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Point of View: Keeping My Sanity


OK, it’s finally over after tomorrow.

Far and away the worst and most personally damaging election of my lifetime is oozing ever so slowly toward its conclusion. That it was such a terrible, mentally and emotionally exhausting election for me this year can be laid squarely at the feet of one of the two candidates, who decided facts don’t matter and insults do. Suffice it to say I have voted for the other one, the one who will protect the interests of myself, my husband, our community at large, and the country.

But this post is not about the election, per se.

Instead, it’s about what I am doing to keep myself sane in the face of madness. Maybe it will help you to do the same.

So go vote first. Then take a deep breath and cleanse your soul:

1) Get Some Sleep. Don’t read the political news just before bed. This is a lesson I learned the hard way. Instead, snuggle up with some good escapist literature – whatever strikes your fancy. Let your dreams be about Pern or the Foundation or Demon Captains in Space, not about the latest political scandal, real or invented.

2) Give Your Loved Ones Hugs. You’re not the only one feeling distraught this year. The whole country is with you. But you can’t hug the whole country – that would take a really, really long time. Instead, give your loved ones a big hug. Several, in fact. Maybe one an hour. Remind them there is peace – and love – inside your four walls.

3) Poke Your Head Outside. This one comes via Rory Ni Coileain. Take a look out side. Odds are the sun is shining, someone is mowing the lawn, and the mailman just dropped off five more coupons for Bed Bath & Beyond. The world isn’t as broken as they are telling you – remember that.

4) Take a Bike Ride. Or walk. Or go to the gym. Exercise and exorcise those demons that are plaguing you with a little physical exercise.

5) Eat Some Ice Cream. Yeah, I know. It’s fattening and it will probably kill you in the long run. But it’s hard to overestimate the comforting power of ice cream. Choose your favorite flavor – Chocolate, Vanilla, Tin Roof Sundae, Chubby Hubby, or whatever – and add some banana, chocolate sauce and whipped cream on top. We won’t tell.

6) Cat Videos. Gorge on You Tube videos of cats. Puppies. Squirrels. Komodo Dragons. Whatever floats your boat. Look at the cute kitten who thinks the TV is real. Laugh at the cat who finds a zucchini behind himself and leaps three feet into the air (yes, this is a thing). Or look for some of those videos of people doing really stupid things. Like voting for… nevermind. I promised myself I would not type his name. *inhale. exhale. inhale. exhale*

7) Write It Out. And finally, if you are a writer, write. You have all this angst built up inside your chest. Use it. Write the most angsty Victorian erotic MM novel ever. Or an angsty sci fi short story about a politician mad with power. Or even an angsty little love story between a democrat and a republican. That feeling inside you is a poison, but it’s also power. Use it. Get it out of your heart and onto the page.

Remember – in two more days, this will be over. And yeah, maybe things get worse from there. Or maybe they get better.

But that’s okay. Either way, we’ll have plenty of kittens, ice cream, and hugs to tide us through.

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