After the presidential election, I put on about a thousand pounds of dead weight. I don’t mean physically, although that was certainly an issue right after the election, when my stunned and desperate internal voice could offer only one coping strategy: Eat! Drink! Consumption will make you feel better! And if it doesn’t…eat and drink some more! Hey, look – chocolate and vodka! Woo hoo!
Needless to say, ingesting 5000 calories a day and staying drunk all the time didn’t make me feel better (at least after a few months). So I curbed that behavior, but unfortunately, that wasn’t the key. Even after my body returned to normal, the dead weight remained, affixed to my heart and soul, crushing my motivation. In order to shine a clear light on this useless baggage, I gave it a name. I call it my Trump Weight.
It’s hard to move with an anvil on your chest, even if it’s metaphorical. So as the calendar flipped to a new year, I looked at myself in the mirror, declared, “This asshole administration does not get to control my body!” and resolved to kick the Trump Weight to the curb. The first step was clear: limit the inundation of opinions regarding every asinine move of the current administration. It’s enough to know what’s going on without drowning in everyone’s assessment of it. I’m sure I could lose an entire day (and gain another hundred pounds or so) on the “shithole countries” debacle alone. So that has been my primary weight loss strategy: stay informed, but limit the chatter, no matter how clever or nuanced that chatter may be.
The day after the election, I was out walking my dogs and ran into a neighbor. The look on her face perfectly reflected the rage and dismay that clouded my every sense. But what she told me was this: “Go outside and go within.” While I appreciated her advice at the time, I’ve really taken it to heart while determining other ways to shed this dead weight. These have been some of my tactics:
1 – Go to high places and stare into the distance ~
2 – Take a feisty fairy into the forest and set up photo shoots ~
3 – Paddle around in a palm tree hat ~
4 – Engage in meditative activities ~
5 – Explore with friends and find cool stuff ~
6 – Take a baby to the beach ~
In general, I’ve found that spending time with kids and animals is the best bet for shedding the weight. Even with the best intentions, adult humans cannot keep themselves from talking in circles about politics. Kids just want to talk about Legos and bike riding and cookies and cartoons, and pets don’t talk about anything.
The good news is that the weight is slipping off. I can sense it, like a dim but persistent glow piercing through the darkness to guide me back to myself. At this point, I figure I’ve got about a quarter ton to go, but I have hope. The other day, I met a young woman with a shit ton of obstacles between her present and her dreams, and the whole time we talked, she remained upbeat and gracious. When I asked what academic subjects are challenging for her, she named one, then said, “It’s cool, though. I love challenges.” Which brings me to Resolution #2 for 2018: Emulate that girl. She rocks.