After the election, everything stopped for me. Creatively anyway. Life went on. Kids still needed love, dog needed walked, friends needed encouragement, cars needed washing. You get the idea. But all of my creativity died. Like in an instant. In the few hours that I watched the election go from promising and the start of a new era, to what seemed like the apocalypse, all of my creative energy evaporated. I tried to write. I did. Friends asked me not to be silent. Other people are feeling the same way, Butch, speak up. But I couldn’t. I am sorry if you were counting on me to help you. I could barely keep myself together.
But today is different The world has moved on. Neighbors have declared their support or anger with the US. News cycles have come and gone. I have mourned the loss of the opportunity that was. I have come to terms with the ugly, divisive, and dangerous reality that is our American political and social landscape. And, now, it is time to speak up again. To stand up. To be heard. To lend a voice to things that matter now, more than ever. Possibly, to give some comfort to others who are struggling, or to at least let them know they are not alone in the way they might be feeling.
So, I am back. I will write as often as I can. I will be funny (whenever possible) and I will keep pointing out insane things that are happening.
In case you are feeling as I have been, I have a list for you. Here are some things that you can do to keep your sanity and your wits about you for the next 1,365 days.
- Breathe. Even when its hard. Both in and out. You have to do both or it doesn’t work.
- Donate to organizations helping groups that you believe in or do work with our most vulnerable neighbors and friends.
- Volunteer, see number 2. Do both if you can.
- Go to a national park. Or maybe, all of the national parks. Rent a camper.
- Run for school board, health board, city or town council. Ever thought about being a judge? Now is the time.
- Be kind. To everyone. Most importantly to people who don’t agree with you. You can’t help change someone’s thinking if you shut out everyone who feels differently than you.
- Keep breathing. Really this is key.
- Speak up, sign petitions, write letters, start a boycott. Tell companies that just because the law may change to make an evil action legal doesn’t mean they should do it. Do no evil, Big Oil.
- Attend marches, be counted as caring enough to get on your feet. Carry signs. Make them yourself. It is very cathartic.
- Ice cream. Good cheese. For the lactose intolerant of you, try chips and salsa, or charcuterie. All of these things preferably with friends and family.
- Read, attend, or watch something about promoting equality, tearing down racism and sexism, and building bridges with our neighbors, both locally and abroad. Support books, movies, tv shows, and events with these themes.
- Go to readings and talks about things you care about that are in jeopardy – like science.
- You are not alone. Remember that most of America is upset, too. 65,844,954 of us voted for her. And now, maybe even some of the people who voted for him are upset.
My kids asked me before the election, “Mom, if he wins will we move to Scotland?” I replied, “No. We can’t leave. We have to stay and fight. If all of us who can afford it, leave, then who will fight for those who can’t afford to leave?” This is our truth. We had 8 years to get things done. And now we have 1,365 days to limit the damage.
I will speak out. Will you? It is butch to stand up and fight. Be Butch.