I wake up a little after 4:00 am most days. Today, I woke feeling happy and rested which is a rarity. It has been two days since Joe Biden and Kamala Harris were sworn in as President and Vice President. I cried as I watched them take their oath. I felt jittery and nervous in the aftermath of the insurrection on January 6, 2021. I kept waiting for the shoe to drop, for violence to mar the inauguration day.
The next day was still anxiety ridden. It also was the day my daughter’s letter to the new VP was in the news and it consumed me in a good way. As the attention dies and we get back to our boring routines, it strikes me that the rock that seemed to have permanently settled in the pit of my stomach is gone.
Since November 2016, there was an unease, a steadily growing loathing of the person leading the country. I secretly hoped he would do something, anything to redeem himself and I could go back to my privileged, politically agnostic world. Sadly, I watched the next four year unfold like a nightmare from which there was no relief.
In the four years since 2016, I have watched people around me change and evolve, some for the better in my eyes. I have consumed news like never before. I have taken to grinding my teeth at night, finding myself rubbing my neck and the back of my ears to make those tight stress bands go away. I taught myself to breathe in and breath out, slowly, counting each breath, making each breath count. I learned to relax my shoulders, unclench my jaws and muscles. I took to walking to find that pocket of time to unwind. I also asked my doctor for medication.
In the two days since this new administration was sworn in, I have methodically gone through my feeds unfollowing my trusted sources for news. It is not that the news matters no longer, it just feels safe enough to consume it once a day using a browser on my laptop. I hear chatter about local races and friends who plan to run. I know we have a long haul ahead, to keep the people we elected accountable. Most importantly, I feel like I am in the need for a month-long abstinence from all things government and politics before I gear up for the next local race.
So, my liberal leaning friends, how are you feeling? Are you relaxing yet?