Post-Election, Morning Musings

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1. The people have spoken. (See picture.) When I woke up and Trump was talking over a banner reading that Clinton had called to concede, I got out of bed and re-read it from two feet away to make sure that a) I was not dreaming and 2) that I was reading it right. 

2. NBC actually lets Brian Williams back on air–at 3:30am following the election.

3. Speaking of NBC, I noticed that they didn’t let Matt Lauer anywhere near the election coverage. (Savannah Guthrie gets props for stamina.)

4. Does Trump winning mean that we still have to deal with Kellyanne Conway? Because right now she’s trying to explain what he meant by rigged. It was only rigged when it erroneously showed he wasn’t winning, she says. (???)

5. The world is still spinning and we’re still on it–proof is in the rising sun. See picture.

6. You didn’t run much of a campaign if you can’t beat someone who has never held political office (especially if you end up winning the popular vote). In MA, use Martha Coakley (Chokely) as your “unelectable” reference point.

7. Speaking of the popular vote, if you win that and don’t win the office, do we rethink the electoral college?

8. Speaking of election “rules”, I think congressional term limits that are off cycle with the presidential elections will bring us a decent national payoff.

9. I’m in FL now and there’s big news about the first Vietnamese-American elected to Congress–(ironically?) her name is Stephanie Murphy.

10. I recently watched the documentary “Weiner.” I’ll probably watch the sequel when it comes out; rumored working title is “Hillary & Huma.” Can’t imagine what that hotel room scene was like last night. And I wonder what she’ll say when she breaks her silence.

11. There’s no more or less hate or hope in the world today than there was yesterday, and we all need to take more responsibility for reducing the former and increasing the latter. We all have a choice about whether we want to be bad hombres, nasty women, or good people.

12.  Now I have an idea how the residents of Cleveland felt waking up after Game 7.

13.  The Hillary supporters vomiting hate all over social media this morning are idiotic hypocrites.  Not to mention sore losers.  (See #11.)

14.  I wish the so-called “silent majority” and “forgotten men and women” had had the courage to raise their voices and be part of the dialogue during the campaign.  The end result is me feeling more sandbagged than surprised this morning.

15. If Trump’s campaign demeanor and tone had been remotely like his acceptance speech, he would have won by a landslide, and we’d have known it months ago.

16.  For anyone feeling less human, valid, or valued this morning for whatever reason, you’re making a big mistake.  You still matter.  We all do.

17.  Winners or losers, we all need to bite our tongues like young Barron Trump (see picture) and learn the huge lesson in all of this. If we don’t, that will be the bigger national disgrace.

I said it yesterday and I’ll say it again today. America is great and we’re all on the same team–so let’s get out there and win this Wednesday.

Misguided

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Today’s headline haiku:

Paris massacre.

Ethnic cleansing coffee cups.

“Media”; amok.
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So that’s that.
Ok…soooo…this weekend has been an overwhelming experience dealing with a f-cked up world and the associated reactionary and under-informed opinions both on and offline. I’ve seen a lot of misguided response, a lot of meeting hatred with hatred, plenty of rush to judgment, and a general lack of willingness and interest to consider alternative views. In any case, we’ve got 11 days until Thanksgiving. So I encourage everyone to take a step back, to take an extra breath, and to think about something good in your own life, something that makes you happy…then hold on to it, at least for a little while.  

This picture illustrates one thing about my world that’s pretty great, and it fills me with hope and optimism for the future. Thanks to my 17 y.o. nephew for the gift of an amazing outlook, and go Pats. #letlovewin

 

How Can You Still Not Believe in Signs?

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I’m overwhelmed right now, in so many ways and on so many levels.  It’s been almost a year since cancer took my dad, and there’s no shortage of emotional stuff associated with that.

One things I Couldn’t bring myself to do this year was plant the garden beds that he and I built and tended together over the years.  They look disgraceful, like this:

  
Today I went over to that part of my yard, and look what I found:

  
Love remains.  ‘Nuff said.

Emotional Aftershocks

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As I’ve noted, I’m not a huge fan of looking in the rearview.  Serves no purpose, gives me a bitch of a stiff neck, and completely distracts me from enjoying the present and thinking hopefully about the future.

Sometimes, though, things don’t live in the rearview, and if you’re not careful, they will sneak up and overtake you.  So what’s a girl to do?  I don’t know, but it happened to me this week and thus I have a few thoughts that I want to share.

This was my first Father’s Day without a real-live dad.  It was also my mom’s birthday.  I also needed to be in Chicago for work.  So I did what felt right at the time and decided to go early, on Saturday, so I could have some fun with college friends before work started and so I could distract myself.

Right.  I had fun, but more “fun” than fun.  I couldn’t shake the low-level feeling of sadness, mainly because it was palpable.  Loss sometimes has a weight, and it can be seen in the stooping of my shoulders and the drooping of the corners of my mouth…

I woke up Sunday morning and the tears just came.  I let them flow, took a deep breath, showered, and decided to muscle through.  I called my mom and tried to put a smile in my voice as I wished her happy birthday in one sentence and acknowledged the sharp pain of missing Dad in the next.  All in all it was a hard day.  

And now it’s over.

Life goes on.

So not that there weren’t moments of sadness over dad or guilt over running away and “abandoning” my mom on a day that was doubly hard for here, but it’s done now.  And here I am at the airport, waiting for my flight, and anxious to get back home and face my life and my house and my mom and my family and my girlfriend and my still-green pool.

I’m not sure I’m in the clear and that there still won’t be reverberations from the Father’s Day tremors…but I’ll try to keep the past in the rearview so that I can be present in my todays and preserve hope for the future.

We’ll always have hope, and we’ll always have love.

Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah, YES!

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Yesterday started like a fairly typical day. Got up, drank my coffee, worked out…did P90X for the first time and immediately renamed it P22.5X because not only was I half-assing it, I was quarter-assing it! Bring it on, Tony Horton, I say…no matter that both knees were rug burned/blistered by the number of “knee pushups” I did on the berber carpet. You can’t beat me.

Showered and met my parents and sister for lunch, at our favorite local Chinese restaurant…when my mom told an awful story, the latest chapter in the lives of some old and dear family friends. The chapter was about a young woman. No risk factors. And lung cancer. I felt sick to my stomach as I tried to digest the news. I mean, I had just seen the young woman’s parents and sister at the road race I did on Sunday. It was so great to see them…we talked, we ran, we met up afterward for beers and cheers…it was at the time, as well as in hindsight, impossible to detect that anything was amiss, let alone that their lives had been upended by cucking fancer.

My mom was talking about the conversation she had with the young girl’s mother, and how upbeat and positive she was. As my mom was updating us, my mind wandered…my mom would know a thing or two about a positive attitude. My dad–her beloved husband and partner in crime–was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer 26 months ago.

I can’t even begin to detail that, nor is that my point.

Sometimes when we’re down, the old cliches make us feel worse, not better…someone says “when life give you lemons, make lemonade,” I think, “When someone says that stupid shit about the lemons, shove a lemon up their ass.” Sure the speaker means well, but really…lemonade?

In some situations, it’s hard to find the silver lining. And in many cases the silver lining is so tarnished it looks black, and casts a heavy shadow.

My point is this: platitudes and cliches delivered in a way devoid of empathy are not often useful…we hear “blah blah blah blah blah”…but at some point, usually when left to our own devices, we must think “Yes!” Yes, I can get through this? Yes, I can handle this? And yes, maybe there are some quotes or stories or something that I can read to re-frame my thinking.

Let’s face it. In some situations, there is no good. Looking for the good is futile (not to mention more depressing), and even the most helpful-intentioned people don’t help if they don’t get it. But in a situation where I can’t see good, I look at what surrounds it. And there, inevitably, is good. I inventory the good, I supplement the good with inpirational quotes and affirmation. Whatever it takes. I start to build momentum and volume and provide myself with context…I look at the big picture. Does that in any way change the root issue? No. But I can and do change how I respond to it, how I think about it, and how I choose to live in the face of it.

It’s not about listening to others and proving them right or wrong. It’s not about wallowing. It’s not about delusion or denial. It’s about a place for everything and everything in its place. And some things will be big. Huge. Overhwleming. Scary. And it will take time and patience and diligence to find positive context. But it will come. Sometimes the issue is small, and all it takes is a few focused moments to right one’s ship. And sometimes it is revealed that what seems big is in fact small, a realization that will get you back moving on your path to happiness.

We’re all different. We all do things in our own way and in our own time…but we all must stop waiting and start doing. It’s no different for our physical health than our emotional health. Start taking care of things, start influencing your thoughts and choices. Starting is a change in and of itself, and poitive change will beget positive change…if you let it. It’s ok that sometimes when others talk all we can hear is “blah blah blah.” But we must always remain open to listening to ourselves. Find quiet. Listen. Then be the voice. Be the change. Weather the storm.

To paraphrase Martin Luther King: Have faith and take the first step. No matter that you can’t see the whole staircase.