Friday, December 23, 2005

What's Really Important

To my friends, colleagues, neighbors, constituents, readers, supporters and detractors alike:

Over the past month or two, I have felt like Lemony Snicket, inasmuch as I have been dealing with a series of unfortunate events on a number of fronts. And while it has been inviting to dwell in despair over a number of these things, with the holidays upon us, it has put upon me the realization that now is the time to take stock in the good, not the bad.

Those of you who know me have likely heard me say that it is all too common for people (myself included at times) to sulk in self-pity when things are not exactly as we would like them to be, yet we rarely pause to be grateful for when things are going smoothly. Every day that we can get up with our health and good fortune, and be able to share that with people whom we care about, is a good day.

When I am able to step back from the incidents in which I have found myself enveloped, I realize that my fortunes far outweigh my problems. And in so doing, I feel small for imagining my problems to be so big. This past year has seen a disproportionate number of worldwide tragedies. A tsunami, hurricanes, a child on his way to grandma's house crushed by a plane. To the extent that none of them involved you, be thankful. Sincerely thankful.

We always forget the fragility of life and the inexplicable randomness of the line between life, death or misfortune, until it somehow touches our lives. To the extent that it hasn't touched our lives, we should appreciate and revel in that fact.

And though in the weeks, months and years ahead, we may vociferously agree or disagree upon issues of politics and government, keep in your heads and hearts those things that truly matter, that are truly worth expending energy upon, and that would justifiably mean the most to be without.

It is very easy for those in politics, or for those that follow politics, to become consumed in this arena. Remember, however, that the other 99% of the people, while dependent upon the decisions we reach, are still smart enough to appreciate that there is a world out there that goes on every day. One filled, not with poll numbers or issue formulation, but with friends, family and the riches of life. And remember that what we do is a means to an end, but should never be considered an end in and of itself.

In closing, my year-end wish for all of you is the health and comfort of you and those that you care about and happiness next year and the years to come.

Barring anything that really jumps out at me in the next week, I will likely step away from this blog for a little bit. I have put a lot of time into this endeavor, and have tried to make it something that people find of some value. Thank you for reading my ongoing thoughts and for sharing yours with me.

Best Wishes


At December 23, 2005 at 10:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent post. Politics and government are certainly interesting, at times compelling, but friends and family are what matter most.

Keep up the good fight Rep. Fritchey. Leaders like you give me hope that smart and progressive policy may one day be on equal footing with the political manuvering that completely dominates the system now.

At December 23, 2005 at 10:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Peace to you Rep. Fritchey. While we may not always agree, you will always have my respect. I know that you have mulled over various career choices lately, and it's obviously up to you to do what's best for you, but please realize how important people like you are to the process, especially in a state like ours.

Merry Christmas

At December 23, 2005 at 12:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well said Rep. Happy Holidays to everybody.

At December 23, 2005 at 12:57 PM, Blogger Bob said...

I have recently discovered your web blog and appreciate your efforts. I think it takes a good deal of courage for an elected official to share your thoughts and ideas with the world in open discussion and I commend you for it. I am not sure of what issues you have been dealing with of late but I wish you the best for next year.

At December 23, 2005 at 4:53 PM, Anonymous Ed Murnane said...

There are certainly more issues upon which we disagree than agree -- but your candor and willingness to engage on issues are impressive and commendable and our brief encounters have left me optimistic for 2006 -- not necessarily on issue agreement, but certainly on tone and civility.

Best to you and your family during this joyous and promising season.

At December 23, 2005 at 9:47 PM, Blogger Hon. John Fritchey said...

Thanks Ed. The feelings are mutual.

At December 23, 2005 at 9:48 PM, Blogger Hon. John Fritchey said...

And by the way, for the person that managed to leave a nasty message in response to this post, I actually feel sorry for you. Step back, take a breath, life's too short to go through it with that much contempt.

At December 24, 2005 at 10:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice post Rep. I know it's not always easy for people to look on the bright side, but if you can't do it this time of year, when can you? Thanks for your work on behalf of the people.

Merry Christmas

At December 24, 2005 at 11:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Not that you need more to do, but if you ever need a career change, you should think about becoming a writer. Your blog is one of my regular reads and I appreciate the content as well as how well it is delivered. Look forward to more in 2006. Happy Holidays.


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