Everybody is a-buzz about the election. I felt high as a kite last week, when my husband, son, and I went to vote and encountered the longest lines—by far—that I have ever seen in early voting here in Tennessee, plus a Black Voters Matter tour bus, free snacks, and a marching band playing over yonder.
Rise or fall, whatever happens on November 3rd (or whenever they call the election) will inevitably leave many of us in a puddle of postpartum shell shock about what we've just come through. I worry when I hear people say, "Just wait until after the election! Then I can relax."
Our collective focus has been filtered through Trump's distorted lens for the last four years. Our energy has been steadily siphoned off to fuel the inferno he's built. What exists on the other side of this is anyone's guess. There's no going "back to normal." "Normal" was a daily struggle for some and persistent blindness for many. If nothing else, we're awake and bonded now. We're here for it.
I don't have a clue who I'll be after election day or when winter turns to spring, but I hope I'm better than I was before. Whatever happens, I don't plan to let Donald Trump have his way with me.
We're standing at a precipice. One way or another, a wave is getting ready to crash over all of us, and when the water recedes, what version of us is left standing? Who are we—as individuals and as a community—when we stop looking through Trump's lens and resume looking through our own?
I wrote The Habit Trip as an offering to help people shape their own lens, to create their own template for what comes next. There aren't any opinions in the book about what you should or shouldn't do: what boundaries to push or habits to change. Those plans are left up to you, with a roadmap to guide the way. The book is an Oh, The Places You'll Go-inspired journey based in behavioral science, in which you are the hero and the singular expert—traversing a strange land of your own making.
Why bother thinking about habits right now? Isn't that for getting "in shape" or being "productive"? Who cares when most of us are just trying to survive?
Habits are the routines that make up our days. They hold us together when we fall apart and eat away at us like diluted acid when we rely on destructive ones that don't serve us. Habits can lead us back to our center of gravity like seashells lead Dory back home in Finding Dory. Even if we don't know where they're leading, we know they are moving us closer to (or further away from) where we want to be. But when our daily rituals are rooted in truth, they always point us in the right direction.
This book is a fill-in-the-blank manual for greater clarity. I didn't know we'd be in a pandemic when I wrote it, but turns out it's a pretty fun trip to take when we're all stuck at home in our jammies. It's coming out on December 1st (GAH!), and it's available for pre-order now! I hope you'll order a copy (from your local indie bookstore if possible!), and tell a friend too. It's whimsical and weird and useful.
I hope so anyway. Much love.
With covid numbers picking up around the country and the prospect of a cold winter in front of us, how can we plan ahead to get together safely? I bought a space heater to put out on the back porch at our house, and we're planning to buy another so visitors can have their own. The Washington Post has a bunch of other great suggestions for How to safely — and graciously — host friends and family as the weather gets colder.
VOTE EARLY if you can! Or make plans to vote on Election Day! It was SO satisfying to push that button with my son!
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