When I was a kid, me and my grandmother would spend many a weekend watching WWE, rooting wildly for our favorite wrestlers from the 80’s.
I was a Randy “Macho Man” Savage fan, and she loved Jake “The Snake” Roberts; she would even act out his best moments of placing his live snake on his defeated opponents, or hoisting it in the air above him for the crowd to cheer on.
As we both got older, we stopped watching it: me out of disinterest, she for health reasons -- the doctors said her aging heart couldn’t take the excitement anymore!
“Granny” eventually settled into more calming things and lived another twenty plus years until her peaceful death.
I was always a little sad that she couldn’t continue to enjoy something she loved, but completely understood and appreciated that she followed her doctor's orders, thus giving me decades to enjoy with her as a result.
I would have been crushed if she didn’t listen otherwise, and left us sooner.
Now as I’m getting older, I’m reminded that some things are better left alone for peace of mind and body.
In this heated political season, where issues have polarized people across the country, it was getting to be too much for me to keep expounding my ideas and thoughts on what I believed was right for this time in American history.
The conversations, both online and offline, were getting far hotter than they should have been.
Politics is afterall not the endgame, but a means to an end -- one of many actually. But even more infuriating to me were those who were either uninterested or unwilling to discuss the topic, as I would periodically wonder: “how could you not have a stake in this, or a thought on it?”
As with most things however, the reality is usually in the grey area between the sides, or the common denominator.
Politics don’t work, if you don’t vote.
It’s that simple.
All the debates in the world, the speculation, the theories, the discussions, mean nothing if you don’t put a proper voice to them.
Your vote is your voice.
I remembered this today as I did just that, and used my vote to truly voice my final thought on the matter of politics in 2020.
And as I drove into the parking lot of my neighborhood’s polling center, past knee-lengths signs for each candidate dotting the entrance like wildflowers, I started to feel all of the political tension within me over the past 4 years start to unfurl.
Walking up and waiting in a quick and quiet line for my paper ballot, with other socially-distanced and masked voters, I noticed that any frustrations I had with those who I thought “just didn’t get it” or “weren’t informed enough” was melting away like icy daggers under the warmth of purposeful action.
After making my selections, and waiting in an even faster line to insert my completed ballot within one of the scanning machines, I was calmer than ever.
What had been festering inside of me for far too long was now completely expelled, with the filling-in of several bubbles in a matter of minutes.
The purge was euphoric.
So much so that I won’t be discussing politics with this kind of fervor for a long time, if ever again: I’m spent.
If this election and current state of affairs has taught me anything, it’s that it just wasn’t good for me to follow it all as closely as I did, it was really too close for comfort.
I’m going to instead enjoy this time, and relax knowing that my voice has been hear And while the results may or may not be what I wanted, it was relieving for me to vote; a weight has definitely been lifted in doing so.
For those who haven’t, or weren’t going to vote, I think it’ll be just as good for you too to do so as well.
Much better than any campaign promises being made, and ultimately better for your heart too.