Day 8 came and went. I was really busy all day, although as usual I anticipated having more time and more energy than was remotely realistic. So in addition to failing to post here, I also didn’t sew the new cushions for our kitchen bench, although I did get the fabric purchased. So maybe today.
I’ve been doing astrology chart readings for friends as a way to raise money for Camp Mighty’s project to support Charity:Water. I’m a newish student, so every reading I do is like a mini lesson for me. It’s really interesting and I’m so grateful to my friends for their interest and their willingness to share. So far, they all seem to be getting some good insight from the process too. But it’s also time consuming. And sometimes, you are faced with a friend’s chart that really confirms that they are going through some rough stuff. When that happens, you wish you say it’s almost over and sometimes you can. But sometimes you can’t. You can encourage them to keep doing the good things they are doing to take care of themselves, and you can tell them when the transit will end. Still, oof.
I did not sleep very well either. I am glad it is Friday.
I’m feeling a little sad this morning. Not about the election itself – I am very happy about the outcome, not just at the presidential level, but truly thrilled by all the victories for women and for civil rights. I am sad that we have reached a point in our society where people are so angry and so cynical about the motives of those on the other side of the fence. I’ve seen posts this morning on Facebook from conservatives claiming that the only people name-calling are liberals, and liberals claiming the same thing about conservatives. Frankly, there was enough name-calling to go around. But how did we get to a place where we assume that the motives of those who disagree with us are to actively destroy our lives?
I have never liked discussing politics. Mostly because I really hate to argue. I do not enjoy a debate. I do not want to talk you out of your position or convince you that mine is better. And I do not want you to tell me that my opinion is worthless either. I know, I know, the benefit of debate is to be exposed to other points of view. But surely that means you have to listen, really listen, to other points of view. Try to understand them. Be open to the idea that those who disagree with you believe what they believe for a reason.
We live in a very complicated world. This is a big country and it is populated by citizens with a lot of different life experiences. There are some things that maybe just have to be taken off the table for us to move forward and work together. You can’t change the color of people’s skin. You can’t tell them what to have faith in or how to practice it. You can’t tell them who to love. You can argue about what the role of government should be and how it should play it. But the role of government is not to deny rights or enforce morality. And if you are going to try to link up conservative fiscal policies with social and moral restrictions and controls, then I think you end up with the results we got last night.
I didn’t vote for President Obama because I agree with everything he’s done or what the Democrats in Congress want. I voted for President Obama because he wants to make the tent bigger, not smaller.
Thomas Friedman said it far better than I ever could in his op-ed today:
“We think you’re trying. Now try even harder. Learn from your mistakes. Reach out to the other side, even if they slap away your hand, and focus like a laser on the economy, so those of us who voted for you today without much enthusiasm can feel good about this vote.”
The day has finally arrived. I was glad to vote early but I miss the experience of going in on the day itself. I remember when our school was a polling place. Apparently they do that at some schools in Albuquerque, but we have a lot of voting centers sprinkled around the city in commercial spaces, so it’s not quite the same. And I miss the voting machines with the levers. Such a satisfying sound. I used to go into the voting booth with one of my parents – I remember that clearly. I’ve taken K with us every time. This year, she wanted to help fill in the little circles. I’m sure she would have done a very good job. But I wasn’t sure if that was legal so she had to watch. There were a lot of local offices and bond issues on our long, two-sided ballot. So it took awhile.
I’m cautiously optimistic. But I remember how stressful it was 4 years ago and I expect this will be worse tonight. I hope the results come in smoothly and the outcome is clear. The worst thing that can happen is controversy and lack of clarity. That will do damage to our psyche that will be very hard to undo. But I trust that we will all move on tomorrow and get back to life. I hope so.
Sometimes I feel guilty about living in New Mexico. It’s in the mid-60s, sunny, just came in from a nice easy run with one dog and a quick game of fetch with the other one. There’s a kind of surreal calm and quiet here right now. It’s the waiting. We already voted so there’s no line to be standing in. And I haven’t heard of any lines out here anyway. I couldn’t figure out what was going on in Ohio today, and then I heard they only have one voting center per county for early voting. That’s nuts.
It’s hard not to feel that the only way the election turns out any different than where Nate Silver is pointing is if something we’ve really never seen before happens. Is it possible that the polls are really completely off base and biased? Is it possible that people are really saying one thing and doing another? Is it possible that enough votes can be stolen or suppressed to really turn things? It feels like either way, half the country is going to be furious and feel that something has been stolen from them. That’s a bad place to be.
is apparently about trying not to think about the election. I’m generally averting my eyes from television and newspapers, though I can’t quite bring myself to not look at facebook or twitter occasionally. I’ve been listening to Tina Dico’s album “Count to Ten” this morning. That helps. And I finally dug out from under the piles in around my workspace and put the label maker to good use with a stack of empty manila folders. My desk is in a corner of the kitchen near a sunny window. This is mostly a good thing, except that it is also near the laundry room and much-used back door, which means the temptation to drop things off in the vicinity is a little too-tempting for the third-grader I live with. At least my husband has become careful about logging me back into facebook when he’s done hijacking my computer.
My plan for today is to figure out what will be cooking and nourishing our bodies and spirits in this house this week. I am usually not very successful at planning meals ahead, but it’s going to be a busy week and I for one would like to not inflict any unnecessary stress on myself.
And if you haven’t voted yet, just do it. I don’t care who you vote for (not entirely true of course – I do have a preference) but I do care that we all show up and take responsibility for ourselves and our country. I have always believed that in the end, people show up and try to do what they think is best for everyone. I want to keep believing that. So VOTE!