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Ten Ways to Prevent Self-Destruction During the Time of Trump

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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!
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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?!
  10. 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,

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❤ YellowDaisyChick ❤

Be The Change

As you may have learned from my last post, I was devastated by our election results.

And I still am.

It’s a combination of :

-Disbelief that so many people would believe in and vote for a rich guy from a reality-show, who also happens to be bigoted, divisive, inexperienced as an elected leader and just…so…mean.

-Sadness that there are so many people who believe only people who look like them, worship like them, love like them, deserve to have the same rights and freedoms as they do.

-Anger that as hard as women, people of color, the LGBTQ community, and non-Christians have worked to gain these same rights, any progress we have made will now be undone.

-Sense of failure that as a parent, I could not protect my children from having to experience this election.

I am still working through all of these emotions and more and will continue to. I am lucky to have some wonderful friends and family who are going through the same thing and we will get each other through it.

What I’ve decided is that what I can control is my own actions. I must now walk the walk for myself, my family, my children, my minority friends and their children, my gay/lesbian friends and their children, and my non-Christian friends and their children and women everywhere.

I am pledging to myself to work in four areas to try to be the change we need in this country: women’s issues, education, the environment, and outreach to marginalized groups. I keep a bullet journal and it has helped me organize myself during this stressful, frightening time. It will also keep me accountable and help me track my work.

So far this week, I have made plans to attend the Million Women March in Washington DC (for women); signed up to volunteer at Books for Africa on Inauguration Day (for education); and I have emailed friends in marginalized groups to start a dialogue on how they are coping and taking care of themselves during the election aftermath (for outreach). And it’s only Wednesday.

This brings me to another important action item: self-care. If you are emotionally distraught over the election, feel targeted by the now emboldened bullies/bigots, or perhaps have strained, damaged or severed relationships post-election, you must take time to care for yourself. However you need to do that. Take care of yourself and then you will be able to take care of others.

If none of this makes any sense to you or you think I am a “whiner” or a “sore loser”, please go away. Truly, from the deepest part of my heart, I have zero interest in you. If you really do want to understand, go read. Go do the work. Yes, I know your crazy candidate won. But the rest of us are all still here. And we are organizing. And we are working hard to make things right. I’m a white, Christian Democrat and I am deeply sorry I haven’t been working this hard before. I am praying a lot about my own failures. But now I’m going to work my ass off. And readers- I would love for you to join me. ❤

Take care of yourselves and each other,

Yellow Daisy Chick

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Remembering Not To Forget

Note:  This entry is on the Freedom to Vote, and is NOT a political discussion!  Yellowdaisychickchat welcomes all comments on voting, but will not approve any comments related to specific political issues, specific candidates, elephants or donkeys!  Take that &*$%#@ elsewhere!

Many are debating, “What was the meaning of this election?”  The question I ask myself is what does the election, and all elections, mean to me?  Well, in a weird way, I love an election.  Now, I hate the negative campaigning and incessant ads just as much as the next person.  I definitely don’t get nearly as excited, or borderline hysterical, as the pundits/experts/comedians do, but I admit, it does get my adrenalin going.  Why, you ask?  Because I love to vote and have my opinion counted.  My chosen candidate may or may not win, but with every click on the voting screen, I get to say “THIS IS WHAT I THINK ABOUT THAT!”

I am very lucky, too, that my polling location is always very civilized.  Pleasant retirees work the poll, and neighbors line up beside each other, respectful of one another and careful not to talk about the election.  I go to my booth and make my choices, freely.  No one intimidates me as I drive to the voting location.  No one threatens my life as I walk up to the fire station.  I am a lucky woman; not everyone in this world has that freedom.  Not so long ago, not everyone in this country had that freedom. 

I tend to forget what amendment it was (the 19th), when it was enacted (1920) and who was president (Woodrow Wilson, who fought it and eventually supported it) that allowed me that freedom.  During my busy days with kids, work, laundry, etc., I don’t think about the women before me who sacrificed so much, went to prison, were mistreated at protests, and were force-fed with feeding tubes during prison hunger strikes.  I forget that there were strong, good men beside these women who supported them and their cause.  Sadly, I often take my rights for granted, because it’s hard to imagine a life without these rights.  I know of women my age (born in the 70’s) who don’t care about voting.  I know of women my age who “vote the way my husband does.”   Ladies (and men too, for that matter), we should never take our rights for granted.  It’s a slap in the face of the women and others who blazed the trail for us.  And to paraphrase the Churchill quote, if we forget our non-voting past, we are doomed to repeat it.

So tonight, remember to raise a glass to the ladies who came before us:  Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Alice Paul and many others.  We must remember not to forget. 

Cool links:

A photo essay-  http://www.time.com/time/photogallery/0,29307,1712645,00.html

For kids- http://pbskids.org/wayback/civilrights/features_suffrage.html

More than just a face on a coin- http://susanbanthonyhouse.org/her-story/biography.php

BOOKCHAT:

In the Sanctuary of Outcasts:  A Memoir by Neil White

This incredible true story of loss, love and redemption was written by Mississippi native Neil White.  This book was recommended to me by the staff at Turnrow Books in Greenville, MS (see previous blog entry) and it did not disappoint.  Successful magazine publisher White is sentenced to 1 year of white-collar prison in Carville, Louisiana (yes, there is a James Carville connection,) which he initally faces, in arrogance, as a short-lived bump in the road.  Soon after experiencing a humiliating prison check-in, he discovers the prison also houses the country’s last leper colony.  He decides to record the inmates’ and patients’ stories during his time there, and this book is the result.  The individual stories (especially the extraordinary Ella), the dynamics between the two groups, and the life lessons he learns are well worth this read.

http://www.amazon.com/Sanctuary-Outcasts-Memoir-Neil-White/dp/0061351601#_

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