Ward Room
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Glad She's Not Blago

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    NEWSLETTERS

    On March 15, a woman in Illinois watched as former Gov. Rod Blagojevich was led into a federal prison, and thought, “I’m glad that’s not me.” Then she thought, “Isn’t it nice that, unlike Rod, I get to decide what I’m going to do with the rest of my life? What am I going to do with my freedom?”

    The first thing she did was start a blog, “The Blago Gratitude Blog.” It’s subtitled “Grateful Not To Be Blagojevich.” On it, she reflects on the simple pleasures of life, always ending with a reminder that Rod can’t enjoy them.

    “He’s my age. I got to thinking that the last thing I want to do is find myself with nothing to show for the next 14 years. I don’t want to find Blagojevich has saved more money by cleaning prison toilets than I’ve saved. I want to appreciate every day for at least one special reason. If nothing else, I want to find myself watching Governor Blagojevich leave prison and think to myself, ‘I experienced so much while he was away.’ So today I begin my own journey of gratitude. Grateful not be Blagojevich.”

    On St. Patrick’s Day, the blogger couldn’t decide whether to wear a green necklace or green earrings. Then, she realized Blagojevich doesn’t get to choose what jewelry to wear. He’s only allowed his wedding ring.

    “It was an exceptionally warm day, and I really wished I had a new spring skirt to wear, but I was grateful that I was able to choose something other than the same old plain khaki pants and an orange prison shirt,” she reflected.

    On March 19, the blogger slept in.

    “Most days I would never have appreciated this,” she wrote, “but it dawned on me that every morning, Blagojevich is forced to wake up at 6 a.m. Every morning. I imagine fluorescent lights being turned on. A loud buzzer in the prison cell. I was grateful to hear the birds chirping.”

    Today, when you hold someone’s hand, when you try to decide between a Clark bar and a Zagnut, when you shut the bathroom door, when you click through 102 TV channels before deciding to surf the Internet instead, when you heat up a salmon-and-rice Lean Cuisine instead of stopping at Wendy’s on the way home, just remember, Blagojevich doesn’t have any of those choices. You do. So live each day as if it were your first day out of prison.

    Buy this book! Ward Room blogger Edward McClelland's book, Young Mr. Obama: Chicago and the Making of a Black President , is available Amazon. Young Mr. Obama includes reporting on President Obama's earliest days in the Windy City, covering how a presumptuous young man transformed himself into presidential material. Buy it now!