Give yourself three days

November 9, 2016 § 5 Comments

wolves-1400819_1920If you woke up this morning stunned and grief-stricken, here is a plan.

For three days you get to:

  1. Spin the globe. Look for a place you think is idyllic. Tell everyone you are going to move there.
  2. Blame anyone and everyone. Blame racists, misogynists, white people, men, Boomers, the media, Jill Stein supporters, the system, “uneducated people,” people who are clearly choosing all the things you hate, hypocrites, all the smug people saying it’s all for the best, your embarrassing relatives, anyone celebrating, and anyone who is coping differently than you are. Blame them all. Write them furious letters. Call down elaborate Celtic curses on their heads. FEEL it.
  3. Binge-read analysis. Post articles. Reload Facebook every 90 seconds.
  4. Lament. Wail. Know for sure that this is the end of the world. Believe every dire prediction. Jump on your horse and ride off in all directions. Be afraid. Wallow in it. Be judgmental. Revel in it.


  1. Breathe. Watch your breath. Watch it happen.
  2. Stay hydrated. (This is not trivial. You will need your brain cells.)
  3. Eat. Or not. Sleep. Or not. Talk to other people. Or not. Do whatever you need to do to take care of your body and spirit.

At the end of three days:

  1. Stop the globe. Put your finger on the place you live. This is your home and you are needed here.
  2. Accept the election. It is a reality. Nothing good can happen next without accepting reality.
  3. Put yourself in the company of people who will not quit. Help pick someone else up. Form new communities with new and maybe unexpected allies. Take steps to understand someone you don’t understand. Take it slowly. You are not alone.
  4. Feel your heart. It will lead you to your courage.

You have three days. At the end of three days you will be ready to get to work. You will know when you need to oppose and when you need to build. You will know who you want to be with for the next journey. You will know what to do. You have three days. Make the most of them.


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§ 5 Responses to Give yourself three days

  • Nancy Rheingold says:

    Bravo, and thank you. Nancy >

  • Barbara Kane Lewis says:

    Thank you Susan, you have hit on the possible positives and on the reality, well done.

  • Susan Dixon says:

    For myself, I would love to join those wolves in a good howl.

  • John Peters-Campbell says:

    Day one I grieved. Day two I had surgery. Day three I enjoyed the machines and people and chemicals that are helping me recover. (The recovery’s going to take longer than three days.)

    Days four and on I’m going to continue to think about how, realistically, to address the ideological gaps and profound meaning between the consistency of the electoral map (and the electoral college) before and after the convention and the reality of the popular vote. The electoral college did what it was designed to do–preventing regional (which is geographic, as well as imaginative) majority from imposing its will on another region (which is imaginative as well as geographic) slight minority.

    This was great, Susan, thank you.


    • Susan Dixon says:

      The electoral college is also designed, arguably, to protect us from getting a demagogue for a president. In this case it could honor the popular vote. I see this idea being floated a lot today but I am so conflicted about it. Can you just imagine what would happen next if this election were overturned?

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