For me - for many of us - this Friday will be a sad, grief-filled day. A day of mourning. A day when the most unqualified and most undeserving ... character ... will be sworn in to the highest office in the land.
This is a hard week to Find the Good, but find it we must. With a little work, we can make this week - and Friday, in particular - a day of redemption. A day of resistance.
Here's my ACTION plan for this week. Join me!
Dress the Part
I am in mourning; I will be wearing black this week. With an occasional pop of color from my pussyhat.
On Friday, I will not turn on my television to watch the inauguration. I'm also planning to stay away from social media. Seeing the event, reading about the event, analyzing the event . . . none of this will help me. And I don't want to give my attention or my time or my emotions to . . . the spectacle.
On January 20, Tom and I will join with millions of other Americans in the Wall-of-Us project called Take the Oath. We will raise our right hands and take this oath: "I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute my role as an American, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.” And then . . . we will. We will be part of the movement. Read more about Take the Oath here.
January 20 is the perfect day for a bit of financial activism! There are so many good organizations full of committed and devoted people working hard to fight discrimination, injustice, inequality, and bigotry. Sustain their work; support their work. Find an organization you believe in and give generously -- because money talks!
If you've been thinking about getting more involved in your community, NOW is the time. There are causes and organizations right in your own community that can use your help. You might have to get your hands a little dirty -- but that's what it takes to bridge a divide. Your work can truly make a difference. Since the election, I've been looking for ways to plug in right here in Kalamazoo. I just finished an extensive training program to become a certified Adult Literacy Tutor for the Kalamazoo Literacy Council. I'm waiting to be matched with a new adult learner, but in the meantime, I've just volunteered to work in one of the literacy centers here in town. I also joined the League of Women Voters -- and discovered a very active group here in Kalamazoo. There are so many ways to get involved. Find the one that works for you; start looking TODAY.
Staying informed and understanding the issues is vital right now. Our new President . . . boasts of "not reading." So, today, read something challenging that you might not otherwise take the time to read. Pay for subscription services to news publications that will bring high-quality news to you: the New York Times, Washington Post, the New Yorker, the Atlantic, Vanity Fair. Donate to NPR. Support the news outlets that bring you the news you need. Seek out essays and books about hot-button issues; find out about the lives of people in parts of America you just don't understand. Challenge yourself. Read!
Reflect, Meditate, Pray
Take time this week - and especially on Friday - to get away from the noise and the volume and the sheer hoopla. If you can, get outside. Take a walk. Spend some time meditating or praying. Allow yourself to find solace and peace. Prepare yourself for the work ahead. It's supposed to be warm(ish) here on Friday. I'm hoping to get out in my garden -- maybe prune a few shrubs and clean up some of my "winter interest." I'll take my dogs for a walk. And I'll spend some time meditating and journaling. It's important to shut out some of the drama and connect with your own center.
There is much ugliness in the world right now. Let's resist by creating beauty. Spend time this week doing the things that give you life. Knit. Paint. Stitch. Tie flies. Sew. Write. Play the piano. Create something beautiful. Use your gifts -- as an act of creative resistance. I'm hoping to finish my Peace Cowl this week.
Get Out There
The majority of voters in this country did not vote for our soon-to-be President. We don't share his values. We didn't give him a mandate. Let's stand shoulder-to-shoulder and stay visible. There are marches and protests scheduled for Saturday, January 21 all over the world -- sister marches for the Women's March in Washington DC. If you're not going to DC, find a march or rally or protest near you -- and GO. (Here's a link to help you find marches in your state or country.) I will be heading to Lansing with a carload of friends for the March on Lansing. Maybe I'll see some of my Michigan friends there.
Rest - and Have a Drink
There's a lot to be done -- and it's going to take a sustained effort well beyond inauguration week. Make sure to rest, kick back a bit. And have a drink! Thea has put together a list (with recipes) of most excellent pussydrinks. I may try the Elizabeth Warren -- or I may just open a really fine bottle of red wine.
Yes. This week is a tough one. But we - we the people - will endure. Because, well . . . America is already great. And it has nothing to do with our incoming (ahem) leader.