What a difference a year makes. The dread of his inauguration in 2017 lead to fear, loathing, dread, more fear, resistance, more loathing, resignation and then renewed resistance. And all that even before he took up residency in the White House, and all that just in my little home.
The DC Women’s March of 2017 (1.0) was unexpected and overwhelming, celebratory and even a little scary at times. It was historic, emotional, healing and empowering. My daughter and I and a small group of amazing women attended together not knowing what to expect. We couldn’t imagine the crowds even as we were among them, having no idea of the magnitude of the event until we got home and saw the news. We felt part of something much larger than ourselves, and I felt hope for the future. But for me that didn’t last. I went back to my job where I continued and still continue to fight for issues around the health of women and infants. Other than that, I had no idea what to do to move things in a positive direction.
This year I made the decision not the attend the DC March (2.0). I didn’t feel connected or focused, and honestly wasn’t sure I had the emotional energy to be there, to put in the effort required to get there and spend the day. But I know it’s important to take part, to be heard, to listen, to debate, to be involved. That’s how change happens and with all of the troublesome issues on the table in our country this past year, issues that I honestly in my ignorance thought were mostly resolved, activism and change are not options. They are necessary. For now. For me. For my children. For my grandchildren. And for everything and everyone I hold dear. And even for those whom I don’t.
This week, I knew I wanted to go to the Frederick March, but I wanted to have a clear purpose. I didn’t just want to follow a crowd blindly, though I did. It turns out my purpose was clear. To listen, to take part in this country’s amazing right to free speech and gathering, to see others who, like myself, are troubled (disturbed, frightened) by what’s going on in this country and with our leaders. I truly believe women are the key to social change. Mothers especially are uniquely qualified. And I don’t mean to exclude men. Men are fabulous and wonderful and able, but women work together and women gets things done, even when those things are difficult and impossible. If they will benefit our children and the children of others, we will make them happen. Always.
2018 was less inspired for me, but far more productive. I have much better focus on what needs doing. Our eyes have been opened, pried open by the abuse, neglect and horror of a miserable year. Today’s focus was far more pointed than last year. Voting will change things. Young people will change things. Women will change things. For the better.