Listening...to Hallelujah. So sad to hear that Leonard Cohen died this week. Have you heard Penatonix's version of Hallelujah? It's awesome. Go listen. Right now. It's ok. I'll wait...
Loving...this fall weather. My fireplace has been nice this week.
Thinking...that I haven't made any political statements on social media. I haven't talked about who I voted for or why. There really isn't any point. But, as I've thought and observed this week, I have some thoughts that just need to come out.
In my kitchen...a cup of hot chocolate right now. I have a cup of hot chocolate literally every day.
Wearing...red penguin pajamas, gray turtleneck and black cardigan.
Hoping...On election day, I chose to go somewhat dark (just an occasional check-in) on social media because I knew that watching election returns had the potential to raise my blood pressure and as I had already cast my vote, it was out of my hands at that point. I did some laundry, did some blogging, read 1.5 books and The Doctor and I watched two episodes of The Crown. If you haven't watched it yet, do it. Fantastic. The Doctor did not look at his phone or the computer all evening. He did not know the final outcome until Wednesday morning.
It has been an interesting week post-election. It was fascinating to watch Twitter and CNN implode Tuesday evening. It was devastating to see the fall-out on Wednesday and Thursday and the incredible amount of hatred shown.
I was impressed with the speeches: President-Elect Trump as well as Secretary Clinton and President Obama. It was also gratifying to see the class that President Obama has shown in beginning the transition, but then I expected nothing less. I haven't always voted for the President who was elected, but I have given each one the benefit of doubt and the chance to show me what kind of leader they would be. I will do the same now.
This has been such a polarizing election. As we talked in the days and weeks leading up to the election, The Doctor and I theorized and discussed and came to our own determinations of who we each were voting for and why and what we thought was happening to the country. One of the conclusions we also came to was that we didn't think people realized how many closet Trump voters there would be. We felt like we were seeing a backlash towards 8 liberal years of government and there would be people who would support him, but wouldn't tell anyone. The Clinton campaign and media completely underestimated that fact as it turned out. When that happened, I was reminded of the Carter/Reagan election and polls that had Carter winning everything and then Reagan won.
The hatred being spewed by both sides just breaks my heart. I think everyone had very personal reasons for voting the way they did, regardless of which candidate it was. And for many people, it wasn't simply a cut and dried obvious choice. I know it took me a long time and a lot of thought and research and yes, prayer to finally cast my vote. I think many people on both sides felt that way and voted for someone with whom they didn't agree on everything, but who seemed closer to the values or issues that were important to them, even if it wasn't the whole package. But now, there is so little "meeting in the middle" or listening to each other this week. And tolerance only goes one way. I think that is what has frustrated me the most. Those who preach tolerance have none for those who disagree with them. And had the election outcome been different, it would have all been the same, just reversed.
I think we have such a perfect opportunity to have actual discussions and dialogue and it will never happen. The vitriolic hatred has just stunned me.
I want so badly to believe that Americans will come together. And if Hillary had been elected, the left would be calling for that. Now that Trump was elected, the left is spewing all the hatred and vitriol that they have accused the right of doing all along. And the right is gloating about this win and still spewing hatred. It saddens me. Not every Clinton voter is a babykiller or socialist. Third party voters felt it important to vote their conscience. Not every Trump voter is racist or hatemongering or against women. But to see that there are those who are bullying other people in the wake of this election is horrifying.
Religious or political differences do not equal hate. That is probably the thing that is hardest for me to accept this week in watching the angry fallout. My political ideals have evolved over the years so that I am right of center. I actually fall more in line with a Libertarian view than true conservative. I've never voted a straight party line. (My first election in 1988, I voted for Bush Senior. I had missed voting in 1984 by a month age wise. My next elections in 1992/1996, I voted for Clinton.) That doesn't mean I hate the people whose ideals are extreme left or extreme right of me. Shoot, one of my sisters is left of center and another one is far right. I have friends and family across the spectrum in all aspects: political, religious, orientation, race, nationality, immigrant, and on. Heck, the Doctor is a naturalized citizen, having immigrated 20 years ago. But you know what? I don't categorize anyone. I have friends and family. I don't have gay friends or Muslim friends or Democrat friends. I have friends. I don't have gay family or biracial family or Republican family. I simply have family. They are my family and friends and I love them. The rest doesn't matter. I don't even know how all of my family and friends voted and I don't care.
We all have values that are important to us. We all believe this country is great. Disagreements in belief, whether political or religious should not equal hate. The extremist views on both sides are concerning, but I still believe that America is full of good people who truly do care about each other and this great country. Talk to your children. Teach them that every person has value. Every person is important. There is never a reason to be mean or unkind. Teach them to stand up for others. Step in, stop it, say something. You don't need to become a bully to stop it from happening.
I believe that if we actually took time to listen to each other we would learn a great deal about humanity and compassion and cooperation. Just because a vote differed from yours doesn't mean that person hates you or what you believe in. At least, I hope it doesn't.
Right now, we are in a holding pattern, just like we were at this point 8 years ago. There were unknowns then. We need to have hope and pray. There is structure to our government and there are checks and balances and no President is omnipotent. We also need to speak a little softer. Be aware that everyone has heightened emotions right now, not just you or me. Be kind. Do good. Love is a verb.
Sorry. That got a bit long-winded.
Reading...I've been on a Christmas book kick. I've discovered far too many Christmas stories languishing on my Kindle and I've been working my way through them. It's been rather fun. I posted reviews this week for Snow Angels, Secrets and Christmas Cake and For Sale by Owner. It's been nice to get back into reading for fun.
Today...we're putting up the outside Christmas lights. We won't turn them on until the day after Thanksgiving, but if we don't put them up now, we run the risk of it being too cold and frosty/snowy to climb on the roof.
Quoting..."I know. It's all wrong. By rights we shouldn't even be here. But we are. It's like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger, they were. And sometimes you didn't want to know the end. Because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end, it's only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines, it'll shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you, that meant something, even if you were too small to understand why. And I think, Mr. Frodo, I do understand. I know now. Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turnin' back, only they didn't. They kept going. Because they were holdin' on to something. That there's some good in this world, Mr. Frodo, and it's worth fighting for." -- Samwise Gamgee, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. J.R.R. Tolkien
Gratitude...for the privilege of living in America. For being able to vote my choice.
From my world...
Sam is my favorite. He's the true hero of Lord of the Rings. And I believe that there is so much good in this world. And I have faith that this amazing country of ours can somehow come together and heal from this divisive election and hateful rhetoric.
What about you? What are you reflecting on this week? How has your week gone?