Four years ago this week I was sitting in a hotel room near Emory University watching the Winter Olympics and celebrating what ended up being one of the high points of my collegiate career. Another newspaper staffer was sitting next to me as we watched an athlete (her name is irrelevant) fall victim to what some may call karmic retribution -- she showboated a bit on her last jump of the race and wiped out, erasing her hope at a gold medal. It is really odd the memories that stick with you over the years.

The Olympics again fill our television screen, although we are not off celebrating anything other than an end to another day at the office. Today was President's Day, a holiday of little significance to those of us who are not bankers, government workers or teachers. Some folks worked from home anyway today, as the Middle Tennessee area experienced yet another case of icy roads and falling snow. It sounds like at least a few children will be getting yet another day off from school tomorrow.

I still feel a bit drained from our Saturday run through Shelby Park as part of the Cupid's Chase 5K, a race that I did not train for and felt fortunate to finish. My time of 45:30 was a lot slower than my already underwhelming (but personal best) 40:55 at last summer's Ellie's Run for Africa, but I suppose it was a decent warmup compared to the first race I ran a year ago that came in at just under an hour. My personal goal is to get down into the mid-30s somehow by the end of the year. We'll be running again in March.

Moving into the urban area has done wonders for my sleep cycle and restoring a bit of the work/life balance. I spend much less time stuck in traffic, a hassle that I had to contend with even when I worked in Whites Creek and drove to Goodlettsville. Even if I stay a little later at work, I still make it home at an earlier time than I would have if I left on time last month. I am particularly looking forward to the longer days this spring and summer when we can get out and enjoy the neighborhood a bit.

We have managed to empty out all of the plastic containers that we used to move our stuff except for a handful that were re-packed and shoved in the closet, likely to not be re-opened until we move again or have a better solution for storage. Samantha has been scouring the IKEA Web site for anything that can help us make up for the lack of built-in storage space. In our opinion, the architects of this building missed a few key conventions of modern living spaces. Among them: closets are incredibly useful.

I have felt rather disconnected from current events, other than the Olympics and the occasional political news. Today's comments by a retiring Indiana senator frustrated me a bit. The American people deserve representation in government that will fight for their needs and concerns with conviction and fully rooted in their principles. A "broken" system will never be repaired by those who fail to rise to the challenge of fixing it, opting instead to give up and declare it a lost cause. Doing the work of the American people is never a lost cause.. I would rather see an elected official that I fundamentally disagree with risk his or her own political future fighting against a broken system rather than one I may agree with preemptively end their career because the odds are stacked against reform.

Every day we wake up with a healthy dose of skepticism about whether the "systems" around us are working for or against us. It is really a moot point -- our lives go on either way. We can either cope or work to change things. Giving up is not really an option if we hope to meet our goals. Why should it be any different for those that hold and elected office?