Election day has come and gone. Sort of. In Oregon, we’re still waiting on the final tally in a disturbingly close governor’s race, but voting itself has ended.
Voting is an interesting endeavor in this state. Since 1998, we’ve voted exclusively by mail. That means we have no polling places, no long lines, no hanging chads. You get your ballot in the mail well in advance, and if the mood strikes, you’re free to cast your vote naked in your kitchen three weeks before election day.
Despite that freedom, guess what I find myself doing the morning ballots are due?
There I am, sitting there in my car, waiting in line for my turn at the drive-through ballot drop-off.
It’s not that I’m indecisive. I’m quite politically active, and always know the candidates and measures well enough to cast my vote early.
It’s not even that I’m lazy (though truth be told, I am).
What it comes down to is the sticker. The one that says “I voted.” It’s the equivalent of the gold star at the top of your paper in grade school, and dammit, I want one.
Alas, they don’t always dole them out. Yesterday was one such morning, and it made me a lot sadder than it ought to.
There’s something about that tangible atta girl that I crave. I’m not talking about the little gifts you buy for yourself when you achieve a milestone (though I’m a big fan of this method of motivation).
I’m talking about little acknowledgments from other people that you’ve accomplished something.
OK, so filling out a dozen little bubbles on a ballot isn’t a huge accomplishment, but it certainly extends to writing. When I type “the end” on a manuscript or finish a particularly grueling scene, I still crave that little gold star.
It’s one of many things I love about having critique partners and writing buddies. We can cheer each other’s accomplishments, offering stickers and encouraging words to celebrate major and minor feats.
Do you crave little rewards or acknowledgments to mark major accomplishments in life or in writing? Please share.
While you’re at it, please let me know how I should break it to my agent and my agency sistah that I failed in my bid to get them elected to the Soil and Water Conservation District in my county. I fear they’ll be crushed.