Tomorrow is Super Tuesday, and I get to go vote. Don't know about you, but I already feel incredibly drained by this whole campaign, and it's not even convention season yet. The racist, sexist, anti-immigrant/Muslim/gay/disabled hate speech that has already been so casually slung around at every juncture, that seems to be winning, the idea that America is a nation above apology, above playing by the rules or being a mediator, makes me feel frustrated and on edge - emotions that I can easily see turning to anger and despair by the time November hits.
So here are some things I'm going to try my best to do, no matter who is elected president.
1. Savor the small but strong communities that make up my daily life - my marriage, my work team, my women's group, my family, my church.
2. Speaking of church, I'll keep going on Sundays - to recite liturgy, sing hymns, participate in this tradition that is older than me, bigger than me, and yet somehow still seems to meet me in the moment - whether I'm doubting or certain, glad or sorrowful. If I wasn't a churchgoer, I would seek out a community that makes me feel the same way.
3. When I'm in church and out of it, I'll pray. Maybe not intelligibly or out loud, but I'll send up gratitude and hopeful thoughts for the world. If I wasn't a pray-er, I'd still send up gratitude and hopeful thoughts for the world.
4. Take the media with a grain of salt. Realize that while they do have an impact on our world, they don't have a direct impact on my day-to-day life. And also keep in mind that their job is to amp us up - often for the wrong reasons.
5. On that note, I'll take regular breaks from social media - even if it's for half a day.
6. When I do use social media (which, let's be honest, will be a good amount), I'll do my best to use it to affirm.
7. Encourage people younger than me in their passions and endeavors.
8. Talk to older people; learn and value their stories.
9. Invite people over for dinner.
10. Read lots of books.
11. Give time and money to schools and charities working for education and social justice for all.
11. Actively learn more about other cultures and what's important to them.
12. Be a Christian who lends my voice to the importance of interfaith education, conversation, and community.
13. Speak words of kindness.
14. I put this in my "28 things to do before I turn 29" post, but I think it deserves repeating: Look at everyone around me, especially strangers, with the assumption that they mean well. This doesn't mean being completely oblivious to my personal safety, but simply aiming to assess situations by recognizing the good and the humanity of the person in front of me before moving forward.
15. Listen to others. Don't be afraid to ask questions and start conversations.
16. Be active in recognizing my white privilege and learning how I can use it to stand up for black lives and civil rights.
17. Create authentic art.
18. Cook and bake for others.
19. Work out, meditate, and write every day - my three touchstones that are just for me, but also seep into my relationships with others.
20. Laugh. Keep it all in perspective. Remember that another election is just another Leap Day (and some change) away.