Yet again I’m reminded about how much better it is for me to get up and DO rather than sit and FRET.
On January 20th, 2017, I flew to Washington DC to attend the Women’s March with my mom and sister. As our new President was sworn in, we wandered around the city and checked out a museum, getting ready for the March. Back home, friends were despondent, sitting and watching, fretting. But as we crammed into packed DC subway cars on the morning of January 21st and gathered to march with over 500,000 people, the mood was one of optimism and action. It was amazing.
It was in that spirit that in August I contacted my County Clerk to inquire about becoming a volunteer at the polls for the Election. I’d just sat through two weeks of political conventions and was tearing my hair out at home, wanting to do something, anything, but feeling stuck and helpless. After filling out an application, I received a call back and accepted a one month long, six day a week, minimum wage job. And now with one day left to go in early voting, it has been great! Though, as you can probably tell from my lack of posting, exhausting too; endless interactions, COVID safe practices, and a sort of herding of cats.
But, I love voting! I love helping people vote and I love clapping for first time voters (some who are quite elderly and some who have just turned 18). I love the seriousness with which the polling stations are run, the layers of protocol and ballot security not visible to the voters. And I really love watching the people.
I watch as an elderly woman tightens the mask on her husband’s face. They both wear almost identical polka dot tops, though I don’t think they intended to match. It just happens after so many decades of marriage.
A young man asks if there’s anything he can do because only after inserting his ballot into the tabulator does he realize he forgot to vote for President. He was saving it for last, though why I’m not sure. He looks like he might cry. I would if I were him.
Kids in their seventies bring parents in their nineties. Friends line up together to wait, pods six feet apart.
I make it my spiritual practice to be extra kind and courteous to those I assume (though obviously I don’t know), are voting for Trump. I usher anyone elderly or sick to the front of the line. I chit chat with most. People order us pizza and bring donuts. TV news crews set up in the parking lot daily. The days pass quickly.
We break records. Over 80% of the 2016 total have already voted in NM, with one more day to go until early voting ends.
It is truly inspiring! And again I remember how much better it is to take action than to worry and fret.