“The whole world is watching…the whole world is watching…” These were the words chanted by protesters at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago, in opposition to the Vietnam war. It started as many protests and marches do, peaceful yet loud. Then it wasn’t peaceful. The whole world was, indeed watching.
This phrase has been ringing in my head for months now. It’s now on repeat and at volume 11 as I write this. The whole world is once again, watching. Waiting.
I woke up today feeling anxious. Not the kind I experience on the regular.
This is different. Situational.
This, I know, is based on the outcome of today’s election for the next President of the United States. If I could, I would transport myself to a cabin in the woods, with no Internet or cell service. No TV. I would drink good (or bad, I’m not picky) wine, read, hike, listen to my favorite music, go for a run, sit by a fire and let someone tell me eventually how the whole thing turns out. Since that is not a possibility, the only thing I can do, to save my sanity at this point, is tune out the best that I can until I wake up tomorrow.
Where is the United States headed? Who will take us into the mid-20’s of this century? Will the results continue to divide this country? Can we rise above whatever happens and figure out how to move forward? Will love somehow push out hate?
I voted, as I always do in every election, big and small. All I can do now is wait.
My chest is tight. My breathing, shallow. My mental health wavering. I’m eating Halloween candy for breakfast.
I work in an industry where I can’t avoid the news of the day. I can’t escape. I can’t hide. But I can sign off at 6:30pm sharp, and shut the world out until tomorrow.
I would turn off my phone, but I’m a mom. Even if my kids are 23 and 19, I have trouble letting go of being there if they need me. However, I will instruct them to only contact me if they are bleeding or in jail. Unless it’s a silly cat video. I am always open to a silly cat video.
Let’s get through today and see what tomorrow brings.
Hopefully it will involve wine, a silly cat video, and oh yeah, a brighter, more hopeful future.
The whole world is watching.