There are several reasons I voted on Tuesday, two of them live next door to me. There are several reasons that I felt sad on Wednesday, two of them live next door to me. I am angry, I won’t write scared, but I am in many ways, angry though in more, that my young granddaughters may very well suffer, and suffer mightily, by our country’s future policies towards equality, women’s reproductive rights, and environmental protection, now that we have a president elect who chose a backwards thinking gay conversion therapy promoting and seemingly homophobic vice-president, has said in interviews and in the debates that he is not pro-choice and does not want to support planned parenthood and will put a conservative judge who is also not pro-choice on our Supreme Court to possibly reverse a 44 year long right to choose, and who seems to think that climate change and global warming are some sort of smoke and mirrors trick played on us by liberal scientists and environmental protections of our water and our air are part of some sort of tree-hugging agenda. I believe that these policy changes which may be implemented by this new administration coming at us this winter will be taking us tumbling 40 years backwards over the next four years!!! It was not anger and sadness on Wednesday that the side I voted for did not win, as much as that the candidate who did win, has said nothing in all six debates that I watched, that spoke to me, that resonated with my soul, that sounded remotely to my ears like anything that mattered to me about the future of this country where we live and in which these little girls will grow up to be women…I don’t care so much for ME anymore, but I care a lot for THEM!
So my heart has been heavy. News and social media stories filled with so much negativity, division, anger, and hate, that I can’t really stand how it has made me feel. Ill and stressed actually are the first two feelings that come to mind. This being said, I feel like there is too much negativity in my life right now and through no fault of my own…so I am taking a few steps back from social media and am going to focus on all that I CAN CONTROL. Raising good humans into beautiful good people is something I can control. I am helping my daughter raise her children; every day I am the one who gets them on the bus, and many times a week I am the one who gets them off the bus, I am involved and invested and interested in their lives, and the conversations we have about what matters, to me and to them, what life is like for them now and could be for them later, are the important conversations that are going to help shape the kind of women they grow up to be. This is my power, this is my voice, they are our future.
It’s my wish and more significantly I suppose, my obligation, to help raise them into women who choose inclusion and equal rights for all, over exclusion and inequality, to believe it matters how we treat our neighbors, both in our community and between our oceans, to think it matters very much how we tend to the planet we live on and how not to waste natural resources that won’t magically reappear when more are demanded, to understand that judging those who are less fortunate, or less financially stable, or let’s be blunt, less lucky, is not showing human kindness or compassion, and teaching them that the words “and justice for all” does not mean for only the wealthy and the privileged. These conversations are important for the betterment of us ALL. These girls are the future and the way they are raised could likely make a difference someday in the future of our country. YOU may not care what the future of America looks like, but I suspect your children or your grandchildren will ultimately care very much.
So to say that there is much that is not going “right” in my world right now is true, BUT, there is much going on in my life right now that is in fact fabulous. I can love life at the moment or loathe it, the choice is mine, just three letters make all the difference. I have decided that the only way to handle how I am feeling over these last couple days is to zoom in on what matters most to me, my role in the lives of these two little growing girls, and just marvel at the marvelous. Focus on what is right instead of what isn’t, and you will find, as I did, a much clearer picture of the world and your role in it. By this I mean that you can dwell in all that is shitty and mediocre or scary and bad, or you can dwell in the wonderful of every little amazing bit of every minute of your day.
Thanksgiving will be here soon and feeling grateful for anything, feels good. Start there. Being THANKFUL for anything that makes your heart sing, feels good. We can be grateful with whatever good we have, however small it might sometimes feel, or we can be grumbling and annoyed with whatever is not good, however big it might feel. This is something of a social experiment, a dare perhaps. I dare you, in fact, I double-dog-dare you, to dwell for just today in every little amazing bit of your day. I think if I can help generate some peace in this time of unease, I am doing what I can. Guess what? Despite what you might think, I am willing to bet that when you get into bed tonight, you will have an overall feeling of peace as your head hits the pillow. Loving, loathing, gratefulness, or grumbling…we control what we think, and peace on earth starts right between our own two ears.