It’s incredible how much my life has changed since November 8, 2016. And I’m white, so it’s nothing compared to what many of you are dealing with.
I still can’t believe that this is our world EVERY MORNING I WAKE UP. I can’t believe my black friend asked me if she thought our town could see a child’s birthday party shot up by white supremacists, like what happened in a neighboring county. I can’t believe I had to answer “Yes.”
But it is our world. Whether we like it or not, whether we want to believe it or not, whether we stick our heads in the sand — it is an unstable, frightening world, led by a crazy, narcissistic, greedy, compulsive liar/con-artist with an elementary-school vocabulary. It is a world where we can take nothing for granted and must face it head on.
I remember the good ol’ days when I kept an eye out and an ear out and read stuff, but didn’t have to really do anything. I posted on social media, I had the occasional light-hearted, boozy debate with someone, I gave a few bucks to a campaign or a cause. That was the extent of my political involvement. I cared but I was happy to let someone else do the work.
And most of the time, someone with some sense and experience was in charge, and most of the time, they were fairly moderate, not too far from center. Even if I didn’t like him or agree with him, I could see how he got votes and became president.
Those days are gone, friends. We are not in the best of times. The Time of Trump, these last 100 days that feel like 100 years, is one big, dark, sad, constant heartbreak.
The good ol’ days of apathy paved the way for our current tragedy. Now we are in the streets. We are making signs, we are chanting at rallies, we are buying “Nasty Woman” t-shirts. We are incredulously marching for facts. We are somehow marching for science, of all things.
We are calling and writing our members of Congress in DC. We are calling and writing our state representatives. We originally had to look some of them up, but now we have them on speed-dial.
This is who we are now. This is who we will always be because we learned the hard way what happens when we don’t participate.
It’s all exhausting. None of it is easy. There’s a lot of good stuff, too, but there is a lot of hard stuff. That’s why so many people aren’t doing anything. It’s a lot. I certainly wish I didn’t have to do all of this. Having hard conversations, organizing events, and worrying about everything from “will anyone attend our meeting” to “will I be shot at the protest by an NRA kook”…these are just some of the things that wear you down. Sometimes I get down and burnt-out. But I feel like I don’t have a choice anymore. I would actually feel worse if I weren’t doing anything.
When I do get tired and discouraged, it’s time for a rest day. Usually it’s Sundays for me. Here are some ways I’ve learned to take care of myself during the Time of Trump:
- Look For The Helpers. I always listen to Mr. Rogers! Actually it was his mother who said that. This time, the helpers are the protesters. They are mostly women, but also men, families, children, grandparents. The leaders of the protests are women, black people, Muslims, immigrants, victims of gun violence, scientists, medical professionals, researchers, and politicians. They are fighters and they are smart. They are non-violent. They are right. They will lift you up.
- Find A Group. There are so many wonderful groups, on social media and in real-life. They will keep you sane and you will realize how many people feel the same way you do. I started in Pantsuit Nation and now have joined many spinoffs from there. I also have a local group of people and we meet twice a month: once for a business meeting and once for a happy hour social. We meet up for protests and support each other, which is especially important in a red town/county/state like ours. There is power and safety in numbers. And it’s so heartening to see how many people care. There are so many good people. If you’re local and want to join, message me!
- Take A Break. Taking a break is not quitting. When it gets to be too much, I unplug. I do anything that isn’t news and politics. I put my phone away, turn it off if I can, ignore the CNN notifications. I remember there is life outside of political activism and I can take a breather when I need to.
- Get Outside. Even if it’s a walk with the dog, it helps. I find some fresh air, get the blood flowing and a good sweat going. I work in the yard. Plant some flowers. Sit on the porch. Have a picnic at the park. Throw the frisbee. Read a book in my eno.
- Eat Well. By this, I mean eat both healthy and happy. I eat things that are good for me but also eat things that make me happy. It’s ok, we need to enjoy life, and if that chocolate cupcake makes me happy, I eat it.
- Drink Well. Cocktails are a must, let’s be honest. The liquor companies must be raking it in. I thoroughly enjoy a cocktail (or several) and happy hour is my favorite time of day.
- Take Naps In Front Of HGTV. In the Time of Trump, sleep is a challenge. If you need to grab a nap here and there, don’t beat yourself up. If you’re like me and not sleeping well at night, you need to catch up. After those cocktails, feel free to take a long nap.
- Binge-Watch Netflix or Bravo. Escapism at its finest. On the former, I can recommend The Get Down Part 2 and the latter, Sweet Home Oklahoma. You’re welcome.
- Read A Home/Food/Entertainment Magazine. After constantly reading the NY Times, WaPo, LA Times and NPR, it’s nice to unwind with a Real Simple or Coastal Living. They always allow me to imagine what it would be like to live a super-organized life in a beach bungalow. One can dream, right?!
- Fiercely Love Yourself. God made us and loves us. All of us. The haters and trolls are miserable people who don’t love themselves. That’s why they lash out. Ignore them and know that God loves them, too. Keep loving yourself and doing you. You matter.
Have a good week. Take care of yourselves and each other,
❤ YellowDaisyChick ❤