Thankful Thursdays {11.10.2016}

It would be so easy to skip this week. I mean, who would blame me? So many of us are digging deep for silver linings in the election hangover. I laid in bed yesterday morning, unable to move, tears spilling onto my pillow.

I am sad, mad, devastated, in shock, feeling all the feelings. I let the feelings have yesterday. While listening to Secretary Clinton’s concession speech, the sadness, the deep ache within my bones could no longer be held back. I wanted to show a stiff upper lip for our daughters, but I knew it was important for them to see me that way. For how else would they begin to understand the grave loss to our country?

I truly don’t understand how anyone could’ve listened to her speech, and not have seen the amazing, strong, capable person I saw all along. I’m guilty in my complacency. I was quiet on this site and in my professional feeds. I thought it best to keep politics away from the table.

I will never be silent again.

I will make sure my daughters are never silent. 

This is what I lost last night, and the reason I cried all day. I lost a partner all over again. I was thrown into single parenting five years ago, and while many use words such as grace and strength to describe me, I often feel the exact opposite. I’m tired. Tired of carrying the weight of our daughters’ successes and setbacks all alone. Secretary Clinton’s agenda and policies gave me the hope of a true partner again. A partner in our country. I want a government that values all of me, not just the parts of my body it wants to control.

Secretary Clinton was the female figure I sought out my whole life. Strong, smart, solid in her beliefs, and courageous enough to forge forward against an unrelenting sea of illogical contempt simply because she didn’t accept a woman’s “rightful place” from the get go.

Now it’s all on me again, to wipe the tears, and be that kind of woman for our daughters. Today I’m determined to channel them into something productive to start repairing the wrong that was done to our beloved country Tuesday night. 

In the weeks leading up to the election, whenever my daughters expressed fear over a Trump win, I told them we would be okay, mostly. A major setback, but we have laws, checks and balances. I have to believe that now, but loss is still loss. We need to grieve, while also keeping our eyes wide open for the cocktail of hate, sexism, and homophobia that has been unleashed. Now is not the time to fall asleep, just as they are about to take control of the steering wheel.

We have to work twice as hard.

We have to lead our children by example.

So, shut the reality television shows off, toss the gossip magazines in the trash, enough with the buzzfeed polls. Roll your sleeves up, and let’s start doing the work. There are no white nights, just people in white hats.

I’m making education reform my priority. The lack of anything meaningful happening in that realm is what got us here. Ill-informed, poorly trained, unable to adapt to changing times, those people, young and old who were left to fall through the cracks while the Trumps of the world prospered, that is where I will focus my energy. I’m not exactly sure where to start, especially since I homeschool, but sharing information is a start.

In fact, I’ve been meaning to share this article from Forbes magazine. The tab has been open in my browser for weeks now. College is seen as an end all solution, but the reality is that not every person is equipped for the rigors it requires. I’ll go even further to argue that not everything taught at college-level, or high school level for that fact, is necessary to have a successful career. It all depends on the career. Education, like life, is not one size fits all.

The most important A is not the grade on a report card. It’s about unlocking a person’s power to be adaptable, a most necessary skill for these fast changing, technological times. Manufacturing jobs have left the U.S. They are not coming back no matter what any candidate promises. Instead of false hopes and false prophets, the real answer is in training our workforce with new skills for the new world we live in. Yes, change is scary. I get it. I’ve lived it. I live it every day as a freelancer, immersed in a web of social media.

How do we teach people to become useful before their jobs become obsolete? Discourage complacency, and encourage ongoing professional development at every level of every profession.

I surely will not see the change needed while either of my kids are of school-age, but I’ll do it for their kids, and their kids’ kids, or I’ll die trying because when you realize you have nothing left to lose, that’s where the real fire to get things done begins to kindle in your mind and heart.

So, today I’m thankful for the power to heal, the power to be resilient. I’m thankful for the ability to be optimistic in the face of such deep setbacks, and the foresight to understand that it is my responsibility as an American to work towards a better world for all of us, not just my little tribe of three. And to Secretary Clinton, to First Lady Michelle Obama, thank you both for inspiring me to go high when they go low.

48 Comments

  • Carol C

    I spent yesterday reading many comments on social media. Your comments are very insightful, and they ring true with what I have felt for many years. The need to be adaptable is so essential.
    Thanks for the inspiration.

  • Sharlene

    This is a beautiful post and a much-needed sentiment in these times. I am a silent social media observer, always reading but never commenting. It’s this election that’s made me realize that if I don’t champion the voices of positivity and inclusion the negativity will prevail. It’s time to speak. Thank you for this.

  • Cee Pluse

    You are so right in feeling it is time to stop being complacent, and to stop focusing on the negative. As you say, it is time to find a way to channel these feeling into something productive that will lead to the positive changes this nation needs. Thank you for this post, because I needed this push in the right direction.

  • Megan Kane

    Some of us are happy with the election outcome.
    There are many things that would never allow me to support Hillary Clinton.
    The fact she protected her husband from accepting responsibility for his sexual assaults against women and most of all my loss of a good friend, Ty Woods in Benghazi.

    I could never look my daughters in the eye & explain how I could ever accept this.
    Being from a military/law enforcement family made me warm to Trump. I have seen over the years (long before his Presidential bid) how he helped our Veterans & Officers in NY and in many other places. He is a man who values our troops & officers & will see to it that they can do their jobs without the fear of being a target of hate -just for showing up for work.

    I have felt lost & ignored for the last 8 years, but continued to live my life & raise my family. With the election of Trump I finally feel some hope & relief that someone who truly loves our country is in charge. Everything the media says about him is not always true.

    I have witnessed his generosity & kindness & look forward to the next 4 years.

  • Jennie

    So misguided. You take Clinton to task for not holding her husband accountable for his infidelity with a consenting adult, and yet have no problem with an abomination of a man who clearly doesn’t value women’s bodies or rights? His love for his country, really? Tax evasion, failure to pay workers, multiple bankruptcies. NO experience in government. And in case you didn’t realize, black men should be able to walk out their front door without feeling like it’s open season. Nothing was accomplished in the last 8 years? Marriage EQUALITY. Healthcare. Yes, it’s far from perfect, and needs a major overhaul, but it was a start in the right direction. I’d say it’s time you do some long, hard thinking, but I don’t think advice would do any good. No one is winner in this election, and you and everyone who voted for Trump will soon see. He’s your president, not mine.

  • Rocky Mountain Woman

    I so needed this today!

    I’ve never been a political person, but all of that changed Tuesday. Our country needs people like us to stand up and be counted. I’m retiring in a few years and plan on being actively involved wherever I can to effect change. My husband has passed away, my children are grown (even my grandchildren are almost grown), and I have no excuse not to jump in and jump in I will! Thank you for sharing your heart with me…

    xxoo

  • Patsy

    Jennie, Thank you for your wisdom, your words and your heartfelt love for our Country. I so admire your comment above – perfectly stated. Something I’ve not been able to put into words. My heart aches for our children and grandchildren. For the folks who can’t see what’s happening before their very eyes. A sad day indeed, it was hard to smile yesterday. Stay strong.

  • Paul

    It’s too bad you couldn’t keep politics out of it. Who are you to say anyone is misguided? Have you thought that possibly YOU are misguided? How dare you insult one of your readers who has lost a family member?

    I’m sure you’ll delete this, but at least you’ll have read it.

  • Mary

    I too spent the morning in tears. It’s a sad commentary on our country that we elect a person who thrives on hate, belittles women and practices such bigotry. I’m shocked, disgusted and terribly saddened.

  • Margie

    Thank you for your wise and encouraging post. My daughter and I have agreed that we didn’t work enough. Bu no more complacency! We have to stay strong and become engaged in activities that will both work towards improving social injustice as well as identify and elect smart, ethical individuals who can move towards a brighter future. You’re so right about adaptability. We’re all here because our ancestors moved far from home and family to seek a brighter future. They knew that old ways were just that – old, tired and incapable of supporting personal, family and community growth. I live in a rust belt area and we know that the mines will not re-open and while new steel mills may be constructed, they will hire relatively few people. Who could possibly be attracted to a romanticized vision of a manufacturing life that killed its employees and killed its surrounding environment? Those miners and steel workers wanted a different life for their children. Opportunities were scarce and our responsibility is to find those opportunities and link them to those who are underemployed in the shadow of closed mills and mines.

  • malkie

    Jennie,

    You have jsut cemented what I already knew – I LOVE everything you say! Thank you.
    Even though we live in the bubble that NYC can be, my family of two Jewish moms and three boys are terrified of what the next four years can bring for us. Some of my worst moments as a parent were spent yesterday trying to explain to my boys why people voted for hate and bigotry.

  • Fran H.

    Thanks for opening up, Jennie–your comments were indeed insightful. Like many others, I have been depressed over the election results and fear for what’s ahead for us, for our children and for our grandchildren. Education is indeed the key. People who have been left behind due to globalization are looking for someone to blame. They don’t seem to realize that they need to vote for people who will make education a priority so that families can afford to send their kids to college. That way, they’ll have a chance in this world. And then they’ll be smart enough to see through phony promises made by politicians. Trump said he wanted to “drain the swamp.” Yet, people who voted for him voted to keep the same crocodiles in the swamp who have fought tooth and nail to prevent any progressive agenda for the last 8 years. They even voted lock-step against the first bill that President Obama signed–the no-brainer Lily Ledbetter Act which calls for equal pay for the same work whether performed by a male or female. Seriously? Now, we have a president-elect who thinks climate change is a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese. And he’s supported by a majority Republican Congress which not only doesn’t believe in climate change, but doesn’t believe in science, period! Climate change is the #1 national security risk we face, not ISIS. According to the overwhelming majority of scientists, we have only 10 years left to combat global warming. After that, it’s irreversible. Half the country voted for a man who is a demonstrably proven racist, misogynist, xenophobic narcissist; a man who quite simply is delusional (denies saying/doing things that are easily available on videotape). His lawyer said that they learned to make sure there were always two of them in any meeting with him–otherwise, he’d deny things he’d said. The other half voted for a woman who has devoted her entire adult life to public service and has improved the lives of so many women, children and families. I am just so sad.

  • Liss

    Hi Jennie, I feel you. It aches to look my children in the eye and tell them that this is not what will define us as Americans, we can do better than this. And we will.

    I was made aware of an etsy store selling a lovely print of HRC’s concession speech yesterday. 100% of the proceeds benefits the ACLU and National Sexual Violence Resource Center. I bought one to hang on my daughter’s wall.
    https://www.etsy.com/listing/477498944/print-any-of-our-designs-printed-art?ref=shop_home_active_1

  • Louise

    Jennie,

    Thank you for putting into words what so many people have been feeling. Although it’s small comfort, I love the fact that Hillary won the popular vote. I’m embarrassed that so many women voted for a misogynist. It makes me wonder about the real state of our country and its morals. Or was it the fear of having a woman in charge and not measuring up?

    I thank Hillary for giving us the dream, for her stupendous service for our country and for families specifically. You did good and we’ll miss you.

  • Jennie

    Oooh, look. I didn’t delete it. Laugh is on you, sir. My blog, my thoughts. If you don’t like it, there are plenty of other sites to read and recipes to cook.

  • Jennie

    Thank you so much for sharing this. I was just thinking today that I wanted to print, and hang it up. xo-Jennie

  • Mariana

    Difficult times all over the wold. It´s time to work hand in hand with respect and love. Thanks for your message, for all your lovely work and for sharing it with the world. Let´s work and talk about what matters, let´s teach our kids to stand up and speak up for their beliefs and for the people that needs to find their voice. Let´s teach them how to move in a world that changes all the time. I live in a country with a president that I do not recognize as mine, he does not represent me and he has been hurting my loved country from day one, but despite all I work every day with all my energy to make my country a better one I follow Michelle Obama´s word ” when they go low we go high”. Across borders and around the world let´s be a community that acts to improve things every day with a caring voice and delicious food. Happy to be your suscriber!

  • Molly G

    Thank you SO much for sharing this article. I agree that education reform is the only way for this country to be whole, happy and prosperous in the long run. It’s the only way to shape future leaders of our country to be knowledgeable, open minded and inclusive. Ever since George Bush passed No Child Left Behind, our education system has been in a vicious downward spiral. Students do not benefit when they’re forced to “learn to the test.” We need a holistic, varied, adaptable educational system to inspire our children and help them learn how they can best benefit our collective society. I’m not in the educational field as a career, I don’t even have kids yet, so I’m not sure where to start. But I’m passionate about this issue. Please continue to share your passion for it as well!

  • Joyce Marie

    Oh Jennie. Thanks for being so brave as so many of us hold back because of the backlash which always comes. I am truly afraid of people, educated or uneducated who appear to hold on to what they believe benefits themselves and a few rather than the many. I am concerned for nature, for the environment, for all life. Thank you for all you offer.

  • Carol H.

    Jennie,
    I love your raw honesty and that you are willing to show your vulnerability to the world. Yes, we are grieving that people could support such a hateful ignorant man but the world will keep on spinning and the sun will come up and we have to go on doing what we know to be right …fighting for the oppressed and the underdogs, spreading kindness and speaking out against injustice. Never stop believing and following your heart.

  • Amy

    Thank you for this post. Yesterday was rough. I’m so thoroughly disappointed in many fellow Americans who feel that this man who spews such venom can make America great again. I have never felt that we lost our greatness. Things change, yes, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t great. Those that feel that a leader can bring back manufacturing confound me. The people who flock to Walmart to get the cheapest of the cheap don’t realize that they helped squash manufacturing in this country. And yet those are typically the ones screaming about America needing to put itself first. The hypocrisy astounds me. I am so sad for our country for choosing hate over inclusiveness. I am so sad for fellow Americans no longer feeling safe in their own land. I am so sad for my tween and teen to spend formative years with this vile rhetoric pounding in their ears. I love my country, and it is breaking my heart.

  • Marlene

    Jennie,

    Thank you for sharing these thoughts with us! I also am grieving the loss of what a HRC presidency would have meant to me as a woman, a mother, a teacher, a US citizen, and a human. You put into words what I am also feeling. There is comfort in your words of thanksgiving.

    Thank you for taking the risk to write this post!

    Peace

  • Annie

    Lol
    Megan
    The “blacks and Jews” he was “fighting for” were legally protected against discrimination. Bragging about actually following the law. For once.

  • robi mayes

    MEGAN KANE…..you have so eloquently put into words that i could not……..thank you for speaking for the rest of us and laying out the facts…..how people especailly women put hillary clinton on some sort of pedestal is beyond me……she is of course not responsible for her husbands actions, but certainly for her own actions in response …..she’s a liar and a power hungry politician……enough is enough…….is trump the perfect alternative….probably not, but certainly willing to take the chance………and give him the chance to make things better for all of us……..thanks again.

  • Lan

    Thank you for speaking out. If anything, the results of this election have reminded me that I’ve become complacent and that I must speak up to protect the rights of my daughter and those both like an unlike her.

  • Carli

    Jennie, thank you for this post. I stumbled upon your blog after realizing that many people were coming to our Etsy store (www.perfectsalt.etsy.com) from your site, purchasing Hillary prints and donating to charity.
    Thanks for being you and putting good in the world!

  • Emma

    With Obamacare, our insurance literally, no joke, no exaggeration, doubled…and we were even promised it’d go down. This is another reason I had to vote Trump.

  • Emma

    “School choice means parents can homeschool their children.100%.” -Donald Trump
    I’m figuring my comments will not be posted, but I wanted you to know that conservatives are the ones more often than not supporting school choice.

  • Jennie

    Parents can choose to homeschool regardless of legislation. It just requires filling out the proper paperwork within your county, so again, he was speaking of something he knows nothing about. And you know what? Does it bother me sometimes that I pay $1200 a year in school taxes for a system I believe is broken? Absolutely, but then I realize I have the flexibility, and ability, in my life to homeschool my children. Not everyone has that, regardless of class or wealth. It’s my responsibility as a citizen to invest in the future of the world, and if going to public school is the only option for many, then I am happy to pay my fair share to invest in a better future for the country, overall. That’s called being patriotic. We are all soldiers and serve in different ways. The battlefields are often in the everyday aspects of life.

  • Jennie

    Insurance premiums have been I increasing steadily, 30% twice a year for more than a decade, long before Obamacare. That has been my experience. And you know who’s to blame? The insurance companies. Health insurance should not be a for-profit business. How can you expect to have a healthy country if you literally don’t take care of your citizens?

  • Jennie

    Robi,

    My comments are moderated, and I’ve been with my children all day, working, and just finished cooking dinner. I’m working my way through them.

    Jennie

  • Jennie

    I appreciate the in-depth FOX News information you’ve shared here. Like you said, FACTS matter. Know this is the last time you’re welcome to step past by virtual front door. I’m sure there are plenty right-wing blogs ready to have you, but this is my space, these are my readers, and your fabricated “facts” are not welcome here.

  • Jennie

    Pedestal? No, not for me at least. She was the most, and best, qualified candidate. Enjoy your President, and don’t cry to the rest of the world when he fails to improve the economy, bring back all those manufacturing jobs. And hell if I will not spend my last breath fighting for women’s reproductive rights and LGBT rights since you felt the need to disenfranchise entire groups of people.

  • Dorothy

    Jennie, thank you for your comments. My heart aches for our country’s loss. I woke up yesterday thinking it had been a bad dream. The sun was shining yet I felt a sense of unease. I’m still in disbelief at the millions of women who supported Trump. All I heard was they couldn’t trust her (Hilllary). Really, yet they’ll put a bigoted, sexist, egotist who won’t provide a copy of his tax return ! I mourn for our country. And for the record Hillary was the people’s choice!!! Let’s remember that.

  • Michelle

    I am 70 years old. I was so happy we were progressive enough to elect President Obama and I thought we would be even more progressive to elect Hillary Clinton. I told my daughter I am thankful to be white. I fear for our fellow citizens who are a different color, religion, lifestyle.
    They think they have a mandate think again. While not receiving the electoral college vote she received the popular vote.

    It is tragic to think there are people in this country who would vote for such a person who emboldens the alt right, the KKK and all of the other degenerates in this country. What a dark day for this country. I would put her credentials up against his any day. God save this country.

    Thank you for your comments I felt the same way.

  • Melissa

    I’m surprised that these were the two best candidates that America had to offer.
    Jennie,
    I’ve really enjoyed reading your blog and your cookbook.
    I understand your disappointment to the election results but not your tears. The pen is mightier than the sword and you have a way with words. Write your expectations to your elected officials and Democratic Party. Demonstrate to your daughters how to be positively involved in the community and government.
    I hope you teach your daughters how to cast their ballots for leaders who align with their values, not their gender.

  • Jennie

    Please don’t tell any of us who have shed tears these last two days that they are not valid. That is just beyond rude. Everyone grieves and handles the shock in their own way. People can cry, while also summoning the strength to be activists. My outspoken voice on these results, my daughters making posters to attend a love rally, and the community service we do speaks volumes, and that will all continue to grow, fired from my upset over this election. Please do not lecture me on how to be a role model for my daughters. I am far from perfect, but pretty sure I’m doing a damn fine job. If you read, and really absorbed my words, voting for Hillary was never about gender; that was simply an amazing bonus. I will teach my daughters to always vote their values, not those imposed by others.

  • Darlene

    Hi Jennie,
    I admire your honesty and openness, today and over the last 5+ years that I have followed you. We all have a right to express ourselves and you’ve done it in a respectful way and in the most appropriate place, your own blog!

    I also agree that Trump is a disaster. The call for all Americans to unify is a bad joke. I don’t intend to unify with anyone who embraces bigotry,sexism, elitism, segregation, intolerance, deception, etc., etc. It’s blatantly obvious, these are the things he and at least some of his followers think are “great”.
    Not my president!

    I do intent to unify with people who come from a place of love, with values like compassion, inclusion, tolerance, and respect for all. I also expect to be reading every chance I get, especially from two of my favorite mentors, Lissa Rankin MD and Martha Beck. Their writings really help me stay hopeful, positive, strong and focused on what’s important, and I really need a lot of that right now.

    Sending prayers of love to all. Stay strong! XO

  • Lesley

    I’m from the UK and have been an interested onlooker on the US election. I have been stunned that a country the size of the US can only find two flawed candidates of 69 and 70 to lead your nation. I agree that Trump is the most obnoxious candidate imaginable but there must be something very wrong with the Democratic message that so many felt unable to vote for Hillary Clinton – that perhaps is where the work now needs to start, on the ground understanding people’s reasoning for deserting the Democratic party and for people feeling that the Democrats weren’t listening to them and that they were ignored. Don’t blame the people who voted but blame the GOP leaders that they didn’t stop this juggernaut if and when they had the chance.

    The one thing I hope everyone in the US tells their children is that this election result is democracy, it may not be the result people wanted but that is life and also telling them and helping them to appreciate that democracy is a wonderful thing and the ability to be given a vote is such a privilege every US citizen on either side of the political divide should be thankful for. There are so many disenfranchised people in the world denied the simple human right of visiting a ballot box and that is the thing that should be making people despair.

  • Jennie

    That is exactly what so many of us are telling our children. And Hillary Clinton won the popular vote, so let’s not gloss over that fact.
    Most of us are very thankful for our democracy, but we also acknowledge its imperfections (the electoral college). This has been a big wake up call that it’s not just about voting. It’s about working at it every single day. I do not believe it was lack of a good candidate (I’m not sure why age is an issue for you here). The cable news genre where people can customize the news they hear is a big factor. If news were only on public airwaves, and not a huge source of revenue for businesses, then both sides would have to report the facts. Lead stories would not be based on sensationalism or witch hunts. We also live in a world where reality television is king. Well, now we have the worst of the worst reality shows to play out over the next four years. The outcome of this election is not about one single issue, but it was also never about the lack of a good, qualified candidate.

  • Sharon

    Jennie I applaud your bravery in voicing your opinion this is America after all and we do have a right to our own opinions. I think there are quite a few people who have felt so disappointed and just devastated. We have gone from the first black President to the a President endorsed by the KKK. if that does not make you realize how bad things are I don’t know.

    The day after the election my granddaughter came home and asked me if I was going to have to leave her I said no why? she said “well Trump said that if you are not born here you have to leave” I said I would be okay and to which she said “Are you going to have to hide?”
    I immediately thought of Ann Frank…my granddaughter is in 3rd grade !!! She then went on to ask if her parents were born here just to be safe. This is the kind of thinking of a child that young.

    On the news yesterday they reported students in a school holding Trump signs walking through the hallways saying “white power” In another school students were chanting “build a wall” at the Hispanic students. What is happening?????

  • Mary Florance

    I agree with everything you said about this election. As a victim of a sexual assault when I was a teenager, I cannot understand how any woman could vote for a man who stated he did not respect women. I am haunted by the action of a man like Trump and I am now 72 years old. What does this election say to my grand daughters and all young women. As for health care and all the anti “Obama Care” crazies, what kind of people desire to deny 20 million Americans health care. Hope the haters figure out that they could be denied health care when they have a serious illness and then not be able to get care because they would then have a pre-existing condition. And cost controls were built into Obamacare – think what the insurance industry will do when they are unrestrained. I have been looking for a visible sign to wear that I will never be OK with Trump. I am joining the “wear a safety pin” movement begun after the Brexit vote! Thank you for your courage in speaking out, Jennie!

  • Colleen

    Bless you, Jenny. Very eloquently put. I’m feeling the same way. It’s time to stand up and be counted, in big and small ways.

  • Colleen

    Dear Jenny, in finding my voice I find strength and courage in Martin Niemoller’s well-know quote. It bears repeating here:
    “In Germany they came first for the Communists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn’t speak up because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me, and by that time no one was left to speak up.”
    — Pastor Martin Niemöller, 1945

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