Monday, November 05, 2018

In Which I Am Both Part Of The Solution And A Small Brown Bunny--And You Can Be, Too!


Oh, hey.

October...let's just say that it was a Month Of Juggling Priorities. Among the many Worthy Things clamouring for my time and attention, this spot never even cracked the Top Ten. Life, you know?

This morning as I strode down my driveway for my daily walk, I noticed a fat brown rabbit hunkered down in my front yard. Its ears were lying along its back, and it was still and calm. It was making no attempt to camouflage itself right there in the middle of the grass, and it didn't move at all as I walked past it and went on my way. I made a conscious effort right then to take a few deep breaths, then hit my pace to get my miles in.

Northeast Ohio is finally full of gorgeous autumn colour, and despite the precarious condition of the sidewalks I traverse, I make sure I look around and completely enjoy and appreciate it. The red is particularly stunning right now, and there are Japanese maples and burning bushes that are calendar-worthy. I've lived in this neighborhood for thirty-three years, and this is the first time I've ever noticed the brilliant almost-magenta oak tree only about five blocks away. Even the gold and orange foliage seems illuminated against the perpetually damp, slate-grey skies we've been under these days.

I'm sure you know that one of the things I've been busy with is The Politics. For months now in the run-up to this midterm election, I've written personal letters to voters in Ohio, Nevada, and Arizona; I've made phone calls to voters in critical states in pivotal districts; I've made small donations to candidates here in Ohio and in Texas, Georgia, and other races whose candidacy I believe in (primarily women); I've taken a voter to the polls, texted voters; and, I voted early. Before all of that, I've been keeping up the pressure as a member of the Resistance since, well, you know when.

It can sometimes feel like a lot. Most of the time, it feels incredibly Empowering. Being part of The Solution always does.

Another good reason To Be Part Of The Solution was eloquently stated in Georgia the other day by Oprah Winfrey. I don't want her as a celebrity president--I think another reality show is most definitely not what we need--but she is an inspiring speaker and makes a damn good point here:

"For anybody here who has an ancestor who didn't have the right to vote, and you are choosing not to vote -- wherever you are in this state, in this country -- you are dishonoring your family. You are disrespecting and disregarding their legacy, their suffering and their dreams, when you don't vote."

If you are a Woman, your ancestors were denied the right to vote. If you are Black, your ancestors were denied the right to vote. If you are Native American, your ancestors were denied the right to vote. If your ancestors were not property owners, they were denied the right to vote. You know what? All of you, probably, had ancestors who were disenfranchised.

I've done everything I can. Now I'm going to take a lesson from that brown bunny in my front yard (still there, now nibbling a bit of grass) and be calm and still. I'm working on tangible projects of Kindness--knitting for Operation Gratitude--that feel relaxing and gratifying.  Not hurrying around, not letting the stress win--those are Daily Objectives.   My friend Shirley would prescribe Practicing Radical Self Care.

Sounds good to me.

27 comments:

  1. You have done all you can do. Now we sit back and wait for the results. Actually, YOU can do that. I still have to vote. We don't have early voting in Pennsylvania. (Wish we did.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dee--I wish you had early voting there, too. It's a tremendous boon for the citizenry. Ohio's Secretary of State, a republican who is also on the ballot for Lt. Governor, tried to curtail the hours and days of early voting, and succeeded with purging the voting rolls, a case that went all the way to the SCOTUS this year.

      Election Day needs to be a federal holiday, period. I'm constantly astonished by how many impediments, real or perceived, are in the way of people voting.

      Delete
  2. I think we'll all be on pins and needles until the votes are all counted. But you've done your share and more to get out the vote and I do understand the calm that comes over you at this point in the process. Fingers crossed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jean--Fingers crossed, yes. I'm torn as to whether or not I'll be watching Election results; probably won't so as to maintain my Zen. But I'll check in every now and then. I think Netflix will be getting a workout tonight.

      Delete
  3. I early voted on Friday just so I knew my vote would be counted. I did not want to chance a mail in vote, and I did not want a tornado, hurricane, earthquake or volcano to stop me tomorrow. I am so glad I did! Keep your fingers crossed things will change.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mereknits--Florida was a big concern after that last storm tore through there. No one knew if secure, operating polling places could be set up! Your state is critical. I'm glad you voted early, too. I hope a youth wave makes the difference there.

      Delete
  4. I voted several weeks ago, but I sort of miss the excitement of going on election day. I went on the first day we could vote, just a few hours after the location opened, and there were only a handful of people there (work day, middle of the day).

    I could very easily be a nervous wreck, but I have to work today & then I have choir practice tonight, so I'm hoping I can also be a bit zen about it all. If things don't go well, I wonder if I should just go ahead & put on my handmaid costume? (Dark humor, not at all funny. Sigh.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. P.S. THANK YOU so much for all you've done to aid in the resistance!

      Delete
    2. Bug--I usually go during the first week of early voting, and I'm always glad when it's not crowded. I dislike waiting for anything, but for voting, I'm not so crabby. Jared voted this morning at 7 AM, and he had to wait in line. Not long, but he had to wait. This is a big election in Ohio (I LOVE YOU, SHERROD BROWN!), and early voting is way up. The governor's race is a toss-up.

      You're welcome, but honestly, I'm being more than a little bit selfish in my efforts. The stuff I'm fighting for (and against) affects me and/or my friends and family. And as I said, it's very Empowering. Can't help but feel better about things after getting involved.

      Delete
  5. I'm running around, giving :: group hug :: 's today...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Silver Willow--Great exercise!

      Delete
  6. I heard that part of the speech too and I realized that, due to biology, ALL of us are descended from someone who did not have the right to vote. Because we all are born, so even white male landowners had mothers. So no one has an excuse, we all need to vote.

    Thank you for all that you did to help. Did you enjoy making the phone calls? I tried that in '16, calling people in Florida, and I found it very disheartening. Most of the time you couldn't get through to anyone, due to caller ID. I think I talked to 2 or 3 people, tops, and at least one of them was not going to vote, because he didn't feel like his vote mattered. I tried to convince him. Imagine, in FLORIDA, feeling that way, after the election of 2000? Sigh.

    We have early voting and absentee ballots and everything, but generally we prefer to go in and vote on Election Day. I don't know why, but all three of us feel that way. So we will be going in a bit. Maya is looking forward to wearing her "I VOTED" sticker to work.

    I sent postcards to Georgia, and letters to people in a swing district in Southern California. I hope it helps. Let me say that again, I HOPE IT HELPS! If it's another election like 2016, I am going to go to bed and stay there for at least a week.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. J@jj--That part of my post was difficult to write and get my point across adequately. Of course all of us have ancestors who are both women and men, but I wanted to stress that women should vote for those before them who were unable and wanted to; it's not just a question of voter suppression by race. Likewise, it's not a gender issue, either. As you said, no one has an excuse. My mother, St Patsy, went with my brother to early vote. She sent me a text afterward that said, "Done! All Dems across the board! Of course I was the oldest person there!" She is 88 and could not wait to vote, an act she sees now as a Protest against 45*, whose name she refuses to say.

      I prefer not making phone calls, but I do it. I've done it for every general election since Gore, and it's gotten harder each time due to caller ID/Privacy Manager, etc. It was done through an autodialer facilitated by the website. I spoke to very few real people, several voicemails.

      Jared, my eldest, prefers to vote on Election Day, too. That way, he can walk to the end of his street rather than drive into downtown Cleveland and fight that whole mess. He voted before work this morning, so we are all voted up as of 7 AM today since the rest of us voted early.

      I'm glad that you were able to pitch in and write letters; thank you. I'm happy to spend my time doing whatever I can to help change things for the better in my country. It's about time the Good People show up.

      Delete
  7. Voted at 7 this a.m. (Tuesday) and there was a line! What a lovely surprise...a line out the door. Heard the same from folks in my office voting in other places as well. encouraging!

    The colors suddenly seem much more intense to me (though coming down quickly with the rains and winds we have had). Still feel like we were cheated out of Fall (blistering hot and then too cold...no middle ground).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Vera--I'm really happy that Pennsylvania (who disappointed me mightily in the general, but recovered nicely with Conor Lamb!) seems to be trending back to Blue. If only Little Texas (Ohio) could be counted on to do the same. It's all about geography here. NEO and Columbus are quite different politically than the rural areas.

      I agree that we were cheated out of Fall! We went from 85 to 50, air conditioning to furnace in the same week. Today it was 60 and briefly sunny, and the winds were 20+ mph, so I quickly opened up all the windows and aired out. In 15 minutes the dark clouds rolled in, the temps dropped, and it was all over. Sigh.

      Delete
  8. Hubby and I went to our voting precinct a little bit before noon. Fastest voting experience I've ever had. We had pre-planned our ballot choices; it took longer to prove who we were than it did to vote. Now we do as you and so many others are doing, wait out the next two years, hoping and praying we still have a semblance of a democracy when it's all over and done with.
    I'll gladly be a bunny. The bunnies around here eat well, as do the birds, the squirrels, the deer, any critter that wonders through our neighbor. However, we try to deter the coyotes.
    Hoping that the beauty of fall, brings you peace. Be well, my friend.
    Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Denise--The outcome in Ohio was saddening, except for Sherrod Brown, but typical. This state is so backward and conservative now in 3/4 of the counties that are not urban or diverse.

      Peace to you, too. It seems incredible that we are in November. I hope you have a calm and contented Thanksgiving.

      Delete
  9. Oh Operation Gratitude already has let me know they received my two latest scarves. Great organization . Glad you choose to help too!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. kathy b--I have a lot of yarn that was given to me and I don't want to waste it. And knitting is therapeutic; knitting for a good cause, doubly so. Wins all around!

      Delete
  10. We voted on Election Day this year. Access to our polling place is much easier than our only early voting site. And I must admit I do love all the bright and loud folks at the measured distance away from the door. One of my duties at our house is to research the justice candidates (Yes, we elect the judges, even for the State Supreme Court) and make a cheat sheet for my husband. NC is still quite a red state but at least this year the "super majority" has been eliminated with enough Democrats elected to the General Assembly. Who knows? I may yet see my read beloved State once again.

    Kudos to you and the tireless countless others who help in our most important process. You rock!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. NCmountainwoman--Ease of access to his polling place is the reason my eldest son, Jared, waits to vote on Election Day as well. He merely walks to the school at the end of his street.

      We elect judges here in Ohio, too, and when they are for the Supreme Court, their party affiliation is not listed, so I have to research them, too. Thanks to heavy-handed gerrymandering, which I've discussed here before, we are still raging red, except for Sherrod Brown, our senator who won handily and has now said he is thinking of a presidential run in 2020.

      I'm really happy that NC voted in some Dems. And I'm happy that the Dems showed up in states like NV and AZ and while Beto didn't win, look at the battle he fought in TX!

      Lots of people worked really hard for change in this election--it was like the first Obama run in many ways. And while I'm still active in the Resistance every single day, I'll be ramping it up again in 2020 along with everyone else.

      Delete
  11. Hi Nance--Your posts always bring me happiness and comfort. I could totally visualize the fat brown rabbit you saw on your walk. And I get why seeing him/her made you take a few deep breaths. I've had similar experiences with nature, especially wildlife, even recently. Thank goodness for those reminders, right?

    I so appreciate all you did to ensure sanity in our country! You did A LOT!!!

    I canvassed for the very first time this year, numerous times, and actually lived to tell about it! Seriously, it wasn't difficult at all and on my first outing in my own "gated" community the head of security wouldn't let us in and we had to call the sheriff's department. The deputy kindly told the security head that it is, in fact, legal for us to canvass. Per a SCOTUS ruling, canvassing is not soliciting. I had learned that myself right before we headed out. (Btw, I learned just today that even in a community with an HOA, you can legally put up campaign signs 3 days before the election.) Anyway, my work canvassing and working the polls was very rewarding even though my Congressional Dem candidate did not win. She did however come close, far closer than anyone has to the GOP incumbent in the past, and all without any PAC $$$$, just money from average citizens like myself. There's much more to be said and our fight is far from over but I'm encouraged and hopeful by the election results overall. And, yes, I'll be doing much more from this point on.

    Last, thanks so much for the mention. On Saturday, my sister and I were shopping during our downtown open house and I saw a greeting card that said "Self Care Begins with Wine." For one second, I thought about buying it for you. Then I remembered how you think greeting cards are a waste. Later, I thought that I should have taken a photo and sent you the photo. However, I quickly decided that the card's message was not quite right. It should have read, "Radical Self Care Beings With Good Wine." Right?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Shirley--I'm always so pleased and honored when anyone thinks of me. Thank you! Yes, I'm not a Greeting Card Type Of Person, but I don't get upset if they show up. I just hate tossing them and do feel a bit bad at the waste of it all. That one you mentioned does suit me, and I've often opened a nice bottle to Take Care Of Myself (and Rick).

      So glad to hear that you jumped in and did some extra politicking this election, too! YAY! And thank you for the info re: HOA-governed communities. I will keep that info in mind as I continue my own work. Ohio stayed blood-red, thanks to severe gerrymandering, which I have discussed/lamented here before, but the League of Women Voters' case is changing that, and there is a complementary suit that is hoping to get it changed by the 2020 election. Fingers crossed!

      I just got done writing letters to voters in Mississippi, where there is a Senate run-off election at the end of the month. (If you'd like to get involved in that, go to VoteForward.com ) Rick asked me if I'm ever going to stop, and I said, "I hope so."

      I love seeing you here in Comments. I'm having problems with my Email Subscription and Feed provider (Feedburner), and Blogger is making things hellacious for my regular Commenters. I don't have the energy to start over someplace else. Your presence was a nice surprise. XO

      Delete
    2. I often manage to recycle my favorite cards--at least for a while--by placing them on the inside of my kitchen cabinet doors. They always surprise me and make me smile.

      So many are working to reverse gerrymandering. I've read articles saying that gerrymandering largely did not work during these elections because of large voter turnout but that provides me little comfort. We can't count on turning out a large percentage of voters every time. Sadly.

      I'm well aware of the Mississippi race and will do anything I can to elect Espy over his awful opponent. However, the link you shared goes to the site of a city councilman in CA.

      Ha on Rick's question and your answer. I, too, hope we can get a break. I'm not sure I'll ever stop again but it would be nice to not feel so pressured to save our country (although admittedly, that sounds odd, I know. Who wouldn't want to do everything they can to save their country?

      I've had issues with Blogger blogs deleting my comments as I write them. I seem to be okay with yours though! Starting over again would be exhausting. Heck, "keeping" up can be exhausting.

      xo,

      Shirley

      Delete
    3. Shirley--Oh, hell. Here is the link: https://votefwd.org/
      I always use an embedded link in correspondence from them or one of my bookmarks. So sorry!

      Delete
    4. No worries, dear! I didn't get a notice that you'd replied (that's one Blogger fail I am affected by it seems) so I finally just looked it up myself. All is good now.

      Delete
  12. I've added the link to Vote Forward in my Links I Live For tab up above. It's a great way to get involved nationally, urging reluctant voters in critical and pivotal districts to simply vote. You don't push an agenda; you just urge them to rejoin the Democracy and vote.

    ReplyDelete

Oh, thank you for joining the fray!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...