A pandemic, fourth-grade math, and coming home

This year has been hard. We’ve canceled vacations, visits, and holidays with family. We’ve opted for virtual visits with grandparents and other loved ones. We’ve rearranged rooms to set up in-home work and educational spaces. Birthday parties are by Zoom. For the first time, we are planning a holiday at home rather than traveling to visit family. 

Nine months into this pandemic, balancing work, school, and life all from home is still difficult. But I’ll admit that I’ve been fortunate. Both my husband and I have been able to work remotely. My family has remained healthy. My son eventually acclimated to online learning, although there are still struggles. The pandemic has also allowed me to learn a lot about myself. It’s gotten me closer to my husband (and I’ve learned how much of a rockstar he is at his job) and to my kiddo. It’s made me confront what I value in life, in a job, and as a parent.

This fall, I was able to make the tough decision to leave my previous job and take a couple of months to focus on my son, my family, and myself. I baked a lot, got really good at fourth-grade math, went on hikes (and, yes, played video games) with my son, tried a lot of new recipes (some of which I will never make again), and got caught up on some books I’ve been meaning to read. 

I know I’m not alone in what I did, as research suggests the COVID-related economic environment is hitting women in the workplace harder, but I was still very fortunate to have this opportunity. I do not regret it.

I was also presented with the opportunity to rejoin the Michigan League for Public Policy as its Fiscal Policy Director. And although starting a new job in the middle of a pandemic is weird, I feel as if I’m returning home.

(Now you know why my name sounds familiar. You’ll probably remember me from my greatest blog hits such as “Taxing Poetic” and “This internet thing is never going to take off,” my love for the EITC, or my constant calls for new progressive revenue streams.) 

I’m returning to the League after a short but amazing period in legislative affairs for the Michigan Department of Treasury. I bring with me over a decade of public policy experience, with expertise in state tax and budget, economic development, local government, and workforce issues. I married my high school sweetheart, and together we have a fourth grade son. When I’m not working or with my family, you’ll find me in the kitchen baking.

I’m fortunate to be back in a place that has a mission and vision that I truly believe in. The League’s holistic view of taxes and budget, focus on racial equity, and data-backed, comprehensive approach to addressing economic opportunity are vital to making a better Michigan that works for everyone. I know we will come out of this crisis stronger and more compassionate. Until then, wear a mask, wash your hands, and stay home when you can.

Stay safe. Stay healthy.

The post A pandemic, fourth-grade math, and coming home appeared first on MLPP.

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