|Gazing at the beauty around us|
If the media and the pollsters had not been so wrong, I don't think I would have had the reaction I did to watching the election returns come in. I would have had some warning and a chance to get myself ready for what happened. As it became more and more clear that she was going to lose, I went over to my neighbor's apartment and started to drink wine with her. We watched with horror as we saw what was happening. Then I came back home to see SG in front of the TV, alarmed but nothing like I was experiencing. The knot in my stomach ached and the tears flowed. I went to bed before there was any resolution, but SG came in to tell me when Pennsylvania was called for Trump and it was all over.
I cried, not for myself alone, but for the country. I lay in bed, unable to sleep for the despair I felt. When Trump came out for his victory speech, I got out of bed to watch it. He seemed subdued and not bombastic, and if anything it felt like he couldn't believe he had won, either. I was awake for most of the night after that. I got out of bed early and looked at the news and tried to absorb what I was reading. It turned out that most of the entire world was also shocked and afraid, not just me.
I drove in the dark to the coffee shop, wanting to surround myself with familiarity and friends. I knew that the owner is a Trump supporter and might be celebrating, but she was sympathetic and understanding of the state I was in. Then I went over to the gym to take my usual Wednesday morning class, and people were standing around in small circles, stunned and sad. Tammy Bennett is the Activities Director at the YMCA where I work out, and I saw this on her Facebook page:
My Y Gmas & Gpas make me happy every day. They are tough, they are resilient, they are intelligent and they don't let their physical glitches stop them. But today, for the first time in over three decades at the YMCA, I walked into a room that was so heavy with sadness and disappointment that I was speechless (those of you who know me well know that is very rare). So we exercised awhile, and I noted their disappointment in silence until I figured out the safe space of acknowledgement. "Thank you for coming to exercise at the Y with me today. One thing we know for sure is that exercise eases stress so your decision to be here today was a good decision." And we move onward. Always onward.My exercise class did make me feel better, but still I noticed that I wasn't hungry when I should have been, that I didn't feel much like doing anything but wallow in despondency. Even so, I went to bed Wednesday night hopeful that I would sleep. Nope, still not able to. And I knew the next day I would be hiking all day. I got up feeling tired but glad to be able to be with my friends. Eighteen of us showed up, not one voted for Trump and we were all suffering. The hike helped, and when we got to Herman Saddle after wrestling our way through the snow, we had lunch and turned around the way we had come, deciding it was not a good idea to try to make the loop we had planned.
Friday morning I realized I was going to have to do something to help myself sleep, although long talks with my beloved partner, who is not as devastated as me, has helped me more than anything. After my usual workout, I decided to take a trip to the marijuana store, since my friend John uses a tincture, putting a few drops under his tongue, which he swears makes him sleep like a baby. I walked into a bustling business and got in line. Once I got to the counter, I asked the guy for something that would help me sleep but wouldn't make me high.
He directed me to a series of tinctures that help people who deal with pain, and I finally ended up buying an "incredible edible" labeled Crash. I decided to try a half dose in a cup of tea, and I was pleasantly surprised by how relaxed I felt, almost immediately. Although expensive, I think this might be just the ticket. Last night I took a full dose, and I slept like a baby. I also noticed that the usual aches and pains I have all the time are gone, or at least masked by the weed. And I never felt any untoward effects mentally. Quite pleased.
Now it's Sunday morning, sitting in bed with my partner sleeping beside me, and I'm rested, finally. The world looks a whole lot better now. In just these few short days since 11/9, the Democrats are beginning to take a look at how to get our party back from the elites who decided that Hillary was the only choice for us, and I've regained my equilibrium. I know how to grieve, I've done lots of it in my day, and I know that once you get through the first few days, your system begins to recover from the shock.
I am also reading the opinion pages on the New York Times and the Washington Post, taking in all kinds of different views on the election. I'm realizing that many of us on both sides of the aisle are plenty worried and scared about the future direction of this country. I found this article by Garrett Epps at The Atlantic that pretty much sums up my fear.
If you are a Trump supporter, I congratulate you on your win. I truly hope that we will find that he is not the con man that so many think of him as being, and that he will lead responsibly. In her concession speech, Hillary said we need to give him a chance, and I certainly will do that. What choice do I have? Do any of us have? As I walked out the door on Wednesday morning in a cloud of despair, I saw Obama on the TV, smiling and reminding me that the sun will still come up tomorrow morning, and that I have the privilege of living in one of the greatest countries in the world.
The only choice I have is where to focus my thoughts. I believe that love and mercy are some of the strongest powers in the universe, and I will surround myself with them. Be well, dear friends, until we meet again next week.