Sunday, February 5, 2017

How to cope with chaos

I have not felt such rage in a long time, and I say this aloud here in order to hold my hand out to those of you who are feeling the same.  Last night Ross and I talked after many little fusses throughout the day.  We both apologized for our behavior and then agreed that the political chaos was affecting our relationship, though in a small way.

We are both great readers, and I spend part of every morning reading about politics, especially DC.  I check back in once or twice throughout the day and also watch the TV news.  When Trump was first elected, I was recovering from surgery and highly medicated, thank god.  I just saw it all through a haze.  After spending an immense amount of time online, I have winnowed the sites down to those which are straightforward and not highly biased.

 So, this is hint #1 Read from sources which are respected and follow journalistic ethics.

Examples include The Washington Post, The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Reuters,
Typical magazines in this house, both print and online, include The Atlantic and The New Yorker.
Here is an interesting infographic comparing political slant and news source:

hint #2 Balance your time using social media for political time and personal time.

I now scan my FB feed for updates on what has happened while I slept or otherwise did regular life. If I see something new (like the refusal of CNN to have kellianne on the show) I'll read it.  Otherwise, no.  My time is too valuable right now to feed the rage.  

I am also making an effort to post both political news, personal news, and just plain goofy stuff.  It is helping me contain my anger and use that anger for important work, such as letters, phone calls, and hopefully marching (without my cane!).  It is essential for us to compartmentalize our response to trump.  Maintaining a high level of arousal (not sex, silly, arousal is an emotional term :-) )  is dangerous to our health.

hint #3 Be aware of the daily work being done in the White House.

Use the web page but read between the lines.  White House Newsroom

hint #4 Learn a little bit about each of the main players in the White House and in Congress.

For example, did you know that Bannon was once the director of the Biosphere in Oracle, AZ?  Or that he had been charged with misdemeanor domestic violence, battery and dissuading a witness?  Or that he has been married and divorced three times?  I could go on.  Google him, it's terrifying.

hint #5 Do not let the frantic activity from the Oval Office scare you.

They are doing this to keep activists off balance and to keep our attention away from what is developing behind the curtain.  Choose what you can respond to and craft your response, based on what you are learning.  Do not let fear drive you.

hint #6 Align yourself to 1-2 issues and work to counter trump on these.

For example, I did 3 actions concerning Betsy DeVos (may her plagiarizing ass go away) and I am currently reading about foreign relations.  From The New Yorker Feb. 3, 2017 by Terrence Szuplat:

"International affairs are not a popularity contest. But when the United States is held in high esteem an American President is in a stronger position to advance U.S. interests. Showing respect for other countries and being willing to acknowledge America’s imperfections also give a President added credibility to speak hard truths abroad. In Cairo, Obama said in his speech to the Muslim world that denying the Holocaust “is baseless, it is ignorant, and it is hateful,” and that threatening Israel or engaging in anti-Semitism only succeeds in “preventing the peace that the people of this region deserve.” Speaking to the Cuban people at Havana’s Grand Theatre, he insisted that “citizens should be free to speak their mind without fear, to organize, and to criticize their government.” With the Cuban President Raúl Castro looking on from a box seat, Obama added, “Voters should be able to choose their governments in free and democratic elections.” Engaging other countries in a spirit of mutual respect was pivotal to many of Obama’s most significant foreign-policy achievements. The deal to halt Iran’s nuclear-weapons program was only possible because of intensive diplomacy with allies like the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and the European Union, but also with Iran, Russia, and China.

In contrast, it’s already clear that much of the world is loudly rejecting Trump and his “America first” vision. Even before his election, only fourteen per cent of Canadians, nine per cent of Europeans, and nine per cent of Japanese said that they had confidence in Trump on matters of world affairs, according to a Pew survey last summer. Never before has a U.S. President triggered so much animosity among so many nations in so short a time as Trump did in his first week in office. Having previously blamed the Mexican government for intentionally sending “killers and rapists” to the United States, his move to start construction of a border wall and talk of new tariffs on Mexican imports to pay for it have plunged U.S.-Mexico relations to their lowest point in decades. His executive orders to suspend the admission of refugees to the United States, and to halt all immigration from seven Muslim countries—all in the name of fighting “radical Islamic terrorism”—send a message to the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims that Trump sees them as inherently suspect."
I wish you all peace and courage.  Please share any strategies as you work together to protect our democracy.  I will be back later this week to share a really sweet little dress I made for my grand niece.


  1. Well then, my sending you something in the mail is timely. Sending it tomorrow. :')

  2. I've been cutting back on what I've been reading because it's starting to affect my health. Stress triggers episodes and I need to make sure that I'm not triggered. I may need my strength to run. *sigh*

    I too think that the White House is trying to keep everyone off balance to keep their eyes off their real plans. However, I think they have been so ham handed with it that most of us who oppose this administration is watching everything with a side eye. The problem is that nothing will change until his followers start to leave him. Until then we have to keep protesting, writing and calling and annoy the hell out of our elected officials.

  3. I agree with Carolyn, I am so stressed with what is happening.

  4. I too have been calling and marching. It sometimes feel futile. I appreciate your perspective, particularly the graphic showing the sources nearest the center. Thanks so much.

  5. I keep reminding myself that women wouldn't be voting and people would still own slaves if everyone kept quiet and behaved themselves. Hard to balance with NOT being in a constant state of agitation/anxiety/arousal, though. Your list is a good one; thanks.

  6. I told my kids to invest in it big pharma companies that make anti anxiety drugs. I have been tied up in internal knots since Nov 9th and have decided to see a therapist, I can't go on like this.

  7. Thank you for your thoughtful post. I too have realized that after first going into shock and being physically ill, I am so angry all the time, particularly with people who tell me he's doing a good job! It's going to be up to each and every one of us to be aware and contribute in whatever ways we can. A granddaughter found that she felt less helpless and anxious when she made calls to representatives. She found a website that helps if you feel up to it based on your location and and the issues that are important to you. Hopefully that will help someone else who is feeling impotent. We have to hand together if we want to end this!

  8. “Give me your tired, your poor,
    Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
    The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
    Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
    I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

    Maybe it's because the Statue of Liberty is a woman that Trump is in denial.....

  9. I have decided to do one thing, large or small, each day, and then note it on my calendar. It gives me hope that all of us are doing our part, and reduces my anxiety.

  10. As much as I can't stand the orange skid mark, I am amazed at how it has made us all more aware, more ready to spring to action, more educated and in the end, more kind to our fellow man and our planet since we are finally seeing how real the dangers are. Great post TSB, pets to Grif and Nick the Large.

  11. Thank you. And than you to all the previous commenters. Between you, you've given me some ideas about how to cope.

  12. DT initiated a cascade of horribleness. ~~ I think anagrams can sometimes reveal hidden information. At key in "Donald Trump" to see 229 possibilities. In the "D" area is a particularly pointed message. Language most of us never use but seems so appropriate to my feelings.

  13. Too often, when I hear news from Washington, I feel NO NO NO! Sometimes it helps to watch or listen to news from other countries. This morning, watching NHK World TV (channel 262 on Comcast in Denver), from Japan, I saw and heard about a "Sacred Forest" and thought in this country, for many people, forests are not sacred, they are opportunities for exploitation. Perhaps in fighting the assaults by the Trump administration, we can expand our vision to include some values from the home countries of our immigrant population. Not just our faces will be diverse, but our values can incorporate diversity also.

  14. GREAT POST!! Thank you for the link to the WH News too..I have been tuning in to Faux/Fox News since the election so actually see how they operate. They are terrible newscasters....very narrow in their views (imagine that??) and now I understand the term "Fox News Babes" after seeing the stupid way the women dress. ...adds to their lack of integrity. BTW I can't abide MSNBC either...

    I now will check your site EVERY DAY!! yay. And you sew. And you ride. I'm happy...although it's so cold in the Midwest today that my gelding is not even being turned out - just staying in his barn! Anoninmidwest.

  15. Lynda entered a great link above for 5 calls, it helps you to narrow down what might be most important to you daily, helps you with your dialog and then gives you the numbers to call based on your zip, try it. Even though all of the confirmations I've called about passed anyway, I know my (democratic) senators feel support, and I'm better educated and more empowered. Getting ready for bigger steps.
    Hope that cane is dropped soon. I had hip replacement surgery a few years ago and that was one big day when I could walk unaided!

  16. I'm with you, too, Mary. I feel I have to step up to the plate even though I'd rather just stay home and sew and garden and play with Photoshop and all those other pleasant things. Difficult to find a balance between staying informed and obsessing over the news.

    Also, so sorry to hear about your riding accident. It put the wrist I fractured (in France!) in perspective.


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