Sunday, November 13, 2016
What's The Best Thing That's Happened To You This Week?
Wow. I don't get very political on this blog, but what a doozy of a week to have this prompt. Regardless of political affiliation, this was a seriously emotional week for probably just about everyone in the US. Election results weren't final until 2:30 AM EST, or something like that, which means the majority of America got very little sleep Tuesday night. As someone for whom illness is massively affected by lack of sleep, this is not ideal. Not to mention the ups and downs of the intensive last couple of days of the campaign, and the edge of the seat feeling as the results came in which, regardless of your political choice, can be anxiety inducing.
The best thing that happened to me this week? Solidarity and perspective. So I lied a little. This is about politics. But I will not get into my specific beliefs, nor will I soap box or anything of the like here. (You are welcome to see my twitter feed for that!). First, solidarity. Regardless of your choice for president, this was a tight, down to the wire race, as evidenced by the results not being finalized until the early hours of the morning. Which is to say that whoever you voted for (assuming it was someone on the ballot and you didn't write in your great grandmother), you probably found a good number of others who felt the same. There are A LOT of incredibly strong feelings about this election, and while it's sadly pulling many people apart, it's also pulling many people together. This past week, I've had an extraordinary number of deep, in depth, supportive conversations with people who feel the same way as I do, but whom I don't normally have this level of conversation with. There was a bonding experience over something bigger than us - namely, the direction of our country. This election did accomplish one thing for sure - people are standing up for what they believe in, finding others who feel the same way, and deciding to take some action. How you feel about each of these actions depends on your point of view, of course. But for this socially anxious/awkward introvert who often steals away and enjoys the company of a cup of coffee and a good book, finding solidarity with others while still being able to participate in my own anxious/awkward/introvert way when needed was unexpected and encouraging, especially with all of the emotions and nervous energy that led up to this election, on all sides.
The second is perspective. I have been under a lot of stress lately. Personal stuff, chronic stuff, and deadlines for my condo remodel have been making me really anxious. But this week, as I listened to stories from everyone about what this election meant to them, about the hopes they had for their candidate, about what they'd gone through and hoped this election would do for them, I realized that things like picking out which bathtub I should get for my home remodel just isn't that big of a deal. While that certainly doesn't eliminate my anxiety (because it is a physical condition in my brain that can't be changed by an "attitude adjustment"), it does make me re-focus at times, and that's a good thing.
So, despite this incredibly emotional, sleep deprived week, I've managed to gain a few important takeaways. Oh, and also, no more political TV adds every thirty seconds. And I'd venture to say that, whatever your thoughts on the election outcome, we're probably all glad about that!