Today, I am writing this in chunks of spaces. My office, the children’s museum, the library, my dining room table. This is a normal part of my day. Write in chunks when I can get the time and brain space. One word here- two there.
Today, I am leaving my house because my children need to be around other children. They don’t know that I’m struggling with the state of things right now. They don’t know that I am on high alert. Looking for the smallest of strangest things. The city we live in is pretty safe, but so were so many other places this week. It feels good to be around other moms with kids the same age. I don’t know these people, but they’re my people. Doing what they need to do for their kids. Hiding their fear for the sake of keeping things kind of normal. Things are not normal though. All of us know that.
If it’s bad for me, I can imagine how it is for my BIPOC friends right now. People who don’t look European enough to have the benefit of the doubt. Innocent until proven guilty is a right only reserved for the lighter class. When being brown means seven shots in the back for running away. Rights don’t exist for brown people. And that’s seriously depressing- then its infuriating- and it makes me want to storm the temple Jesus style.
What do we do? We don’t have time to raise the next generation of good people. We have to be good people. We need to stop pushing our responsibility to the next generation. We have a mess. We didn’t necessarily create it, but we need to fix it. Now. It’s not time to hole up and cry. I want to, believe me.
Here are some things I do to keep my head when things are falling apart outside.
Call Everyone You Can:
I use the app 5 Calls and Resistbot to make calls to my national representatives. However the scripts they give you can also be used to call your mayor and city counsel. Call the school board near you to make sure they’re not punishing children who can’t pay for lunch. Local politics deserve our attention. We live in a community. We should be able to speak out in the places we pay taxes in.
This one is hard for me. We move a lot for my partner’s job. It’s depressing to have to start completely over every couple of years. It makes me just want to stay home and lick my wounds. But being a part of a group helps you be a part of something greater. Right now we need community. We need to be out and a part of that community for things to get better. At the very least have someone who is always at the other side of a text-
Also a hard one, because I want to drink the days away. But me drinking the days away helps exactly no one. It might give me the courage to blindly rage on social media for 2 hours, but the damage it does to my family and my body is just not worth it. If you need to calm down, maybe start with tea. Start with meditative breathing.
Hug your kids:
Seriously. Maybe borrow someone else’s kids (with parental and child permission of course). Life is so hard right now, we could definitely do to spread the love.
Random Acts of Kindness:
Look, it might not change anyone’s life, but there’s a reason that the saying, “kindness is courageous” exists. Kindness does not discriminate against color or background or wealth or status. Every single person you meet to, go out of your way to show kindness. Kindness pulls us out of our comfort zones and makes us look at another perspective. So- when you’re out, offer a smile, hold a door, put some spare change in the meter, go back and get that homeless guy a burger, look people in the eye. All you have to do is acknowledge someone’s humanity.
No human is an alien. And every human needs kindness.