We are a little more than a month out from a truly seminal election. And I know…You are likely exhausted from canvassing, registering voters, drilling through an ever refilling inbox asking for your time and money, trying to balance the critical need to contribute to the Blue Wave while still keeping your job and remembering what your family looks like. I GET IT.
There’s a good chance that you’re getting angry more often than usual. If, like me, you are a survivor, male or female, you blow up inside at the men who say things meant well, but are still “blaming the victim”. If you are a reasonable human being, you were completely crushed on Thursday at seeing the singular bravery and terror of Dr. Ford, and incensed by the belligerence and lies of Brett, and since then, at the attempts of the old white guys in the GOP directed to protecting him in all sorts of ways.
And yet, we must all find a way to soldier on to ride the Blue Wave in November. The House looks closer every day, the Senate is in sight, and across the country, we have shots at inroads at the state level. (Even the South Dakota governor’s mansion — I KNOW!! Amazing.) If we all implode into our anger and sadness, we may lose the enthusiasm propelling us to victory.
So here are some things to do:
- Take a day off. Read a novel, take a bubble bath, go shopping, play in the park, watch a ball game, run with your dog….whatever brings you peace and joy. End that day by going out to eat and having someone bring you something delicious, and then clear your dishes. Consider that life is uncertain, eat dessert first. (It’s an option.)
- Learn the mantra “Be Here Now”. Breathe into your nose slowly to a count of 5, say “Be Here Now” silently, and then breathe out your mouth slowly to a count of 5. Repeat 10 times. Smile. Note your surroundings, and be IN the moment.
- Remember to stay hydrated. Once you feel thirsty, you are already 2 pints down. Being dehydrated has symptoms like dizziness, sleepiness and all sorts of things that will make you feel badly. DRINK SOME WATER!!!
- Remember to eat — hopefully healthy. Political campaigns historically run on pizza — but consider some fruits and vegetables and eating the right amount of protein (too much will dehydrate you).
- At least once a week sit down to dinner with the people you live with, and ask them about their days. Turn off your devices. Sit at a table, or if your dining room table is covered with signs, turf cuts and lit to hand out – at least in the same room!
- When you get overwhelmed, call someone, and go see them. Hug them. Stroke their face. A lot of people are silently depressed and overwrought – your need may help quell their quiet desperation.
- When you see a candidate, say “THANK YOU” – if you think this is hard on you, imagine the stress 1000x greater. These good men and women are working to represent US, and I don’t think we thank them enough.
- Be grateful. You live in a house with potable water and indoor plumbing and electricity. Be grateful for those little things. You love people and they love you. Be grateful for that big thing.
Remember that this is a marathon, not a sprint,
and it will continue after 6 November even if we exceed expectations in November.
This is the 59th election that I’ve worked. In fairness, I didn’t do anything but carry lit, stuff envelopes, and do the bumper sticker thing (I’ll explain that at the end) for the first 10 years…but since then, it’s been phone banking, canvassing, data collection (yeah, we did that before computers), and finally training others and advising candidates, and this is honestly unlike any election cycle I’ve ever seen. It’s nastier and more polarizing than any that preceded it. I know that, for many of you, this is the first midterm that you’re working. Honest, it’s not generally like this, and I am hopeful that we’ll get back to normal in a few years.
But we’ve got a heavy lift the next few weeks. So please try and be good to yourself, and those around you. And for all of those on the receiving end of the anger, and lashing out — remember that the source is likely an overwrought, overworked individual.
That’s what I’ve got.
The bumper sticker story. In 1964 Barry Goldwater had bumper stickers that said “AUH2O. In your heart, you know he’s right.” Back then, shopping centers were big places with large parking lots. Cars, also, were really big. We, the little kids, who were definitely shorter than the cars, would be given a bumper sticker to go next to a Goldwater bumper sticker. It read “In your head, you know he’s crazy.” Then we’d go back and get another one. Remember, back then, bumpers were metal, and bumper stickers were relatively permanent.