November 3, 2020
AKA Voting Day in the United States of America
Dear Mr. President,
Here we are! It’s a beautiful day in Michigan! I plan on taking a long walk, enjoying the last of the leaves, and maybe baking some brownies. How will you spend the day? The headlines in the NYTImes are “Anxiety Mounts With Race At A Bitter End”. I and so many people I know, have felt that way for a while. During these last 7 or so months, I’ve tried to offer some ideas and actions to calm the anxiety. So far, it doesn’t seem that you have taken me up on any of my ideas, but it has worked for me. Walking, eating good healthy food (chickpea burgers- delicious), visiting on Zoom with friends, checking in with other humans, and offering help to others. Due to being old (NOT), and cautious, my husband and I have stayed pretty isolated in our little pod, wear masks when we are out and about (we aren’t locked up) and found ways to enjoy each other’s company but also have some alone time. We now call each other “Podner” and every outing to the store is called “a date”.
But here we are on Election Day. We voted, our adult children voted, their in-laws voted, my 96 year -old dad voted, our friends voted and so did most of the people I know on Facebook. I love voting and have always voted in person but this year I picked up the ballot at the City Clerk’s office, filled it out at home and returned it to the Drop Box at the City Clerk’s office. It was easy, safe and I felt proud to fulfill my civic duty. You have complained about how so many citizens are voting this year and would like everyone to return to voting in person. I remember when the voting booth had a little curtain which you pulled to give you privacy, you checked the boxes for the names of the people you wanted and then pulled the lever again. It was such a satisfying sound. I miss that, but, like many other “modernizations”, I find new ways of doing things are also meaningful and satisfying. After all, some of the greatest inventions have made life easier, more convenient and safer. Think of safety features in cars, ordering food on- line, and indoor toilets.
My favorite anti-anxiety effort for the past few days has been paying attention to the music in my head. The song, “One Day” by Matisyahu, is constantly playing and I’ve been swaying and dancing to it. But, today, I woke up to a different song playing in my head that will probably reverberate all day. It’s a song I think we learned in music class in elementary school, but I’m not sure. It’s called “I Like it Here” by Alec Wilder, music and William Engvick, lyrics, in 1961. This is the first verse, “I like the United States of America, I like the way we all live without fear, I like to vote for my choice, speak my mind, raise my voice, yes, I like it here.”
So, take a deep breath, wait for all the votes to be counted, accept the results (I have written to you about good sportsmanship) and let’s move forward.