I am operating on 4 hours of sleep. It is cold and rainy outside. I am not in a good place.
I picked up our Magic 8 Ball on a whim and asked, “Is it going to be okay?”
The reply: It is certain.
So, why do I still feel like crap?
I’m giving myself one day. One day to wear sweatpants and binge watch tv (Have you seen The Crown!?!?!) and eat chips from the bag and generally feel sad. One day to think all the snarky thoughts, because, I’ll be honest, they are flowing fast.
And then tomorrow, I’ll get back to it. I’ll put my energy into the things that I can control, like my family, and what we want to model for our children and the work of guiding boys into the men that our society needs. I will focus on those things.
Because if this election cycle has taught me anything, it is: make no assumptions.
I will not assume that my children know certain things. It is our job as parents to show them, to tell them, and to instill in them values of tolerance, equality, respect, and compassion. My parents gave me those gifts, and it is my duty to pass them on to my children, so they, in turn, can pass them on to theirs.
This is called progress.
I walk away from this election with some big reminders for myself and my kids:
Winning is not everything.
Losing is not the end, and it’s certainly not failure.
No matter how bad things seem, there is always hope.
Always speak up when you see injustice.
Learn how to laugh at yourself. It’s a great gift.
There is serious beauty in this world. Never take it for granted.
Or freedom. Don’t take that for granted either.
Just because you say something, doesn’t make it true.
No one is perfect. We all make mistakes. It’s how you handle them that matters.
Courage is fighting for what you believe in, even when it seems no one else is on your side.
There’s a whole universe out there, and you are not at the center.
Never, ever touch another person’s body without their consent.
True connections are formed through empathy.
Vulnerability is not weakness.
Humility. Humility. Humility.
We need each other. As Brene Brown says, “We are wired for connection.”
Not everyone will be like you. Try listening.
You are not entitled to success. You must earn it.
We are all unique individuals, each with his or her own purpose and gifts. Putting us into buckets is dangerous.
There is not one right answer or one right way to solve a problem. (For simplicity, let’s exclude math.)
Forgiveness is hard but necessary.
Healing may seem impossible, but it’s not. Although, it can be a slow process.
Every voice has value. Every person deserves, and has the right, to have a seat at the table.
Absolutely no one can tell you what to think, what to believe in, or who to love.
These are the things I want my children to know and I will hammer into their sweet heads over and over again. These are the things that I can be certain about.
Thanks Election 2016 for the much needed reminders.
Now, we get back to what’s important.
When Kaly doesn’t have her nose in a book, she wrangles and referees two elementary age boys and blogs about her humorous efforts to lead a mindful, connected life. She’s the author of Good Move: Strategy and Advice for Your Family’s Relocation, a book about the craziness of moving with kids. Her writing has been featured on sites such as Mamalode, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, and Scary Mommy to name a few. You can find her on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter.