38: Election: Just In Case
I know, it's Tuesday--but dare I suggest a mimosa on a day like today? It's brunchtime, midweek. Let's raise our mugs and clink a cheers to a bit of connection between work, notices and ads in your inbox. Written with a London accent in my head (ahh, a trip to London would be wonderful. Do they allow Americans yet?) Reading with an accent is completely your next best decision. This morning, I passed the Egyptian boy next door, talking with his Hispanic friend as they walked to the middle school. "Do you have an extra mask?" My young neighbor unzipped a pocket and said, "My mom gave me another one. She told me, just in case." My dogs quietly pled to be pet as the boys passed. I tossed the poop bag into the large orange pot at the top of my driveway, thinking about childhood and masks and mothers. Today is election day. I'd capitalize the term, but it's not yet a holiday. (Stay with me, please.) Combining the presidential race and all congressional races, 2020 election spending is projected to finish at nearly $14 billion, according to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics. That is more money than the 2012 and the 2016 combined. For perspective, a Thanksgiving turkey on every table that wants one in America costs $9 million. If we spent election money on turkeys for each family that wants one, each table would have 1,555,555,560,000 turkeys on Thanksgiving Day. Or written correctly: 1 billion, 555 million, 560 thousand turkeys. Do American families need this much turkey? Read this slowly: "Our culture lacks an understanding of what it means to have "not too much, not too little, but ENOUGH. (We have) fear that we will be asked to give up what we have. Enough translates into "less than more." (Laurie McCammon's book, Enough.) The culture of more.
"I'm so sad to have the election pass and not see all the extra paper in my mailbox, and ads on my TV, phone and computer," said no one ever.
But we can breathe a little, if for no other reason than this expensive pendulum will stop swinging for another few years.
Replaced by this will be two or three weeks of settling up with ballots and machines and chads and mail-ins.
I know I keep saying this, but the pendulum is the news cycle.
My thoughts sunk to these after feeding the doggies their food and water and settling into a coffee.
Happy election day.
I was doing well yesterday. After several days of sinking my head into the sand of Hallmark and putting up my Christmas tree and watching Good Witch on Netflix, I made a plan for how I would spend my election evening. No news is good news. Truly.
When I couldn't sleep last midnight, I watched Glennon Doyle and Oprah chat on Zoom about their anxieties and peace around doing all they could do, and now--(gasp) the results. Oprah said something to the effect of, 'we get to see if our country is what we hoped it was or if it's something entirely different.' That little pendulum was enough to break the silence of my panic brain.
I got up and took another CBD capsule and melatonin.
Just in case.
As my mother neighbor packed a bag for her middle school son with an extra mask, just in case he might need it, we can be our own mothers and prepare ourselves to handle whatever comes.
Today's Deep Breath: Here's a practical juju nugget, a collective Next Best Decision.
For weeks, I have received texts and calls and emails: what is your voting plan?
Well, we need to make a plan for how we spend This Night.
Will watching it change the outcome?
As new numbers come in and a county turns blue or red, the roller coaster of what that means and adrenaline and cortisol and accelerated heart rates: "Let's go to the map!"
Knowing that cortisol and belly fat are related, how will you spend your evening?
If you do choose to watch, will you buffer your tsunami of emotions with alcohol or ice cream? Will you cry or scream or shrink into the couch little by little?
Hmm, what else could we do?
There's a little rain in Seattle, Flagstaff and Connecticut, and some snow in the U.P. (Upper Peninsula of Michigan,) but most of the country is dry and cool. Very Autumn.
You could walk.
Cook a healthy meal. Put on a jacket and maybe have a bonfire with marshmallows. With some hot tea or cocoa, or if you're my friend, decaf coffee.
If you live away from the city, you could gaze at the stars with a blanket.
Connecting with those you love.
Or if you are by yourself like me, light some candles and pray for change after doing all you can do.
I will resist the temptation, as I have watched the results with my husband many times, and it is habit. This election caught me at a time of large change. A time where I am changing much that was normal, all at once.
I will not watch.
I will eat a healthy meal that will not spike insulin too much. I will sip calming tea on the patio and watch the sunset. I will light some candles. And my phone and computer and cable tv will all be turned off and silenced until my alarm goes off at 7:00 a.m. As I settle into coffee tomorrow, I will check the google and get one single update and not go down the rabbit hole.
I wish you, dear reader, as much peace as possible.