Sunday, December 11, 2016

Reboot

The past month has not been good. Having an established professional and volunteer life in the political realm, my anxiety levels have been off the charts since Election Day. It's heartening to see and hear so many political and previously not-so-political people stepping up and taking action, resisting, fighting the good fight, etc. And I'm slowly getting there.

I volunteered at work to be sent to Nevada in the weeks before the election to help the Silver State turn blue and to help elect the first Latina to the U.S. Senate. I've been clinging to those two successes in the past month.

But I still have to change the radio channel when NPR plays interview clips of the soon-to-be Commander-in-Chief. I still haven't entirely cleaned my apartment post-GOTV. I don't have the energy to plan my annual holiday party this year. I had mild anxiety travelling to Michigan to visit my sister, nieces, and nephew for Thanksgiving: they live one suburb away from where a student hung a noose in a middle school bathroom.

A few friends posted this article about surving the next four years on Facebook, and it sparked something in the depression-and-anxiety-riddled recesses of my brain. Numbers 6 (Prioritizing Mental & Physical Health), 7 (Making Lists), and 8 (Finding Positivity Every Day) in particular spoke to me.

I agreed to summit Mt Baker next August, so that's a good fitness goal I can steer toward. As is the Seahawks 12K I think I finally want to run. I'm good at calendaring and making lists; it helps me find order and peace in the chaos around me. And recently, some glad tidings of great joy have surfaced.

Yesterday was one of the most exciting days of my life as a Seattle sports fan: the Seattle Sounders won the MLS Cup in a nail-biting final that took them all the way to PKs. (I always pace during PKs, even if I don't care about the teams involved. PKs are nerve-wracking.) It was such an amazing journey for the team... and though I was quite literally hyperventilating after extra time, for the first time in months it wasn't because of anything political.  It was a fantastic win, and my season ticket seatmate and I got to spend it together in a low-key atmosphere. Then I headed off to my home neighborhood to celebrate the milestone birthday of an old friend, and spent the rest of the night with good people I've known forever, who are basically family.

Today, I went to the small regional airport to welcome the team back home, cheering and chanting as they brought the MLS Cup off a plane. If thousands of fans cheering wildly and celebrating for two days straight isn't something to recognize as positivity, I don't know what is. Everyone was so happy and proud and excited, and in a bittersweet way it was what Election Night should have been.

Over Thanksgiving, while watching the MLS Western Conference final with my nieces and nephew, I noticed that 9-year-old Harmony was silent and not getting excited about the game. I told her, "Isn't it exciting? The Sounders can win this! I believe!" She looked sad and answered, "But Tia, you said the same thing about Hillary Clinton." (I did. I called her, jubilant and hopeful, right before heading out to the E-Day parties.)

I hope I (and frankly, our country) can restore trust and hope to my little niece's eyes. (At some point, my sister and I might need to talk to her about the differences between sports wins and political wins, and which of those scenarios we actually have a chance of influencing.)

So maybe this 12-year-old blog on a very outdated blog site (2017 goal: finally get around to purchasing a domain name) can help me re-center myself.
Ah, Love! could thou and I with Fate conspire
To grasp this sorry Scheme of Things entire,
    Would not we shatter it to bits -- and then
Re-mould it nearer to the Heart's Desire!
 (73rd quatrain, The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, Edward Fitzgerald translation)