It’s hard to believe that the Trump White House is about to enter year two – I’m reading Fire and Fury right now, – and remembering the early days. Just amazing we all survived the first year …. There are 3 more ahead of us?
I’m definitely a cope-by-doing type, so here’s a short list of how I intend not just to cope in year two, but hope to build on year one to make a bigger dent:
- Give to charities that help those Trump’s policies hurt the most. This might be the easiest part. Last November, I signed up to give on a recurring, monthly basis to Planned Parenthood and the ACLU, two groups actively helping those on the front lines of Trump’s policies. I’m going to continue in 2018. And guess what? It’s a wonder that I didn’t do this sooner. It’s easy – the money is sent automatically on a regular basis, so I’ve made the adjustment and don’t feel the dent. 2018 challenge: Look for other opportunities to help similar groups (there are so many); this includes supporting friend’s efforts, causes and fundraising drives.
- Support progressive candidates, particularly women. Last year, I joined a group that supports women running for office. Our DC-area chapter defines our priority issues and candidates. I’m re-upping my commitment and increasing it with the 2018 mid-terms coming up. I’m also reaching out to like-minded friends to see if they want to join. 2018 challenge: Identify handful of progressive candidates running at the local level to support on a smaller scale. (I’ve been surprised at how many friends of friends are running for office, particularly those returning to red states or tilting red states where they grew up. Will my small donations and social support make a difference? It can’t hurt.)
- First quarter moratorium. You know how people pledge to abstain from alcohol for the first month of the year, no I’m not doing that …. I’m continuing what I started last year – abstaining from buying clothes and shoes through the end of March. I think I made it *almost* to the end of March last year. Again, it was surprisingly painless. I’m going to buried in Winter until early March anyhow, then can get through the beginning of the transition before I determine what to do … In the meantime, that money I spend on stress online shopping can be directed to better causes (see points 1 and 2 above).
- Increase in-person engagement. This one’s tougher for me, and I need to think through where this makes sense, particularly on the political front. In addition to my regular volunteer activities, I want to add more in-person outreach. For now, this means dropping off cold weather hats, gloves, coats and first aid kits to an area homeless shelter – rather than just giving a donation. Closer to the election, this might include a voter registration drive, or other grassroots efforts to support people and causes. I started last year with the Women’s March, and loved the person-to-person feel. I want to get that back.
- Be more mindful. Does this one sound too new age-y? Along with so many other people I know, I struggled to cope with Trump Year 1. He dominates conversation – everywhere. I don’t want it to be the new normal, but I can’t let it drive me to distraction, either. (Easier said than done). Do you ever wonder if years from now we will see a spike in stress-related conditions – heart disease, high blood pressure, poor diet/obesity, alcohol dependency, etc., that correlates to this man’s Presidency? If social media is any indication, it’s definitely happening. 2018 challenge: find balance between engagement and enragement.
What else? How are others coping? What other activities should I embrace? And if you have candidates I should support – even if it’s local dogcatcher – send them my way.
Here’s to Year 2 of the Resistance.