It's just after 10pm... the kids and I returned home after running some food up to Jim in his office...he's still working, not sure when he'll get home. We all left the house around 8am for work/school. The kids and I returned about 7pm. I was feeling very hungry driving home. I had an apple and 3 oz. of tuna for lunch around noon and by 6:45 all I could think of was getting home to make dinner. I made spaghetti and meat sauce -- a big splurge. We've been eating so minimally -- concerned that we won't have enough food to carry us through to Tuesday. I can see an impact on our energy levels, even in just these few days. When Jim got home around 10 last night, he just seemed a little "flat". He's usually very animated when recapping his work day, whether it was good or bad. But the lack of fuel seemed to drain that from him a bit. I figured we needed a little more food tonight. I used some of our meat, sauce and pasta which looked like an enormous amount of food compared to the past two days. I felt nervous eating it, worried we'd pay a price on Monday if supplies ran out. I think Jim felt the same way because when the kids and I took it to him, he refused to eat the whole portion and put some away for tomorrow's lunch. I'm trying to plan but there is that fear of being wrong. Millions of people -- singles and families -- face that fear every single day of their lives.
Today seemed very long. I'm holding a seminar on cervical cancer prevention next Tuesday so most of my work today was by phone, email or just getting things organized at the office. That's lucky because it's relatively sedentary. I think of people living with these restraints who are working in jobs that expend a lot of physical energy, service jobs interacting with people - kind and unkind, or staying home with kids which is, as they say, the toughest job you'll ever love.
Speaking of which -- for years before I had kids and especially when I was pregnant, people told me how hard it is and how tired you are. Everyone sort of says that and "knows" that -- it's just a no-brainier -- conventional wisdom -- common sense. And I thought I understood that too. Having kids is hard and tiring. Then I had kids. And those first few months gave me a whole new understanding of those words I had heard so many times. None of those words had adequately described it. And I don't have the words still. (Of course there is also the flip-side of love and joy which was unlike anything I had experienced either.)
My point is, I learn things by experiencing them in a whole different way than I do by reading about or hearing them. Maybe you know what I mean.
This challenge is that way for me. I've heard the information and felt deeply for the people who so generously have shared their experiences with me. But to actually try those shoes on -- even so very briefly and in such a very limited way -- has given me a different kind of understanding. I am fully aware that a few days can't begin to reflect the physical and emotional impact that weeks, months and years of this life creates. Not even close. And this is just one part of the deprivation. Still, this challenge has impacted my personal understanding. And I hope whatever attention is given the experience of the 4 Members of Congress participating in this challenge and their efforts to focus on hunger will impact public awareness and understanding, and translate into policy changes to meet this enormous need.
I appreciate those who took time to read this, focus on the problem of hunger, and especially those who posted comments -- I learned a lot from you and I suspect other readers have too. That includes the supportive comments, the angry ones and the advice. Thanks.