How are you feeling?

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I am so very proud of the fact that I have posted something to this blog at least once a week for all of 2016. To those of you who manage to blog every day, it might not seem like much, but before this year it wasn’t unheard of for me to go several weeks and sometimes even months without posting anything.

This week’s post was all ready to go up on Tuesday, too. It was a Stitch Fix review; don’t worry, I’ll still post it at some point. It didn’t feel right to post it this week, though.

Tuesday was a big day for our country. Unlike any other election (and I’ve been registered to vote since high school), I have felt the weight of this one, the significance of it. Unlike any other election, I watched every single debate and posted my thoughts on social media. Unlike any other election, I felt actual anxiety over the outcome.

As the hours rolled on, even before any results were in, I felt physically off somehow. That evening I came across an article that confirmed my suspicions.

Psychologists confirm that yes, you really are being made physically ill by election uncertainty.

You can read the rest of the article HERE.

I am by no means a crybaby or whiner, as some Clinton supporters are now being referred to. I’ve actually never experienced anxiety like that and was relieved to discover it wasn’t anything more serious. But that relief didn’t last long. Doesn’t it say something about the state of things that it was actually making me physically ill?

And now here we are.

Normally, I try to stay out of discussions as related to “hot topics.” I don’t like to get into heated debates unless I feel confident that (a) I know what I’m talking about, and (b) both my sparring partner and I are in the right mindset to listen to and learn from each other. Unfortunately, that latter requirement has been harder to come by through this election cycle.

But I’m not one to sit around and mope about things; I know that rarely accomplishes anything. My job now? To keep educating myself, decide what issues mean the most to me, and do my part to keep this country moving forward. Unfortunately, that means alienating some people and making others uncomfortable. I’ve slowly decided I’m okay with that.

“To avoid criticism say nothing, do nothing, be nothing.” – Elbert Hubbard

I’m not angry, exactly. I don’t want to attack the opposition. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. But I still have A LOT of questions.

  • Why is Benghazi some people’s justification for not liking Hillary (there were 13 embassy attacks under George W. Bush that resulted in deaths – Nepal, India, Peru, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Iraq…)?
  • How can we not let go of the email server thing? I understand that it affects trust, but once Clinton was cleared in more than one FBI investigation, shouldn’t that have been enough? Everyone makes mistakes, and I can’t presume to understand what her reasons were any more than I can understand all the pressures that come with being Secretary of State.
  • How about all the other emails that came out? There were some about the primaries and Bernie Sanders. Hey, I love Bernie as much as the next liberal, but they were opponents. She used some mocking nicknames for other DC characters. So what? You’ve never made fun of someone at work? There are also a lot of really great/funny emails. She can’t get a fax machine to work. She wants more tea. She also wants to help a girl from Yemen and provide food to the needy.
  • I completely get (and even to a degree agree with) the whole too-PC mentality. I understand that some people found Trump’s “honestly” refreshing. He mocked a disabled man on television, was caught on tape talking about assaulting a woman, and has posted some of the most absurd things I’ve ever seen on Twitter. My question here is this: Are there really no bounds? Should nothing be off-limits?
  • In a lot of ways, Trump’s campaign reminds me of the kid who promises pizza for lunch every day or longer recess – things he really has no control over – to get elected president. Can someone explain how he plans to get Mexico to pay for a wall they don’t want? Or how getting Muslims to register isn’t one of the most discriminatory and anti-Constitutional things you’ve ever heard?
  • And the biggie: how did HALF OF THE COUNTRY not vote at all or vote for a third party candidate? Did those folks not feel the significance of this election? Do they think their votes don’t matter? Did they really think another candidate had a shot? I’m all for the smaller parties, but it didn’t seem like the best time to be making a statement with so much at stake.

I am legitimately open to hearing people out on these things, but I also have no problem ignoring insults and unsubstantiated claims. If you have information that I’m missing, please do share – really!

In the meantime, I’ll be taking Clinton’s words to heart:

“I have spent my entire adult life fighting for what I believe in. I’ve had successes and I’ve had setbacks. Sometimes, really painful ones. Many of you are at the beginning of your professional public and political careers. You will have successes and setbacks, too. This loss hurts, but please never stop believing that fighting for what’s right is worth it.” – Hillary Clinton

It’s not time to complain or sit back in self-pity; it’s time to push forward and take action. So, what can you do?

READ

Seriously, go read. Haven’t you heard? “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” Even beyond that, it’s important to at least try to understand the opposition.

TALK

In the same vein of understanding, don’t immediately shut out anyone who disagrees with you. I’m sure there are plenty of completely reasonable people out there who voted for Trump; they’re the ones I want to talk to. (See above regarding insults.)

ACT

Whether we’re talking about racism or sexism or international relations or the environment, there are organizations out there to support every cause. Find the one or two that mean most to you, and get involved! That might mean making financial contributions or volunteering your time and talents. We can’t just SAY; we have to DO.

Alright, so let’s talk yeah? How are you feeling this week? What are you doing about it? Let’s get to work.

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