The last few weeks have been a bit all-consuming for me with non-political priorities. The tl;dr version is that I run an accounting department for a non-profit corporation, we have annual audits, and there’s a reasonably hard deadline for getting that audit done. This year was more intense and prolonged than previous years for some reason.
As much as some of us can’t admit that we’re not capable of giving up (“Hi, my name is Paul and I’m a knucklehead who doesn’t know when it’s time to declare victory and quit” – your line is, “Hi, Paul!”) the truth that we can so often see in others but not in ourselves is that we’re not unbreakable. We can’t do it all. We’re not supermen or gods, no matter how much we might think that we could be.
That’s where this political shit storm comes in – it’s just another layer of stress, frustration, grief, and anger piled on top of the ones we already have in our lives from work, family, relationships, money, school, and all of the other every day stressors that surround us. And it’s not a small one. And it can be invasive, permeating into every aspect of our lives if we let it.
If we’re spending time watching the news, reading and getting into arguments on Twitter and Facebook, and planning and participating in marches and protests, that can make a serious dent in our time budget. When that budget is already overdrawn, your sleep time suffers as you try to get it all done anyway. When you’re not sleeping well because of the stress and then you’re sleeping less over all – you’re gonna die!
Don’t die. Don’t even let it make you sick, or literally crazy.
What’s going on in Washington is NOT NORMAL by any rational definition of “normal,” and there’s no way that it should be treated that way. BUT… it’s not so abnormal that life needs to be radically, 100% changed. Life’s got to go on. You need to keep your job. You need to spend time with your family and friends. You need to find time to do things you enjoy, whatever that might be.
You need to take care of yourself.
When there are Russian tanks rolling down the 405 Freeway, THEN you’ll be justified in abandoning everything normal about your life in order to fight 24/7/365. When your neighbors are being hauled off to camps, you and I will be in the resistance, doing whatever we need to do to make the horrors stop. When American democracy is being replaced by a literal oligarch-based theocracy, then it’s time to take to the barricades.
In the meantime, keep alert, stay vocal, keep up the pressure, do whatever you can. But it’s not a crime to take a day off to go to a ballgame. Or to put in the hours at the office that you need to keep the company going and your job intact.
You need to find that balance.