At the Beginning of an Election Year

It’s 2020. Trump is up for re-election. I can feel the mass panic coming from here, and so I’ve elected to stay off Tumblr. And most of Twitter. And a host of other things because I’m not interested in wild speculation about how bad it’s going to be (and I wasn’t interested in 2016, either, though they almost had me).

Let me be clear: I think his impeachment is a good thing. It demonstrates, as it always has, that no one is above the law. This is an important principle to remind us of (in ancient Egypt, it was the Pharaoh’s job to facilitate and be in line with Ma’at, the principle and goddess of universal order and justice. The Divine Right of Kings and the Mandate of Heaven both meant that if the land failed in some way, it was the king’s fault, and in the Western world that’s where we get the Fisher King idea).

But at the same time, I have a lot of thoughts, many of them angry.

I Don’t Take Complaints

This is the big one: if you tell me there’s something wrong in society, and you leave it at that, not only will I not believe you (because you failed to supply evidence, and in turn demanded evidence of me when I contradicted you), I will think you’re just here to whine and make other people do the work for you. And that negatively impacts my opinion of you and your cause. And something tells me that’s the last thing you want.

So, if you tell me there’s something wrong, you better have an idea how to fix it. It doesn’t have to be a perfect idea or even a fully baked one, but something. And yelling “Just DO SOMETHING!” into the void until something is done will only result in a hastily-cobbled-together solution that reveals that the policy maker in question did not, and cannot, read your mind.

But, if you get in touch with your congressperson (and you definitely should about something you care about), the easiest thing to do, because you will likely be talking to one of their very busy aides, is provide a draft bill. Not many people know this, which is kind of shocking, but there are resources on how to write one. In a short search, I found this and several others: https://hsldaaction.org/GenJ/docs/default-source/public/iGovern/how-to-write-a-bill, including a properly formatted word document, edit as needed: https://1.cdn.edl.io/tnpC1wYRTtphjY7OsApg8YMnJ60bfbFouGibAfYsgzjpqWvh.doc . Make good use of these; and whatever else you may find googling things like “bill draft guide” and “sample bill congress”. When you give them something to work with, they can build on it. Everyone wins (ideally).

Maybe You Hate Society

Not my problem. This is what we have and this is what we have to work with. It isn’t ideal, but this is what we’re opening with. Don’t trust politicians? Protest (I disagree with rioting and think you shouldn’t expect people to like you when you impede their morning commute, but you do you, boo). Maybe you think someone else should be in office instead. Vote for that person, when the time comes. People forget that there are options.

My Work Is Not Your Work

This is something more subtle I’ve been noticing, but one should not expect another person to join them in all the marches, all the rallies, all the protests, all the everything, and then call that person an asshole when they refuse (often for medical or expense-related reasons, because We Live In A Society and the cost of shit is too damn high, but also for spoons-related reasons). I often refuse because of compassion fatigue. I’m used to a huge pile of things people expect me to do and support and care about. I had to care that Dad was a drunkard, and what Mom expected of me, and whether or not Dad made “enough money”. Later I had to be glad that he was getting sober (he isn’t technically but let’s table that one). Then I get to college and I have to care about all the social issues, and the orange man who is bad. I’ve got little opinion on the man, because I’m poor and it all looks the same from this vantage point.

When I moved out, I never got a television. I don’t subscribe to news streaming services. I don’t even read the news app that came with my phone. Every so often I’ll read a news story of interest to me (lately a local matter of a man who got pulled over, cited for brand inspection violations, and is now trying to argue the law under which he was cited is unconstitutional–this one I find completely hilarious, and it reminds me of a case way back when a sheriff misappropriated funds and went to Las Vegas, I think). I generally get my news from gossip from the customers. That was how I learned of the impeachment, and the Roosevelt Fire, and that Baby Yoda trended more in the last weeks of 2019 than any Democratic presidential candidate (#babyyoda2020). Of course, that was how I KNEW there were Democratic candidates in the first place. Trump would obviously run for a second term; that’s what Presidents usually do.

But, the lack of news has greatly benefitted my overall mental health, and I can be correct in attributing at least some of my alleviating depression to not watching news period (not “cable news”, not “alternative news”, just skipping news altogether most days).

I’m saying all this to say that, in all likelihood, politics isn’t my business. It never has been. I was called specifically to tell Andred’s story and the story of my continued contact with her and what I’m learning along the way. This is my way of giving back to the universe for Paul Huson. And I have learned, from the works of men and women wiser than I and more observant than I, that the problems people sense are a lot more than merely political. Fight political battles, but this is not the one thing that everyone should do and once the right policies are enacted all will be well. If you believe that you don’t believe in an interconnected world, or you do and…you aren’t paying attention.

But Seriously–Don’t Overwork Yourselves

Sometimes the best thing you can do for your cause is get some sleep. I manage the living daylights out of my sleep schedule, because I need to if I’m going to be in any way competent at my job or my calling. I’ve read in at least two places that if you expect to be of any use, take care of yourself. Look after your medical, mental health, physical, and other needs.

I see a therapist twice a month, and I pray every morning without fail (except for that one time I was really late to work). I also make sure I have plenty of time before work to wake up slowly (and, this time of year, defrost my car). Another thing was recently asked of me, and so I found a place for it. I can do this because I take great care not to give my life to my job (no matter how much overtime that brings in).

These are just examples. You may structure your life differently based on what you prioritize (and what your environment dictates; a lot of people live in cities and the term “rush hour” is a misnomer to put it lightly). But there’s a pressure, I’m not sure the origin of it, which goes something like “I need to rally/work magic/be at the office CONSTANTLY or my life isn’t worth living”. First of all, incorrect. Burn out does not make you effective at any of your pursuits. Like I said, get some sleep–at least eight hours but you may go up to ten or twelve or more if it’s really bad. Spend time with yourself, and with the Gods if you acknowledge them (or God, singular, if you lean that way). Seek help if you need it (too many people don’t do this, but there is a “worried well” contingent of any therapist’s office, people who want to maximize their efficacy and things like that; if you’re in a bad situation you’ll likely get a reduced rate or no rate at all).

Then, and only then, can you get back to work.

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