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Ordinary routine can be a blessing
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In case anyone missed this column for several weeks, it was because I spent a delightful two weeks at our family's beach house, and then it honestly took almost a week to sort out mail, e-mails, etc., and to catch up with bills and other responsibilities.

If I were a 21st century business person instead of a "plugger," some of that could have been done online.

It was nice, however, just to be lazy, physically and mentally.

It is also nice to get back to a somewhat regular routine: Badly-needed Silver Sneakers exercises, normal church and club activities, family and neighborhood visiting, household chores and even thinking about what to write in a column.

Hopefully, now that Nov. 6 has passed, newscasts and talk shows can find some things to discuss besides national politic.s

Although I really am interested in politics, we are probably all tired of constant pressuring - in ads, unsolicited calls and mail, polls and predictions and most importantly, negativity.

Analyses should soon be finished; attention should now be focused on problem-solving, not blame-slinging; but, oh please, not beginning to promote candidates for a next election.

Before any next election, I wish some changes could be made: Super-pacs eliminated, campaigning time shortened, the number of early voting days aligned with the number of registered voters in an area (city, county, state).

Think of the money and time that could be better spent.

In a democracy, it is certainly important that voters be informed, that candidates have opportunity to express their views and plans, and that casting one's ballot not be an overwhelming burden.

But not to the point of frustration and exhaustion.

As there is a collective sigh of relief that this election season is over, wouldn't it be great if we could also rid ourselves of belittling bumper stickers and cartoons, of snide remarks and rude, disrespectful comments.

Regardless of whether my candidates won or lost, I sincerely want what is best for our county, our state, our nation. Don't you?

In a family, a church, a club, a business, a political entity, there should be ways we can resolve differences, set goals and determine some possible ways to reach them.

We will not all have the same opinions but we might find merit in the opinions of others if we are not too stubbornly deaf to listen to them.

For example, I voted against a constitutional amendment to allow the governor to appoint a special commission for approving charter school applications.

Since that passed, I can now encourage citizens and lawmakers to watch carefully to ensure that schools which are approved are successful for their students and not just money-makers for the organizers. Is that a positive approach?

So as I return to my regular (admittedly limited) duties and routines, let us hope that all our officials realize that they have regular duties and that they forget about campaigns and attempts to praise themselves and their personal agendas in favor of doing some worthwhile routine and necessary work.

Helen Taylor's column appears periodically in the Dawson Community News.