As Election Day arrives, I have found it harder to sleep. So much is at stake. I’ve been plagued by a low-level headache that flits from temple to temple. I’m exhausted at night but can’t easily turn off my mind. Regardless of the outcome tonight, our country faces a very contentious future that will take a long, long time to heal. More stress is guaranteed.
There is only one silver lining to this mess: I will finally get in shape. Why? Because I discovered last week that the one way I can get rid of my tension is to work out. Al and I at long last got back to the gym Thursday night. I walked a mile on the indoor track, rode 2.3 miles on the stationary bike and listened to a podcast that had nothing to do with politics. Voila! My mood improved. Nothing like putting one foot in front of the other or pedaling, pedaling, pedaling to push out the stress.
On Friday, Em got me away from the computer to take a half-hour walk around the neighborhood—something I have been neglecting recently as I’ve focused on work deadlines and read too many election analyses. On Saturday, we all joined Al’s brother and his extended family and friends for a three mile Boston VisionWalk in memory of Al’s nephew, who died all too young, two years ago. It was an uplifting way to get exercise and do some good in the world. I devoted Sunday and Monday to board meetings for The Good People Fund, which supports creative individuals who tackle hunger, poverty and other seemingly intractable social issues at the community level, with amazing, positive results. All of this was the best I could do to counter all the hate speech and negativity swirling around us. It helped me sleep a little better.
As I write, I have no idea how the election will turn out. I am afraid for our country. I am praying that sanity and compassion will prevail, that innuendoes and guilt-by-association will be debunked, that each of us will think beyond our own needs and concerns to do what is best for our society and nation as a whole.
And I will keep on walking, keep on walking, one foot in front of the other.
Evelyn Herwitz blogs weekly about living fully with chronic disease, the inside of baseballs, turtles and frogs, J.S. Bach, the meaning of life and whatever else she happens to be thinking about at livingwithscleroderma.com.
Image Credit: Ryan McGilchrist