Wonder//

The Value in Finding Silver Linings

Even when it’s hard


I’ve been in a kind of a bad mood, unable to completely shake a personal disappointment. So it was with heightened interest that I watched Hillary Clinton’s concession speech, because, of course, it’s all about me.

In the effort to find my own silver lining, I’m inspired by the gracious patriotism of all the players on our national stage, including the ones for whom I did not vote. It’s easy to be bitter and snarky; in the alternate universe in which Michelle Obama is my BFF, I’ve imagined that her eyes must be rolling right out of her head. But real life is not easy — you don’t get the opportunity you think you earned, someone else snags the starring role in the play, your soul mate falls out of love with you for no good reason.

Just when I thought I could not admire the Obamas more, they did the classy and right thing yesterday in the way they welcomed Donald and Melania Trump to the White House. Donald Trump has yet to earn my admiration, but I invite him to try and I truly hope for the best, for all of us. And no matter how you feel about the issues, my heart goes out to Melania Trump. The position she is about to undertake — one for which she never applied — may be the hardest and most thankless job in the free world. And not only does she have to do it dancing backward in 5” Louboutins, she also has a little boy to raise in the unrelenting spotlight.

And I have to hand it to Eleanor Holmes Norton, in my own hometown of Washington, DC. Now in her 13th term as Washington’s congresswoman — an elected official without a vote, for those who are unaware — Norton has been a passionate advocate for DC statehood and last week’s election results make that dream a lot dimmer. She could cry, but she’s not going to do it and she doesn’t want me to, either. As she told DCist, “I really am cautioning my own constituents against any morose sense that the world has just stopped.” And you should always do what Eleanor Holmes Norton says, because she is a bad ass who never gives up, which you would also know if you’ve binge-watched “Good Girls Revolt” on Amazon. Norton was the ACLU lawyer who represented the women of Newsweek magazine in the first class action sexual discrimination case in the United States, in 1969. Thanks to her, the hard-working women of Newsweek got the credit and the money they deserved for doing the same job as the cute men of Newsweek.

It’s true that bad news is never all bad — I now have extra time and energy to pursue projects that are near and dear to me. Hillary Clinton can enjoy her grandchildren and smile, or not, whenever she feels like it. And in January, Michelle Obama’s schedule will free up a lot. I’m so glad that she and POTUS are staying in Washington for awhile. Maybe she’ll call me and ask me if we can take our dogs for a walk, and just hang out like we never used to. I really want to talk to her about supporting statehood for DC, so she can be our senator, and get to vote and everything. She won’t have as much time for me, but it would make Eleanor Holmes Norton happy.

Be extra nice to yourself this weekend. Give a big squeeze to the person (and/or animal) who always likes you anyway, even when you are cranky and unreasonable. Find a way to be gracious, no matter who you are and what hurts your heart. There’s a lot to do and the world needs you more than ever.


Image courtesy of Unsplash.

Originally published at medium.com

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