In the last week, I’ve blown up my own Twitter account, become a meme, had my worst-ever bout of gastritis, planned a winterguard season that probably won’t even happen thanks to all the people who can’t keep their mask on, and started building another dollhouse.
I want to say something profound here. I really do. But after four years, I’m exhausted.
On Election Day 2016 I went to bed at my usual time, assuming that whatever happened would happen whether or not I was awake. I woke up to the news that Trump had won the Electoral College, despite receiving three million fewer votes than Clinton.
It was the second election won without a majority vote since I started voting. It was exhausting then. It’s exhausting now.
Here’s my best advice for the next few days:
Know what is in your control and what is not. Know when you have done what you can reasonably do. Focus on the things you do control, like whether you’ve eaten and when/how you meet personal and professional deadlines. If you haven’t voted, focus on doing that; if you have, focus on taking care of yourself and those in your immediate orbit.
Know that, no matter what the talking heads on the TV want to say about whether all the votes were counted or which ones weren’t or who made up what story about finding which ballots in which opposing candidate’s butthole, you voted. You played the game according to the rules. You followed the directions, and you are owed a correct count of your lawfully cast vote.
Prepare to stop a coup. Ignore anyone who tells you that preparing to stop a coup is overreacting. It’s far, far better to be prepared to stop a coup that doesn’t happen than to be unprepared to stop one that does.
Be the helpers. Mr. Rogers’s famous advice to “look for the helpers” in times of crisis is aimed at children, and it’s excellent for children. But children need helpers to look for. That’s the rest of us.
Know you are not alone.