Resist + Persist: Survival in the Trump Era

Boston street b+w

While walking to work on inauguration day, I took this picture. I was feeling upset and angry. Because it happened. Electors be damned. We are living in post-Obama Trumpian world. They didn’t save us. We have to save ourselves.

I cannot put the word president alongside this man’s name. I just can’t. He doesn’t deserve the title or the respect.

As I got closer to my destination while walking, a bit of sunlight was shining through the buildings with each street that I passed. A ray of light. Things are looking and feeling pretty grim. But there is light. So I keep reminding myself.

Last night I joined the ACLU and hope to volunteer soon. The enormity of all the changes that are taking place is overwhelming. The lies. The Executive Orders. So I have to keep things manageable and think about what I can do as an individual.

The reality of day to day life can get in the way. I was unable to attend the Boston Women’s March, because I had to work. I felt awful, because it was just down the street. But nobody else is going to pay my bills. So I made a choice. Something we should all be free to do in every aspect of our lives.

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Where do we go from here? Each of us has different strengths, interests and priorities. Now is the time to find them and use them. Our diversity is our strength. Resist and persist.

The website for the Women’s March has an action plan — 10 Actions/100 Days. So that’s a good place to start. The first action is sending postcards to our Senators.

Write down your thoughts. Pour your heart out on any issue that you care about, whether it’s ending gender-based violence, reproductive rights and women’s health, LGBTQIA rights, worker’s rights, civil rights, immigrant rights, religious freedom, environmental justice or anything else.

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Being mindful and noticing what’s going on around us is especially important right now. I read an article about what life is like living under an authoritarian regime. The key takeaway was that it was like living anywhere else. Many people went about their everyday lives. They still had jobs and went out, etc.

Changes were very subtle and there was no bright line when things changed. The problem and saving grace is that humans are very adaptable. What is not normal now, may seem normal a year from now. We may start to self-censor and change our behavior in order to survive without even realizing that we are doing it. According to Amy Siskind and many others, we should all take an important step.

Experts in authoritarianism advise to keep a list of things subtly changing around you, so you’ll remember.

She keeps lists on Facebook and is documenting the news week by week. Here is Week 10. I plan to keep my owns lists as well, but it has been hard to keep up with everything. When I start my list, I will blog it in order to keep track.

Reading Charles Blow’s opinion pieces in the New York Times is also a way to keep up with what is happening. He pulls no punches and is calling out the lies and discussing the despicable behavior.

Following Sarah Kendzior on Twitter is another way to stay informed and see the bigger picture of what is happening. To be honest, she is also frightening and depressing. She is an expert on authoritarianism and explains how our concerns about Trump are valid. We are in for a fight to save democracy and what we consider to be our values as Americans.

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It’s also time for self-care. With each tweet by our president, he psychologically torments and traumatizes the country. Sending the feds to Chicago?! Is he setting the stage for martial law? He hasn’t even been president for a week! The gaslighting article in Teen Vogue was so on point.

Here are a few things that can help with creating some fun and calm in our lives.

~ Why We Need to Create a Home: “The quest to build a home is connected up with a need to stabilise and organise our complex selves. It’s not enough to know who we are in our own minds. We need something more tangible, material and sensuous to pin down the diverse and intermittent aspects of our identities.”

~ 45 Simple Self-Care Practices for a Healthy Mind, Body, and Soul.

~ A list of the best chocolate chip cookies in your state. Recipes for favorite cookies in  each of the 50 states.

~ Bibi Shasha, Popeye the Foodie and Norbert just might be the cutest dogs on Instagram.

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