So this week has been … well, it’s been something, hasn’t it? One of the weirdest and perhaps most depressing weeks in recent memory.
But I can’t wallow in the pain, the uncertainty, the massive, all-consuming doubt that the imminent Trump presidency carries with it. Maybe it’s my unbridled optimism. Maybe it’s the fact that I have faith (how? where did this faith come from? I hate everything, after all) that, though it will certainly be bad, it won’t be that bad. Maybe it’s that I can’t stand being in a pain- and griping- and complaining-spiral.
Trump’s presidency will either be a total cock-up, or it won’t. And I know people are protesting in the streets, and I know the petitions are swirling and people are social-media-sharing that there are still things we can do to stop it, but … sorry, I don’t have that much faith. The electoral college is not going to negate itself just because the country has heartburn. Trump isn’t going to resign because he sees the protests and all the #notmypresident-ing. (By the way, you won’t catch me saying such ridiculousness. For better or worse, Trump is our president. That doesn’t mean I endorse him, but it does mean we get to hold his feet to the fire. We have to be good skeptics, as I said the morning after, and that means giving him a chance — even a short one — to not be a total scumbag as the leader of our great nation.)
We have to get on with our lives.
And yeah, I know, I speak this from a place of privilege. I know that I have the benefit of being allowed to get on with my life, as a middle-class white dude. And a part of me is more than frustrated with myself on that account. You can’t just move on like that, I hear myself insisting. Others can’t move on; that’s why this is so important.
But he’s only one man, and our country is bigger than one man.
I just … I can’t stay here, in this state of mind where the election of the orange nitwit is front of mind every day, for too many hours in the day. I’ve lost too much productivity and too much mental energy down that black hole (and a black hole it is; it sure as hell doesn’t give anything back for everything I’ve poured into it over the past several months).
He’s the president-elect, now, and in January, he’ll be the president proper. I think that sucks. I think it’s an embarrassment. I think we (and by “we” I mean basically the entire USA, even those of us who voted against him — because we couldn’t stop it) have made ourselves something of a joke on the world stage.
But I’ve got books to write. I’ve got students to teach. I’ve got kids to raise up into something resembling decent human beings. And miles and miles to run.
I’ll keep wearing my safety pin for solidarity, as long as that’s a thing. I’ll stay informed and vote in the 2018 elections, and I sure as hell urge everybody out there to do the same. And I’ll certainly be keeping tabs on our new president as he creeps toward office.
But — and I realize I’ve said this before, but now that the election is over, it feels more final — I’m not going to be posting about it as much around here. It’s tiresome to me, and I’m sure it’s tiresome to my readers. This is supposed to be a blarg about writing and running and parenting and other lighthearted sharknado like that, for fargo’s sake.
I’m not going to be thinking about it all the time. I’m not going to waste my mental energy worrying about a thing that’s out of my control.
I’m going to co-opt a bit of religious wisdom (without the religion) in the form of the Serenity prayer:
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change the things I can, And wisdom to know the difference.
You don’t even have to believe in god to see the wisdom in that. Any good meditationalist (is that even a word?) will tell you that serenity comes from within.
For me, at least, it’s time to turn away from Trump and the noxious cloud that surrounds everything about him. It’s time to turn inward.
It’s time to get back to work.
This weekly remotivational post is part of Stream of Consciousness Saturday. Every weekend, I use Linda G. Hill’s prompt to refocus my efforts and evaluate my process, sometimes with productive results.