The morning of our 4th wedding anniversary and the Chicago Cubs will play game 7 of the World Series. It is exciting even all the way over here and I have been lucky to catch some exciting moments live. It seems like they should win, but that isn't really a reason and my life has mostly become divorced of the disproportionate joy or sadness that followed wins or losses by my home team. Though this afternoon will be another test, I expect it will not overshadow our anniversary.
4 years in, and the last months have taught me we are just getting started. I do not mean that in a negative way at all. We overcame great transition in acclimating to life in a new culture and climate. We pushed through it and settled in to a new type of life. We extended our stay and pushed through more transition, and now we have arrived here. A year removed from dengue fever. A year of stories, sadness, growth, and living. A rare year that has reshaped our marriage and may have edged our ship onto a completely different course.
It is fitting that today is not just an anniversary. Sometimes I pretend that a day is just one thing, but today is not. This morning is writing a blog post before dawn, a run, exchanging cards, coffee and tea next to each other, watching some Cubs, and then a work day. Today is a work day with severe illness for one of our children`s grandmother, new patients, cleaning beds, Thai lessons from a patient, and sharing smiles. Tonight is night duty, dinner cooked together, playing music for the patients and ourselves, eating ice cream Antonia gifted us, and working apart quite a bit.
Today is not ideal for an anniversary, but ideal rarely is: It is real, it is caring, it is honoring commitment, it is sacrificing, it is love.
Like the entire world, I am exhausted by the election cycle. I have voted and could have stopped paying attention, but I have been addicted. The whole thing has become almost laughable, and much of the world is honestly laughing and terrified. I am just ready for it to be over.
I am ready for it to be over because it feels like it is long past time to start healing. There is real fear, anger, and frustration for people who are voting regardless of candidate (3rd parties included). The problems facing our country are breaking it into sectors like I have never seen before, and that is troubling.
One week from now the real work will start. Accepting the results of the election (honestly, either way), bridging the divide, and pressuring all our politicians to be better, to be productive, and to help create a framework that creates space to provide for the needs of all the many different people of our nation. To create a vision of the future that looks bright and re-inspires hope. A future where this long storm of uncertainty and insecurity will give way to prosperity.
Next week, we can start talking about how to change our political system so that it can earn our trust, actually represent each of our individual voices, and work toward providing freedom and justice for all. I believe that by continuing this conversation after the election we will be able to force change. Politicians will need to listen and find ways to work together, but this is all conjecture until after next week.
Until then, I hope that everyone who wants to vote is able to do so safely and without intimidation or violence. I hope that we can start to remember that most of America is neighbors and communities who share more in common than we have dividing us. And I hope that this election cycle eventually leads to greater understanding when we are done being divided and can discuss the meaning and causes of the deep issues that seem to be pulling us all apart.
In the end, we cannot listen to each other unless we choose to love the other in each other first. With enough healing, maybe next election cycle more can go to the polls with the needs of the other and the self held in our hearts and influencing our votes.