Well – If you didn’t read the previous post (Glen’s) you should.
Weird. This blog writing thing is weird. There are times where I’m rolling ideas around in my head and I think…that could be interesting, at least to me. Then there are times when I think…I don’t have a cogent thought in my head or I don’t have anything meaningful to say. Maybe just some photos? Or…really? More drivel?
And I also think…is this a travelogue? A diary? A letter to myself and/or others?
I often think about purpose. When I retired I knew that I had to find purpose in my life. My career and motherhood had provided obvious opportunities to feel purposeful and fulfilled. Retirement created the need for me to seek purpose. We are lucky to be able to travel in this extended way. Yes, we worked hard, made our sacrifices, had our difficulties, and yet…this life is a privilege. (I’ve written about my conflict with this before.) I could easily fall into this life and live just for “me”. But that’s not me.
I’ve tried to stay away from politics on this blog, but as Glen alluded to in his previous post, I get a bit emotional (I like to think of it as passionate) about certain aspects of our political and societal circumstances. So here comes my politics. (I prefer to think of it as my philosophy of how humans should treat humans.) Trump provided me with plenty of purpose at the beginning of my retirement. I was all on board and very busy doing whatever I could to make sure that he was not re-elected. (And on a personal level, I also found great purpose in becoming healthier.) So I guess I’ll have to thank him for that transition to purpose without career or kids. In the ensuing year plus since Biden’s election (fair and legitimate, I might add), I have remained somewhat active in doing small things to make sure we actually have a democracy in our future.
And last night’s news rocked my world. Yes. I knew it was highly likely, but the reality of it hit me hard. And I’m emotional about it. I was one of those people who while not thrilled with the prospect of Hillary as president, I gladly voted for her over the alternative. AND THE EMAIL LADY WAS RIGHT ABOUT EVERYTHING. Also, YEARS ago, (pre-Trump), I remember Glen commenting that the real danger to our democracy and to our constitutional rights came with the Supreme Court being commandeered by the Republican Party (via the Federalist Society, et. al.). I poo-pooed the idea. Well. He was right. And here we are.
So purpose? I am ALL in. I will be texting. I will be writing. I will be calling. I will be marching and I will be doing whatever else I can to elect people across the country who do believe in science. Who do believe that we need some common sense gun laws. Who do believe that voting rights are essential to a democracy. Who do believe that women should have autonomy over their own bodies and their own lives. I remember being questioned years ago about being a “one issue” voter – meaning abortion rights – and I may have had that at the top of my priority list then. I have taken it for granted for these last many years that that right was a given. Well, I may be a “one issue” voter again. Okay – maybe three issues – sensible gun safety is right up there with voting rights and abortion rights.
But I digress…back to the news from last night. I have family members who have had abortions. I have friends who have had abortions. I drove a friend to her abortion appointment in the early 80s. That is their business. Not mine. Not the government’s nor the court’s. My sister told me that my mom told her that when she was 43, she was terrified that she was pregnant and of what that would do to her and her family. She would not have had the option of doing what she felt was best for us all. That’s when she understood that abortion rights are essential. (And she remains a staunch Reagan Republican.) I became a teenager at a time when abortions first became legal. I never lived with the fear of becoming pregnant and not having autonomy over my life. I didn’t live in a time when women couldn’t open their own credit or bank accounts. I have two credit cards that I’ve had since before I met Glen. There have been times over the years when he has suggested that we really didn’t need them, that we don’t use them. I argued that they were in my name, they were mine and I wasn’t going to close them. (So far, so good!) My career was highly female so I didn’t experience discrimination professionally. I have been fortunate NOT to experience a life in which I had little say in my life.
I can’t imagine going back to a time where as a woman, my freedoms, my choices, my autonomy would be challenged by the courts. So yes. I’m emotional. I”m angry AND I’m focused. And perhaps, that’s a female thing. Perhaps it’s a “woke” thing. Perhaps it’s a “liberal” thing. (I wear all those titles proudly.) But as I’m always looking for purpose…I’ll have to thank my country and the GOP. I am fired up and that’s not always pretty. But it is purposeful.
PS New Orleans photos tomorrow?