Today I made a decision. It was a decision to do nothing. That's quite monumental for me, but instinctively I know it was the right decision. A little bit of background follows.
I have been studying with the Open University since 2004. Mainly short, level 1 courses, with a vague idea to get a degree one day. I made use of the student forums (hereafter known as FC, short for FirstClass, the software that hosts the forums) and as a result became involved, at a minor level with the student association OUSA. In 2007, I stood for election and won, the post of Vice President Communications on the Executive Committee of OUSA. At the next annual Conference I was elected Deputy President. Halfway through my term in office, I resigned, due to impending birth and stress. The job is voluntary, and extremely stressful. Office politics abound. It was quite a relief not to have to navigate my way through that minefield anymore. I did regret that I hadn't managed to complete the work I'd started though.
Hence, when I heard last month that the current incumbent of the office of V P Communications was not seeking re-election, I wondered whether I should go for it again. I pondered and mused, and bounced some ideas around with people I could trust. And lo, the politics started all over again! People on power trips, plotting and scheming to get to the top, with little consideration of the people they're supposed to represent, the students of the OU. Fuck that! I've only just got my brain back to normal, why on earth would I put myself through that again!
I'm putting my kids through their GCSEs between now and June 2011, and I really need to concentrate on them, helping them make the most of their abilities. I don't have any desire to study for myself at the moment, so representing students isn't top of my priority list, no matter how much I think I can do, no matter how many ideas I have. It would be a battle just to get the smallest things done.
So, instead of scrambling around for nominations, writing election addresses, preparing for hustings, attending several weekend meetings, arranging childcare and so on, I've decided to do nothing, not to stand, and just carry on as I am. I've done the right thing.