A few weeks before Trump was sworn-in as Bannon’s and Putin’s tiny-handed puppet I realized I might be needing a morale boost soon, and so I booked a flight to Chicago for the weekend following the inauguration. That was last weekend and I got to spend two and a half days with some of my best friends, and, while we weren’t able to fully tune out the world around us (Trump’s Muslim ban, made two hours after I landed, certainly hampered that), we still managed to cheer each other up and remember that, despite the terrible state of things, we still have our friendships, we can still laugh, and we still have reason to hope and believe that our country has promise and that one day it can be back on the path toward progress.
I know I’ve revved up the political talk around here lately, and I appreciate that many of you are feeling the same way I am and understand that it’s hard to think about much else. Most nights I go to bed worried about what will happen next, and I wake up anxious about what I may have missed while I was sleeping. But I do know that this is going to be a long, long road. And as engaged as we need to be — as much as we need to fight the gross attack on our democracy and our rights and the values we hold dear as Americans and as citizens of the world — we have to keep our strength and morale up. We have to give ourselves permission to take media breaks, even if it’s just for a few hours (or a weekend). We have to continue with our lives while carving time in our day to be politically active.
I’ve struggled with how best to strike a balance — here on DW, on my social media pages, and in real life — between political engagement/activism and celebrating big and small joys (like new volumizing hair dust powder). I hope it isn’t too jarring, and I hope you understand and appreciate posts like my weekly activism steps, alongside old favorites like Wendy’s Picks and Shortcuts. This site has always been more than just a collection of advice columns; over the years, I’ve used it to write about and promote topics of interest to me and issues I felt were important to the demographic reading DW. That part hasn’t changed, and in the months and maybe years to come the issues I find important will include politics (especially as they relate to women’s rights), in addition to relationships, parenting, and, you know, hair care products.
I’m pretty sure I don’t have to say all this — I think most of you are feeling similar — but, for my own good, I wanted to express where I’m coming from one more time. This feels like such a dark era we’ve entered, and, in a lot of ways, we are in uncharted territory (at least, those of us who didn’t live in, like, Nazi-era Germany). Take breaks from it when you can, celebrate the joys in your life, and take notice of the good all around you. Maybe we can make this Weekend Open Thread a space to share some positivity. I’ll start: I had a wonderful time in Chicago last weekend, last night I got to enjoy some super delicious (and very expensive) caviar that my friend, who’s a personal chef for a wealthy family, brought home from work, as I write this I’m about to go volunteer in Jackson’s class to help with their big Chinese New Year celebration, which should be pretty fun, and this weekend I’m looking forward to lots of family time after spending the first four weekends of the year either sick (I was sick for two weeks straight!) or out of town. How about you?