One lunar cycle plus five days.
One month and three days.
Four weeks and five days.
It is proving difficult for me to focus this week. I feel this nervous energy, an anxiety that doesn't know what to do with itself. I do my weekly planning, complete my calendar, and then stall. I have written quite a bit, both here and on social media, about how the pandemic has put most of us is a very now place, one that can inhibit long term planning, but this feels different.
When I try to envision the future I come up against a wall when I hit midnight on November 3rd. I see the days on the calendar rolling by one by one, and then nothing. My mind sees it as fuzzy, gray static; kind of like what you see when you rub your eyes or you feel like you are on the edge of fainting.
And this nothing is what feels paralyzing.
I really don't know what will happen after November 3rd. My mind plays out dozens of scenarios that could happen from a drawn out legal battle over the vote with neither side agreeing who won, which is probably the most benign of my thoughts, to outright collapse and war.
And truly, it isn't even my government that I fear the most, maybe if it was just that it would be easier to frame, easier to plan for, but it is the people who feel empowered by our president to intimidate and attack people who differ from them that I fear. And, those who will turn their heads away, as long as they and theirs are still feeling some sense of "normal" and have little disruption to their lives. In some way I fear those people the most.
I see a Trump/Pence sign on someone's lawn and I think, "That person wants people like me and my friends dead." I don't think that a non-christian, non-binary, pansexual femme has much of a place in the Trump/Pence world. Neither do black people, indigenous people, people of color, LGBTQ people, poor people, people with disabilities, immigrants, anyone who is not white, straight, and professes to be Christian.
My work motivation has devolved into, well I should get this done just in case the world doesn't fall apart in a month.
My life motivation has become prepare. I don't mean in the dig a hole, pack away beans, and stock up on bottled water (though I do much of that anyway - I grew up in New England and being prepared for a week of no power in winter is just what we do). I mean finding a way to mentally and physically prepare myself for facing this great unknown. Trying to find someway to convince myself that I am ready or at least as ready as I can be.
I am not 100% sure how to go about it, though eating right, sleeping enough, and moving more are a part of it, and I want to stay connected to my friends, my family, and my community. I plan to spend the next 33 days doing those things and whatever else I need to.
I have lived through personal trauma, and I know I can survive pretty awful things. I know that there is a strength in me that I can tap into. I know my community is strong and I won't be facing this alone. I have to keep reminding myself of this
Whatever the outcome of November 3rd, there are difficult times ahead. I've no doubt about that. What are you doing to be ready?