I’ve been a bit depressed lately. Join the club, right? Three weeks ago today, when I went to sleep hoping against hope that my worst fears weren’t coming true, the unthinkable happened and our country actually elected Donald Trump as President. Like many of you, I’ve been scared, stressed-out, angry, devastated, and in disbelief. It’s exhausting and I feel my shoulders pulling heavily on my neck. I keep watching the news and scrolling through my political-social media like I did before the election, looking for a sign that it won’t REALLY be that bad; where is the light at the end of this nightmare of a proverbial tunnel?
So far, I haven’t seen a light that made me optimistic about the next four years. Little reliefs that some things might stay on a positive path, and at least won’t move backward, help. But based on, you know, all the facts…I’m not confident in making forward progress on critical human rights, equality and environmental issues under a Trump/Pence administration.
It’s incredibly hard to deal with the intensity of so much negativity. And I’m white! The idea that people of color, Muslims, the LGBTQ community, the disabled, and many combinations of these communities have faced similar feelings of isolation and hatred for YEARS just makes my heart incredibly heavy.
The bright side of this craziness is absolutely the bonds forming quickly and strong, across this great nation. Protests rage on, fueled by love and determination to do what’s right; Pantsuit Nation is at 3.65 million supportive, progressive people and growing; and my friends and family and I are actively working to protect those around us, including the environment.
But in between those true sparkles of joy and hope, that harsh sadness comes right back. I have now taken one week to mourn and if I’m totally honest, it’ll never really be enough time. It strikes fear and horror in some deep-rooted place inside me that my neighbors and people I see every day have so willingly participated in choosing a man for the most important job in the United States who represents as much hatred and bigotry as Donald Trump, because he’s not the woman we’ve spent the past 8 years swallowing slanted stories about. But when I think about what that means for my every day life, right now, this slump means I’m letting the bully win.
And I can’t let the bully win. I’m that girl who realizes the PERFECT comeback as soon as it’s completely irrelevant, and I need to be reminded to give context sometimes before I jump into explaining an idea – I’m wackadoodle and different and unique, and I love me. So I refuse to let him win. I’ll fight back in big ways, and support others who do the same, but I also need to fight back in the small ways and return to self-love and care.
— Eliza S (@happycreativeHC) November 17, 2016
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The irony is that, duh, I feel better when I start taking care of myself again. That, at least, has not changed since last Tuesday. Yoga helps. Meditation helps. I’m sure cooking will help, when I work up to that much motivation 🙂 Hugs help, talking about it helps, and reading a wonderful book can work wonders. None of this should be news to me, but I guess I needed a reminder that we aren’t completely in the Twilight Zone – just mostly! But those comforts and joys I knew pre 11/8 are still gratifying and welcome.
I’m obsessed with this page idea for my bullet journal! So fun to create and a perfect reference for when I need some tender loving (self)care ✌🏼❤️🙏🏼 I can’t help wonder what other amazing spreads are out there!! I’ve been missing out 🤓
A photo posted by Eliza – A Happy Wife (@happywifecreativelife) on
So yes, I do love a good fall beer and drinking seems to pick up during football season, but self-medication isn’t the way to really heal. Watching the news, scrolling through everything I can find – it might seem like I’m on a mission, but it’s a desperate mission. I won’t find what I need through inebriation or fresh headlines; I’ll find it inside, like I always do.
And I’m guessing I’m not the only one. What made you happy and centered last year, around this time? Were you excited for Thanksgiving, and the shiny warmth of family gratitude and celebrations? Do you love fall for its snuggly clothing, fireplace-and-a-nap afternoons, beautiful colors and feeling of change in the air? At work, we usually kick off a season of volunteering and donating to charity.
I don’t think we’ll get back to normal any time soon, but I also question what normal means. My goal now is to get to my new normal, by revisiting some of the things that formerly normal me loved.
You do you – sending you a hug, and encouragement to remember who YOU are. We are not alone. We’re stronger together.
A Happy Wife