Wow, crazy how busy life gets and how the ol’ blog falls down the priority list.
Me? Well, I’ve been busy, too. I got a new job, I have an almost-teen and a high school junior and FYI life DOES NOT SLOW DOWN when they get older. It only gets busier. But I wouldn’t have it any other way.
I love watching them do their things. When they’re happy, I’m happy. You know? That’s all most parents want. We want to see them happy doing what they love. So yes, I’m busy seeing them do what they love.
I am now working as an online writing tutor. It’s all good. I set my own hours, I read essays on all sorts of topics from students attending universities around the globe. [OMG, that was a comma splice. Ugh.] It’s a great gig, though. I like knowing that I’m helping them with their writing, no matter their major.
I also am leading a #resistance group. Do you like how I just slipped that in? LOL, yeah, I’m a southern, Christian, liberal, white woman leading a resistance group. Nice to meet ya! And I’m proud as hell. We kick ass. We march, we serve, we write, we post, we vote, we organize, we talk, we meet, we love, we are peaceful, we are diverse, and we ARE NOT HAVING ANY OF THIS.
Tonight, Alabama gave us hope. Can you believe it? Alabama…a ruby red state ranked near the bottom in everything…has elected a…liberal. GASP! To be fair, the conservative opponent was pretty horrific, but still. Alabama now has a Senator with a “D” next to his name! Whaaaaaaat?!
I’m still processing it all but who would’ve thought that Alabama would have given the USA a jump start against hate, anti-everything, sexual misbehavior, #POTUS and ALL THE BULLSHIT?
P.S. Dear World: we are soooo sorry that we have unleashed this crazy on y’all and we are feverishly working to send them all back under their rocks. Meanwhile, please don’t abandon/bomb us! There are lots of good people here. Really! There are. We just didn’t take things as seriously as we should have. We didn’t care as much as we should have. We thought Obama was going to handle it all. (We had to learn the hard way…also, sorry, President Obama! We didn’t deserve you or Michelle.)
But! It’s a great, great night for the US of A, and I am so pleased to see that decency won in the reddest of states. If decency can win in Alabama, it can win anywhere — as long as there is a good opposition candidate.
Democrats? Listen and learn and find good, decent candidates without major political baggage. Doug Jones is/was an excellent candidate to be proud of. There are a lot of women running for office, too, which should help in this current shit-show environment.
So that’s my update. I’m a southern girl, born and raised, and I know and love so many good southerners. Southern, white women! — wake the hell up and quit supporting abusers/harassers. Google “Stockholm Syndrome”. Bless your hearts. You have more power than you know.
Going to celebrate now in the most white/suburban/liberal/mom way possible — drinking Sauvignon Blanc, eating chips, watching CNN, reading Facebook and Twitter, and finishing with whatever Bravo show is available. xoxoxo
God Bless America! Sweet home, Alabama! Where the skies are so blue. Sweet home, Alabama. Lord, I’m coming home to you.
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,
In one week, it’s all gone to hell, just as the majority of us expected.
Actually, I had hoped it wouldn’t happen this fast or this aggressively. But when I think about our POTUS inciting violence at his campaign rallies, I think we all should have known it would be like this.
That’s when I knew he was a disgusting human. When I saw him egging on supporters to physically assault people who didn’t agree with him, I knew he would be a monstrous President. And for one week, he has been.
I’m even more glad I marched in Washington after this week. We must stand up and speak up more now than ever. I was going to do three parts on the March, but there’s no time. There’s too much to fight right now, so I’ll put it all into this Part 2:
The March, Part 2: Women’s Rights Are Human Rights
After we arrived at RFK Stadium and saw the buses and the women in their pink hats, the adrenaline kicked in. We grabbed our granola bars, phones, coats and signs and headed to the March.
It was a cool, misty morning. We had gotten behind on the road, so we didn’t arrive until after 11:00 a.m. The rally was supposed to last until 1:00 so we thought we could make some of it. Our bus decided to mostly stay together, since we had an AJC photographer who was documenting our trip and needed to keep up with us. My friend Erika and I decided we didn’t want to get lost, so we stayed with the group. We tried to take the Metro to the March but were told there was a two-hour wait. So we walked the 30 minutes or so to the March.
I’m actually glad we did. It was exhilarating to be walking on the sidewalks of neighborhoods and have DC residents honking at us as they drove by, yelling their support out of their windows, standing in front of their homes with their kids and signs welcoming us and cheering for us. Not one person heckled us. The police officers directing traffic were high-fiving us and thanking us. I must say, I was not expecting that at all. They were all smiles after a tumultuous Inauguration Day and welcomed us with open arms.
The National Guard had troops placed along our route, alongside their Humvees and tanks. At first, that freaked me out. I said my share of prayers that their services would not be needed. As the day went on, they gave me great comfort and it felt wonderful to know that they were keeping us safe. I am so grateful to both the police and the National Guard for working that day and I told them so many times.
The river of marchers came to a stop when the Capitol came into view. Everyone wanted their picture taken, of course.
It was around this point that I had my one teary moment. A small group of Muslim women were standing to the side, holding a sign that said “Muslim Americans love the USA.” I thought about their day-to-day life in this country right now and it overwhelmed me. Because of extremists in their religion, they face so much hate by their own countrymen every single day. I thought of how frightening it must be. The March became real to me when I saw those women. I hope they had some peace seeing us all marching for them.
As we walked past the Capitol and neared the beginning of the March, the crowd came to a standstill. There were so many of us, we could not get anywhere near the rally. We did not hear a thing. We were bummed but also excited that that the attendance was so high. Signs for every cause were there. I saw people of every color. I saw every religion represented. I saw LGBTQ marchers. I saw immigrant marchers. I saw men. I saw disabled people. I saw young and old and in-between. I saw people from all over the country. I saw America. Some were surprised to see Georgia represented because we are a red state. Well, we changed their perception on that!
About this time, we couldn’t use our phones anymore. The crowds were so thick, service was nil which caused some anxiety. I am so phone dependent (aren’t we all?) that I hated to be cut off from the world. I couldn’t get any news or even find myself on Google maps. But my old-school skills kicked in…and we actually talked to people! News flash: You can actually get information from Real People!
The police men and women were invaluable. They gave us info that there were so many people on the March route, there was no way to actually march. They told us to go to a side street to march, so that’s what we did. Erika found a friend with Moms Demand Action- GA who had protested before, which was miraculous and a godsend because the crowd got so tight, we got separated from our bus group. Before we moved to the side street, I had my only panicky moment. The crowd was moving as a pack and everyone was wanting to move…it was only a few minutes, though, before we were able to get to the more spacious side street.
Once there, the March began for us. We marched side-by-side, chanting and holding our signs high. Erika’s sign was a major hit:
My sign, however, looked as if a toddler made it. LOL! (It’s what it says that matters, so bite me, ok?! :-))
As we marched, there were folks standing on the sidewalks, cheering us on, taking video, holding signs. It was a surreal moment and the energy was unlike anything I’ve ever felt or probably will ever feel again. All of the people really were pleasant and lovely. I didn’t encounter anyone that wasn’t peaceful or was out-of-line. I did hear that a friend’s Muslim relative witnessed another Muslim woman get beaten by a man on the Metro on the way to the March. The crowd was able to push the man off the train at a stop. The woman still went on to the March, God bless her. Her March blog would be very different from mine, and I acknowledge that fact. But my takeaway: we are not a country that beats Muslim women. We are a country that pushes the asshole off the train.
We marched for quite a while until the crowd came to a standstill. We had caught up with the March route and again, it was clogged because of so many people. At this point, we were hungry and beginning to worry we wouldn’t make it back to the bus on time. We talked with another policeman and found respite at L’Enfant Plaza and had a bite to eat and a restroom break. Lines were long, restaurants were running out of food, but it was a welcome sight to sit and take a break. Again, I was so appreciative of the exhausted restaurant workers and I made sure to tell them. Shout-out to Au Bon Pain for a wonderful tuna salad sandwich and Coke!
The last part of the day was getting the Metro and making it back to the bus, which we again figured out by asking police and other marchers. We did a lot of following the pink hats!
To sum up, for me, the March was a love fest. A response of the best American kind to a world of hate. Marchers helped marchers with info, marchers picked up marchers when they fell, marchers cheered on others’ signs and older marchers and disabled marchers (there were many). Marchers encouraged, supported, nurtured, took care of. I felt so much love that I couldn’t hate anymore. I needed this event more than anything to remind myself that love does win; it always wins because most of us believe in love. I actually felt sorry for Trump voters because they don’t get to feel this feeling. I want this for everyone. I want everyone to feel this kind of love. And I will continue to do my part and show up for love.
For the record, I marched in Washington for all of us. Even Republicans. Even Trump supporters. I marched for the rights of all Americans because we all deserve them. I see that as a big difference in the two sides. We want rights for everyone. You don’t. And, just because others have rights doesn’t mean you have less rights. No one will force you to get an abortion, or to marry a gay person, or to become Muslim. If our government tried to force you to do those things, I would march with you in protest.
I’m a heterosexual, white Christian woman. I marched for those like me and those not like me. I marched for homosexuals, I marched for African-Americans, I marched for Muslims, I marched for immigrants, I marched for disabled people and I marched for men. I did not march against you. I marched for you. I marched for everyone. I marched for love.
We all have political issues that we care about and place our vote in such a way as to support our issues. But when it came down to it, HOW THE HELL WAS THIS YOUR GUY?
I’ve often fantasized about an America where the two political parties both put up the best of the best and we all have to really think hard about our choice. Because that would really be good for the country. As we all know, that didn’t happen and never will. Neither candidate this time around was perfect. But when it came down to that choice in the booth, HOW THE HELL WAS HE YOUR GUY?
I remember talking with moderate (obviously white) Republicans early on and they were disgusted by him. They said they either wouldn’t vote or they would vote for HRC. So I said to myself, “Self- it’s going to be fine. These good people get it. He will never win.” But you know what? My red county that always votes around 70% Republican — they voted 69.3% for him. Hmm.
Republicans, that’s about as sad as sad can be. I believe you that you didn’t like him but you voted for him because you wanted a piece of the Trump pie. If he won, you were betting that you would get your piece. In spite of all of the horrible things he did and said, in spite of the horrific person he is, you voted for him.
So how’s that pie tasting right now? Delicious? Bittersweet? Giving you the runs yet? Most likely a flavor combo of Borscht and vodka. I don’t know because for the most part, you’re not talking to me about it. Most of you are awfully quiet on social media. I do wonder what you all say to one another to rally yourselves. A Republican, non-voting relative did send me a conservative defense of DT and it was heartbreakingly ignorant. It more or less said “fear not, conservatives — we should get what we want out of him even though he’s an asshat.” So do you just not care about other people who aren’t white Christians? Aren’t you worried that he might not give a shit about you, either? Given his cabinet appointees, most of them aren’t concerned with the little guy. But I guess Fox News is telling you differently, and for that, I truly am sad for you when he screws you, too.
But I also blame you. For aligning yourselves with this National Joke to get what you want. He’s your guy now and you’re responsible for him. Period. We all hold you responsible. How must that feel? It gives me the creeps and makes me want a shower to even imagine it.
I’m giving a great deal of my time right now to fight you and your guy. Time I would rather use for many other things, but I must give up to do what’s right. I’m a white, Christian Democrat. I might be the only white, Christian Democrat you know but trust me, there are many of us. And we are pissed and we will fight because we care about rights for all and that’s what we were taught to do as kids in Sunday School. Were you there? Where the hell did you go to Sunday School that HE IS YOUR GUY?
You’ve also made it super hard now for us white people who actually like black people. We had made some progress but things had heated up recently with the police shootings and the Black Lives Matter vs All Lives Matter/Blue Lives Matter debacle. (BTW they just wanted you to say, “yes, we hear you, of course, yes, black lives do matter.” That’s all. They just wanted you to acknowledge that their children’s lives matter. And you chose not to.) And now YOUR GUY has the support of the KKK and white supremacist groups and even has one in the White House. So, yeah, now it makes it even shittier to be a white person who likes black people because they aren’t going to trust any of us and frankly, I don’t blame them.
What the actual hell, White People? What the hell have you done to all of us? #Resist