The thing about the GA session is … the stresses never stop.
We have been in Richmond for only two weeks, and now we’re coming up on “cross-over” which will be the weekend of February 11-12. Before that time, we’ll be voting on hundreds of bills coming to the floor. Each one has its own constituency, and its own opposition.
(Since I’m no longer on the Courts committee, I see fewer bills in committee – which means more reading before the daily floor sessions).
Every day it’s in early and going all day — with few breaks.
There are a few strategies to stay sane in this environment. One is to find a group of friends with similar interests outside of politics. In that vein, I’m lucky to be in a Bible Study group, “the Sunrise Caucus,” which meets every Tuesday at 6:30 a.m. We’ve had the same core group since 2001 and we’re still going strong.
My other technique is to exercise every day. That usually means a pre-dawn visit to the Franklin Street YMCA. Or, if the weather’s warm, a morning run down Monument Ave. On Tuesday nights, there is an informal hoops game at VCU for political hacks. Nothing like guarding the AG on a fast break — or seeing your shot rejected by a young House member.
You focus better as a lawmaker, if you can change your focus for a few minutes every day. It also helps burn off calories (and frustrations).