Monday, October 17, 2016

November 8 is Coming!

It will be November 8 in three weeks, and people can’t shut up about it – for the wrong reason, as far as I’m concerned. We have an election coming. Big deal.

I will, to some extent, agree that it is a big deal. We are all to vote for the individual we feel will lead this country onward and upward (or against someone else’s ‘takeover’).  This particular election is particularly heated; emotions are rather high on both sides and things that are being said about the candidates are quite ugly.

The ugly mudslinging isn’t only occurring between candidates; it is happening between us, making us no better than them. Tensions get spectacularly high the month before the election – for no reason, if you think about it; at this point nearly everyone has made their choices and none of this last-minute campaigning between us is going to make a difference. We are like the children rushing around to finish the book report that is due tomorrow that we had six months to write.

It’s not like we haven’t been here before, yet the months leading up to the election have people acting like the choice we have one chance to make is a ‘do or die’ thing. Technically, all of the elections are like that. We question and whine about the final candidates we have to choose from, ignoring the fact that it wasn’t just support they received within the previous year that got them there – their support started long before that. Rising to the top of the election food chain is a time-consuming process, and it is the individual attitudes and moves of the people of this country combined that got them there.

Our government has been selected by us; if we hate what we have to choose from on the ‘final’ vote, we have only ourselves to blame.

I will do my civic duty on November 8 – but if I’m going to inundate myself with anything about that date it will be on something that I consider so much more worthy of my time: it is my best friend’s birthday. I know she doesn’t birthday like I do, but I am still very sorry that the election has to fall on that day. I'm actually offended that an event so wonderful is being overshadowed by something so negative.

Like I said earlier, these candidates got where they are because of us and our choices. I’m using my privilege of choice to focus on things that are good and positive, and to try to be good and positive. Maybe if I do that more often I will live to see a day where my individual good choices and intentions will combine with the individual good choices and intentions of others and there will be an election day I will be happy to ‘celebrate’ – even in advance.

But until then:

Fuck the election - it’s Donna’s birthday in three weeks!

I brag constantly about my friends because all of them are truly wonderful. I am one very lucky girl, I know. Donna has been there since 1973 (you can do the math yourself; she hates when I brag about how many years it’s been – like I said, she doesn’t birthday like I do).

We have been through parallel lives, distance, anger, heartbreak, death, menstruation, love, parenting, alcohol, and everything else together.

She is the one I called when I ran away from home at age 13.

She is the one I first tried pot with (I’m still not sure if I inhaled – but I did try).

She is the one who wanted to punch the man who broke my heart.

I can say anything to her, and she can say anything to me.

(I would marry her if my daughters didn’t think it would be wrong for me to continue to go out with men afterward.)

We have relationships with our candidates; relationships that we’ve apparently not fully realized how we’ve nurtured them. If we understand that everything is related, and that we have relationships with everyone and every situation around us, then maybe we can pay better attention to what we nurture and give our attention to.

This friendship, this relationship that I have with Donna – like my relationship with and to everything else – got to this point because of that attention, from both of us. We gave it its foundation. It stands because of us.

Like our candidates.

Like the future of our country.

It’s not too late to start – it’s never too late to start – positive intentions and actions. The first thing we can do is to try and do our best right now.

So, when I think about November 8, the best thing right now I can think about is Donna and the fact that it’s her birthday – the day that caused her to be a part of my extremely grateful life. I will cast my vote in the election, too. I know what my decision is and will not play in any discussion about it, because it will not be as positively charged as my thoughts about her.

Election day is not the end of the world; it is always the beginning of something new, and all change has something positive about it. Remember that. If you see good, it’s because you can see bad. And vice versa.

This particular election day is no different.

For me, though, the election is quite secondary (or tertiary, or whatever comes after that).

Donna’s birthday is coming!