bill).
I got to speak to a conferee just 8 hours before the House and Senate decided to include the Stock Epinephrine in the final writing of the bill. I know I was not the only person fighting for this bill, but it was a big success.
What I don’t include in this story are the number of emails I sent (over 100), or how many calls (I didn’t keep track), or the difficulties I had in seeing Senators and Representatives along the way. I had my own stories about why it was important, but it can be challenging to feel comfortable speaking to legislators, especially when they have other things on their mind and don’t seem to want to talk to you so much.
So am I resilient? Only when I don’t and just want to curl up and take a nap until I no longer feel the fear, doubt, and believe the self-defeating verbiage in my head. Oh that darn self-talk. I think I’ll have to save that for another post.
Resilience to me is not something to build or grow as much as the opposite is something to avoid. I don’t admit defeat easily. When I played tennis I loved the phrase, “You can’t hit a ball I can’t chase.” I don’t know if it’s tenacity, stubbornness, a part of the brain that refuses to quit, or something else. If I quit though, I would do nothing – or the least stuff possible, and to me, that’s no life at all.
I think I do more because I have passions, inner drives to make things better and keep my mind entertained with …everything. What are your thoughts on resilience? Is it resilience or an inner drive or some combination?
*Conferees are the negotiator committee members between the House and Senate. The Senate and House may modify wording, but they are independent and can end up with many discrepancies between one another. The Stock Epinephrine portion was in the House’s version of the omnibus education bill, but not in the Senate. Each side passes their own version, then the conferees negotiate the bill to read identically on each side, it’s voted on again, and if it passes both sides (with the same wording), it moves to the Governor’s desk – that’s your social studies lesson for the day.
**An omnibus bill is when legislation wants to vote on a group of bills rather than so many independent ones. It can be used in good or bad ways depending upon which portion of any particular omnibus bill you feel strongly for/against.
As a follow-up:
http://www.northlandsnewscenter.com/enews/breaking/Governor-Dayton-Signs-Education-Funding-Bill-in-St-Paul-208517881.html Governor Dayton signed the bill into law shortly after I published this post. The section starts at 3.23 of the full omnibus education bill https://www.revisor.mn.gov/bills/text.php?number=HF688&version=2&session=ls88&session_year=2013&session_number=0