My husband is a marathon runner. I have never understood his interest in running 26.2 miles all.at.once. I don’t hate running- I have trained for two half marathons- but I don’t love it and I will NEVER train for a full. This says a lot about the differences between Jeff and I in general. He is in for the steady, pace-driven long game while I dart out of the gate and peter out after 10 miles.
That is what happened to me recently- I petered out. After the election results on November 8th, I felt shot out of a cannon. What could I do? Who could I call? How do we stop it!!!??? I sent emails and attended meetings and made phone calls and wrote letters. Non…stop. But then the universe decided that I needed a water break and I got sick. There is nothing sickness likes more than stress. After a week and a half laying around, reprioritizing and putting things into perspective, I realize that this is not a sprint- it’s a marathon- and I want to run it.
The alt-right has used the word snowflake to illustrate that we “liberal, progressives” melt quickly. It resonates with me since that’s been my approach to life, so I get defensive when I hear it. The truth is, I don’t want them to be right. The need to run this race slow and steady is more apparent now than ever. We can do it!
A few rules I made up for myself:
- Don’t judge myself.
- Feel OK about not going to every event, rally, meeting.
- Harness the energy I have when I have it, and listen to myself if I need a break.
- Find other things to talk about besides politics, unless I can keep it productive.
- Take social media breaks.
- Make a list of issues for which I want to focus.
- Determine how many actions I have time for each day (some 4, some 0)
- Drink lots of water!
Patriotism is not a short and frenzied outburst of emotion but the tranquil and steady dedication of a lifetime.