Sending out thanks

I’m still feeling the joy of yesterday’s declaration of the Biden-Harris win. I love seeing the term “joyscrolling,” as people read about the excitement over this historic moment. I am feeling deeply thankful. I am sending out my thanks to the universe, but also to the people who worked tirelessly to combat voter suppression, and to make sure that more voices are heard in our democracy. And to many others who made this election and its results happen.

I’m also working on more directly thanking the group of people I connected with on my postcard and letter writing projects. I’m historically Very Bad at sending mail, especially thank you notes. (But also things like letters, emails, and even birth announcements¹. I usually send one Christmas card each year to one uncle, but rarely manage more than that.) So relatives of mine who have noticed my Postal Deficiency Disorder may be surprised to know that I personally mailed out over 600 pieces of mail to voters, and organized several thousand more. And they might be even more shocked that I am planning to send out handwritten thank you notes (or at least postcards) to the 50+ people who helped me with this project. I have finished writing 46 of them, and have only 9 to go.

So, I don’t have a lot of time to write tonight, because I need to write tonight. (Though now I’m realizing that I did just spend a fair amount of time writing this post explaining why I didn’t have time to write a post.)

——————————–

¹ Let it be known that I only ever sent off one (yes, count them: one) birth announcement when Theo was born. And it was somewhat by mistake, because I had meant to wait to send that one until the rest (or at least some others) were finished. However, John saw the stamped and addressed envelope ready to go and helpfully mailed it. And then who knows what happened to interrupt the writing and sending of the rest of the pile. Here it is, over 12 years later, and I probably still have relatives who don’t know I have a second child.

Doing a happy dance

This morning the news broke that the presidential election was called for Biden. While votes are still being tallied, it looks like the Biden/Harris campaign has surpassed the needed 270 electoral votes. (Thank you, Pennsylvania!) The rest of my day has been a whirl of emotions. I’ve cried some tears of joy and relief, talked and texted with friends and family, and spent a good hour and a half dancing around my house. (Bonus: this was a pretty solid cardio workout.)

I know there’s still a lot of work to be done. The pandemic is still raging, and this country is more divided than ever. But for today and tonight, I’m going to drink in the joy and relief. (I also drank in a bit of sparkling wine that I had in the fridge.)

I voted.

Today was the big election day in the U.S., but I actually voted a couple of weeks ago. I got my mail-in ballot, and dropped it into an official ballot drop box at my town hall. So, no “I voted” sticker for me. I decided to doodle myself an “I voted” design to mark the occasion.

Polls are closed in Massachusetts and the rest of the East Coast, but still open in the Western States. I don’t know when we’ll know the results of the presidential race. And there are a lot of down-ballot races I care about, including some local ones. I’m a tangled mess of hope and worry. Like so many, I’m still scarred from the 2016 results.

I’m pretty tired from a long day, filled mostly with holding signs at my town polling place. It was a very windy day, so it was actually some physical work. Plus I’m worn out from days, weeks, months, years of worry. So, I may just go to bed, and hope that I have good news to wake up to.

mailing my worries away (if only)

Here it is, November 1st. It’s hard to think about much else beyond the impending U.S. Presidential election, not to mention all the other critical down-ballot races near and far. I’ve been channeling some of my nervous energy (read “anxiety bordering on panic”) into voter outreach efforts, including good old-fashioned mailing. (Bonus: support given to the US postal service!) I participated in a variety of mailing projects to reach voters, including helping to stamp and label more than a thousand postcards for a couple of local candidates I support. I also coordinated the writing and sending of over 4000 pieces of hand-written mail to voters in various states, mostly swing states. I recruited dozens of people to help me with these projects, and it was very satisfying (if occasionally stressful). And I personally wrote over 645 postcards and notes. I spent a lot of quality time with my pens. For some of the projects, there were pre-printed postcards. For others I had to provide my own cards. I bought quite a few printed cards, but also enjoyed making a bunch of my own. I was able to direct my doodling urges into voting-themed designs. Here are a few of my projects.

1000 postcards to Michigan that I took charge of. I distributed almost 800 of them to local friends, and wrote the other 200+ myself.

November means that it’s that time of year when I remember that I have a blog with a bit more regularity, and try to post every day. I think this month is going to be a rough ride, so perhaps this outlet will help.