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Thursday, November 8, 2012

3 Step Post Election Hangover Remedy

I'm not political.  I don't understand much about the political system.  Sometimes I feel bad that I haven't tried harder to understand electoral votes and why an elephant and a donkey were chosen as mascots. As the serious writer that I am, I did extensive research to write this post (one google search and one click to the link listed above) and learned the donkey elephant business is rooted in a jackass comment and a cartoon.  (Really, that should have us a little ashamed I think.)

We are a country divided.  Those who had any preference in the outcome, woke up with an election hangover. Some from celebratory corks popping and some from drowning their sorrow in cheap beer and bourbon.  Those that didn't have a preference, had a political ad hangover and were glad to get back to Dancing with the Stars without all the negativity breaks.  We all had a throbbing headache and were a little shaky pouring the java on Wednesday morn. 

When people ask me who I voted for, I don't disclose.  That's my business.  My parents didn't tell me when I was growing up, instead telling me to make my own choices. I choose not to tell my children with the same advice.  I do, however, offer this metaphor for how I feel about our political parties.  We've become the "crips" and the "bloods" ready to fight to our death in the streets.  This is a lose-lose proposition.

As I finally crept back into the interwebz after the election, hoping the level of judgement and nastiness had started to subside, I found some lingering bitterness in a few blog comments, one read; "I hope you all are happy, we'll be in the worst depression ever now."  blah blah blah 

Everyone complained about the opponent bashing ads, yet were perfectly fine going on Facebook and doing their own candidate bash.  We've grown to accept this as normal. Ick. Nastiness. Blech. 

Here's what I do know, now that the election is over and you've casted your vote. Unless you are going to choose to join the political system and really go to work and impact change to that system, you really only have control of you.  You and your choices.  That's it. Period.  You can use that control to build influence outside of yourself but it starts with you.

So here's my 3 step Election Hangover Cure.

1. Stop - Stop bitching and moaning and whining and calling people names and walking around like a complete pain in the ass.  Stop bad mouthing people and parties and news coverage. Stop throwing your bitterness and frustration into everybody's lunch break, coffee break, cubicle and John Deere tractor shop.  It's exhausting.

2. Start - Walk to the nearest reflective surface and take a long hard look at what looks back at you.  Ask yourself this question, "What good can I do today with this day I've been given." You can be part of the problem for our economy, family, community or you can be a part of the solution.  Complaining isn't solving. Any moron can complain and most of them do. Anyone can also choose to start solving. If you need some help, here is a list you might use to get you started.
  • Be a kinder parent
  • Listen more
  • Pray More
  • Stop Smoking
  • Stop stress eating and figure out what's missing in your life
  • Exercise, take a walk, move around more
  • Visit your child at school, your mom in the nursing home,  your grandpa's grave, your friend in the hospital
  • Write down what you're grateful for and mean it, ponder it, let it seep into your being.
  • Be a better employee - decide to invest in your job with all you've got even if you're the guy that sweeps the floor and your boss is a complete ass, do it because you have control and can whistle while you work and sweep better and go home feeling better. 
  • Go to the AA meeting
  • Call a friend to have coffee or just stop by and say hi and choose not to complain during the whole visit.             
  • Start the business you've been dreaming of
  • Share the ideas you have with your company about how to sell more or save some money
  • Sit down and ask your child how school was today and then look them in the eye with love and interest and really listen to their answer
  • forgive someone 
  • If you decide to be in politics, do it to be a part of the solution, not because you want to wear a donkey/elephant jersey or fight like gangs in the street.  Do it because you care about our country and want to listen and hear different perspectives, so together we can come up with better answers. 
  • Clean up your yard
  • Clean up your language
  • Thank your child's teacher for doing the best they can in a really tough job
  • Donate all the stuff you don't need to Goodwill, or your favorite local charity
  • Throw the ball for your dog and laugh at how much joy he gets from your attention
  • Eat real food, not the kind with dictionary ingredients
  • Tip better
  • Compliment your spouse.
  • Compliment your kids.
  • Smile at the person that bagged your groceries. 
  • Write to the manager when you get great service 
  • Write a recommendation for someone on LinkedIn 
  • Apologize
  • Take responsibility for your choices
3. Continue -  Repeat again tomorrow. Repeat the next day and the day after that. Teach your kids, grandkids, and nieces and nephews to do the same.

If you've been the cranky complaining pain in the ass recently or your whole life, it's going to take awhile before people get used to the new you.  Stick with it.  We'll all be better for it.

This message has been paid for by a turkey and a lama because all of the elephants and donkeys were exhausted and unavailable for comment.

This is RandomThoughtsbyRebecca and I approve this message.