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Both Sides of the Fence

A Tosa resident since 1991, Christine walks the dog, cooks but avoids housework, writes and reads, and enjoys the company of friends and strangers. Her job takes her around the state, learning about people's health. A Quaker (no, they don't wear blue hats or sell oatmeal or motor oil), she has been known to stand on both sides of the political and philosophic fence at the same time, which is very uncomfortable when you think about it. She writes about pretty much whatever stops in to visit her busy mind at the moment. One reader described her as "incredibly opinionated but not judgmental." That sounds like a good thing to strive for!

Getting on with it

It's not easy, Politics

At last I get to write something I actually know about: surviving disappointment -- and joy -- and getting on with the business of life. I don't know how long this period of euphoria or grief will last following the presidential election, but I know that it too shall pass.

I have a lot more experience with having my candidate lose than most of my McCain supporter friends do. So I offer some small advice for surviving the next weeks and months.

Erase the last robocall from last night that's sitting on your answering machine. It's warning you to keep the Democrats from stealing the election. They didn't steal it; it wasn't the Republican's to begin with. It was everybody's.

Get outside and rake leaves. It's warm today but it won't be tomorrow.

Don't listen to talk radio, watch television news, or follow Internet twitter. Steeping yourself in the insane and repetitious postmortems by either side will make your blood pressure soar and your head might explode. Especially don't listen to Chris Matthews, but you already knew that.

Do listen to music, but pick carefully. Heavy metal and dirges are out. If you must mourn, listen to country western and remember that our personal stories matter more, most of the time, than the big abstract ones. Listen to classical music to elevate your mind and spirit, and make sure to include a healthy dose of Aaron Copeland. Better yet, plunge into world music. You can't be miserable listening to salsa--and you really can't be miserable dancing to it. We who are dancing badly too promise not to laugh.

Make a delicious meal and share it with a friend who's suffering from campaign fever. If alcohol is not a problem and driving is not involved, you may want to be generous in this area. Light candles, use your good linens, and give thanks for the bounty with which we are blessed today and likely will still be blessed tomorrow.

Send cards of appreciation to pollworkers and folks in the city clerks office, especially if you have been involved in pestering them.

Remember that both candidates are human, neither as good as we hope nor as bad as we fear. An old method for putting people in a human perspective is to visualize naked those you have unduly elevated with fear or admiration. I know some of you have been doing this with the vice presidential candidates, although possibly for different reasons. Personally, I find it edifying to consider the presidential candidates in this way. . .

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