Sunday, November 8, 2020

Uh Oh, Someone Left Some Ceiling On The Floor

 There are times where this blog is tough to write, where ideas don’t pour out or the subject matter is a little difficult.

Today is not one of those days.

Yesterday morning I had a planned run with my wife and some friends.  My middle decided to tag along and we headed off to the Colorado/ Wyoming border for some windy, high altitude running.  I was reluctant.  I hadn’t been training due to a hamstring injury I endured playing, wait for it, kickball!  My God I’m getting old. 

Needless to say, running at eight thousand feet, undertrained and less than motivated was not a recipe for success.  I was nervously drinking coffee and driving north.  Macy had fallen asleep in the back seat and Adrienne sat quiet, nervous as she hasn’t been trail running either.  The car was unusually quiet.  I was considering the fact that I hadn’t taken my allergy medication and that a few ibuprofens may have made my back feel a little better for the run.  Did I mention that I am getting old?

I reached down for my coffee and noticed Adrienne is a weird position.  Her phone was in her lap and she was looking at the roof, crying. I’m an idiot for not immediately knowing what had happened.

“It’s over.” Adrienne said, “They called Pennsylvania.”

I knew instantly what she was saying.  This wasn’t a “trash the current administration” thing.  It wasn’t a “Go Biden” thing.  Those tears were tears of joy because a ceiling has been broken.  A glass one that she thought was going to get broken four years ago.

She woke up Macy and told her what had happened.  Kamala Harris had won the Vice Presidency.  The first woman to hold the spot.  A woman of color.  A black woman.  An Asian woman.  It shines a light for many people across this nation.  In my car, for my wife and daughter, it was the ‘woman’ part that really struck home. 

Adrienne called my other two daughters, who didn’t get the news firsthand as they did not want to get out of bed to run(decisions have consequences).  She was beaming.  The looming run had all but been forgotten.   We parked and met our friends, who were having a similar morning.  We talked gleefully in a way that I don’t often do before a run like that.  My wife made a friend at the bathroom of a woman who was also grinning from ear to ear. 

I kept that joy in my heart for the first quarter of a mile until I saw exactly what kind of run I had gotten myself into.  Side note: Jon, you are a bad friend and I should not let myself get talked into your ideas.  See you next weekend.


The lesson here girls?  This is a big one.  You can do anything you want in life.  The last election left us all licking our wounds a little.  I remember you three questioning why our country would elect someone who seemed “mean” and wouldn’t vote for a woman.  I remember trying to explain that wasn’t really what happened, not totally believing it myself.  I remember my sister saying that our country would never elect a woman for national office. 

Those conversations are over.  An overdue, two hundred-year-old wrong has been righted a bit.  A woman is in the White House, at least in the West Wing.  So, to those who begrudge the election, I get it, we all want our team to win, but for a moment, just a moment, think of the women around you.  Think of the people of color.  Let them have their moment in the sun. 

So, to my wife and daughters, to my mom and my mother in law, to Lisa and Aunt Rosemary.  Today is a good day.  There are plenty of struggles in this country, to be sure, and plenty of work to do.  For one weekend, we should set that aside and celebrate the election and what it means to so many marginalized people. 

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to lie on the couch and ice my legs.  I’m not getting any younger.


Thursday, November 5, 2020

A Calm Within The Storm (with and assist from beer and football)

 Election Day was a few days ago.  There still isn’t a result.  Like so many Americans, my family has been locked to their televisions and Twitter accounts like there was a pandemic keeping us home.

No matter what side of the political spectrum you fall on, people feel like the outcome of this election will shape this country for decades to come.  Perhaps those people are right.  In a moment of introspection yesterday morning, I had a bit of an epiphany, that and a ringing hangover, but let’s keep focused on the epiphany. 

Here it is.  I can’t change anything. 

That’s it. 

No amount of nerves and Twitter scrolling will change whatever outcome is headed our way.  Full stop.

That’s not to say that I don’t care who wins.  I absolutely do.  I am someone who believes that the decision made this week could affect my kids twenty years from now.  I’m sick of the craziness of the last four years.  But none of that will affect the outcome. 

I work from home and usually have the news on in the background, which is the worst brand of ambient noise, but yesterday I listened to music all day.  It was delightful. My wife and I went out for a beer with a lovely couple last night.  We sat for a couple of hours talking about running, and football, and kids, and work.  What we didn’t talk about was the election.

There are bigger things at play to be sure, but I now realize that it doesn’t have to overtake my life.  Its freeing.  Today I listened to music from all over the world while I worked.  I never tuned into the election.  Tonight, I intend to watch football and hang out with my kids with full knowledge that the country is on fire in more ways than one. 

I’m hoping that I wake up in the morning and its, at least for the most part, over.  I’m hoping we as a country learn to agree to disagree better.  I’m hoping that there is a return to dialogue and decorum. I’m praying for normalcy.  Finally, I am hoping that my wife gets to tell my girls that a woman is the Vice President of the United States. 

The lesson here girls?  Pretty simple, actually.  Its important to stand up for what you believe in.  Its important to fight the good fight.  Its also important to know what you can and cannot control.  I don’t think it’s a secret that I am not a supporter of the current administration.  Girls, you know exactly how I feel about it.  But sitting around wringing my hands and cursing at the television won’t change anything.  The fact is that there is a bigger picture to me.  Since you girls have been walking the earth there have been three women on major presidential tickets.  I’d just as soon as not have them go 0 for 3 in those elections. 

So, girls, America is ready to have a woman run it.  If not now, soon.  And if not soon, then maybe one of you will have to do it.  Now, excuse me, I need to generate another stinging hangover so I can keep this chipper outlook.