Saturday, February 4, 2017

We Will Survive

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Things got real last month when we transitioned from ominous tweets to draconian executive orders. I have worked in nonprofit online advocacy for over 15 years, and this past week have witnessed decades of progress in environmental conservation, LGBTQ rights, and criminal justice reform threatened with a flourish of a pen. My anxiety and depression levels have elevated exponentially in tandem with my job stress. However these steps are helping me get a grip and i am throwing them out there in case it helps someone else:
  •  Attending rallies. It has been particularly energizing to be around young people who embody a brighter future. I hope to do at least one a week over the next 200 weeks. There is power in being part of something bigger than myself. 
  • Talking to older Americans who have survived the Nixon and Reagan years. History does repeat. Over the past 30 years we went from a B-movie actor-president who ignored the AIDS crisis to a hopeful leader who lit the white house with rainbow colors. The pendulum can and will swing back. 
  • Curating my online activity. There is a fine line between being thoughtfully engaged and obsessively consumed. Just like we have to avoid toxins in what we eat and drink, it behooves us to be more intentional about what we read on the internet (not all of it is true or helpful!). In the interest of living in the solution and not in fear, I steer clear of speculative dystopian thought pieces and pay attention to actions I can take such as contacting legislators and attending bystander intervention classes.
  • Remembering life goes on. And keeping my eye on the prize. One day i might be interviewed by a gerontology student to provide a living history and will want to recount all the positive things my generation did during these dark days. The immense public outpouring of calls to congress and rallies at airports have demonstrated how each of us collectively can and will make a difference in the days ahead.

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