In undergrad I majored in government and politics. I worked on Capitol Hill during my senior year of undergrad. I went on to study public policy in graduate school before switching over to education for my doctorate.
I have loved politics since…well, before I can actually remember. One of my earliest memories is this US Bicentennial dress my mom dressed me in during the summer of 1976; I was 3 years old.
I know the shine started to dull with the 2000 election and the drama with “hanging chads.” As a Democrat, I was heartbroken by the outcome. I lost friends over it.
Today, the 2000 election almost seems quaint.
Today, the US election is taking place, though just about everyone I know personally and professionally has already voted. The stakes for this election feel really high. Will we pull back from the brink of all out devastating crazy or will we push our poker chips all in?
Up until about 2 weeks ago, I really wasn’t fretting much. But having endured two elections where the outcome was completely unexpected, I know better than to trust the polls any more. I started getting a bit worried. This weekend my anxiety really spiked.
Can me and Hope really do another 4 years of this? Do I want to? Where can we go? Do I really want to leave the US?
I really could use a major change of scenery, but essentially going into exile seems dramatic–but so is having a White supremacist as head of state. I am seriously considering heading somewhere at least for a few weeks–but with our COVID -19 cases spiking…I’m guessing no one in their right minds are welcoming refuge seeking Americans in the middle of a pandemic.
So, I’m doing my best to cope here. I’m limiting my news consumption. Staying off of social media most of the day. I stressed shopped (blowing any sense of a budget, mind you) and bought me and Hope our favorite foods, because I needed comfort food. I’m getting my Fitbit steps in, and I made devil’s food cake for dessert.
It’s not enough though. It’s hard enough to suffer through the pandemic and Hope’s challenges right now. I’m usually in my bed by 8pm; and folks have no boundaries. People will still call or DM me. It seems they’ve figured out that my phone snoozes messages after 5pm, so folks routinely text me as late as 10pm. I’m sooooo exhausted. Last night, I dragged my weighted blanket to my bed and crawled under it. I slept soundly.
Today I will rally. I celebrated Hope’s first time voting weeks ago. I was excited for her, but sad that she didn’t get the full experience of going to the polling place and getting her sticker. I will work most of the day, scoot Hope to an appointment late afternoon, use my coloring app, leave the TV on mute or off all together and check in periodically to see what’s happening on Twitter. Despite all of the food I’ve purchased, we will likely get takeout tonight, because I frankly don’t see myself being functional enough to pull together dinner this evening.
How are you practicing self-care today? Are you anxious like me? What’s at the root of your anxiety? What are you telling your kiddos? Do you have a “post-election plan?”