Today I Hope

Today was and still is (at 4:45 PM Pacific Time) the official Electoral College count in the joint houses of Congress. I believed, falsely, before today, that I could take a breath, that I could stop holding my shoulders up to my ears in anticipation of a psychological blow between my shoulder blades. I thought our country could begin to return to normal, which is to say an honorable, democratic federal government. But I have not been able to breathe normally. And, it turns out my anxiety was well founded. A rally, which morphed into a protest, then a mob, at the Capitol, of several thousand Trump supporters kept me glued to the news all afternoon. Reporters, diplomats, former presidents, and CIA agents said they had never seen anything like it in their lives. At this moment, we know that one woman is dead and more are injured. I await the latest news from Congress. Senator Tammy Duckworth insisted on CBS news that Congress would continue the confirmation into the night until it was accomplished. I hope that I can take a deep breath at the end of this day.

Today I can affirm that Jon Ossoff has decisively won the deciding Senate seat in Georgia (making the party count equal) and we can finally stop this truly seditious partisan incitement by our current President. While this now seems the least of Trump’s problems, I would say that if the First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon, won’t let him go to Turnberry now or later, perhaps Putin will let him come live in Russia. They deserve each other.

Today I hope that President-elect Biden can finally heave his own sigh of relief (I know we have the Electoral College count yet to complete, so AFTER that). We are the same age, Biden and I, and I’m exhausted just having participated in this electoral process, and this extremely frightening day at the Capitol. I can imagine that it has taken all of his strength, let alone his civility and courage to stand in the face of the angry gale-force wind that has been our outgoing President.

Today I hope that my youngest daughter can begin to let go of her conspiracy theories about child trafficking networks that Trump has tirelessly tried to expose. (I believe that there are child trafficking networks, but not that Trump cares one way or another about them.) I hope she is not in Washington, and that she is safe in her own tiny apartment in North Minneapolis. I hope that today allows her to see the truth of lawlessness and the hope of democracy. I hope she will rejoin the world wearing a mask. If I was bouyed by anything this afternoon, it was that almost all of the protesters I saw on the news WERE wearing masks. She got fired from her job last summer because of her unwillingness to mask. I hope her friends will forgive her craziness and allow her back in their good graces, provided she can let go, perhaps with the help of the frightening scenes of today, of her latest convictions.

Today I hope that I have found a solution to smaller, more personal problems caused, or at least exascerbated by politics and the pandemic. The sleep problem that has dogged me through the summer and into our current month means that some nights I nap fitfully. Some nights I sleep for a few hours and then wake fully at 2 or 3 AM. I don’t want to take a sleeping pill every night. I’ve been trying Melatonin, 1.5 milligrams for the last few nights, per the advice of a friend. It seems to help, and any help is welcome, making a rested me a much nicer person. We’ll see how this plays out tonight, when I am still frightened and anxious about our government.

Today I hope that Kaiser Permanente will call sometime soon (in the next month or two) to say that they have enough vaccine for their over 75 year-old members, of whom I am one. I did get an email at the end of the day from Kaiser. They have fewer doses than they had hoped. I was ready for this. They are still vaccinating front line workers and nursing home residents. I’m happy about this. They say they’ll have news for us oldsters in the next week or so. I applaud the communication if not the schedule.

Finally, today I hoped to connect by phone with my next younger brother. He has been the social glue to our family since my mother died in 2012. I would not have predicted this in my early adulthood, but then age changes us (mostly for the better, I think). He didn’t call me/us on Christmas. I was at my daughter’s in Madison for my annual dose of snow and my grandson. But that was the first time I can remember that he DIDN’T call. It’s not all on him, I know. I could have called him anytime in the last three months. It didn’t happen today. I spent the afternoon in front of the television hoping the protest/mob would be peacefully disbursed. So, tomorrow.

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