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Thursday, October 21


by pissed off patricia

Emotional Preparedness

Boy, there's a lot riding on these next few days, isn't there?

This reminds me of last month when the hurricanes were forming in the Atlantic and we would hold our breath each time the projected path was to be shown on the Weather Channel. One time it would look like we might take a direct hit and the next time the projected path would move just enough that we thought we might be spared. The anxiety level ebbed and flowed. In many ways it was a great deal like watching the polls now. The polls don't mean much because there is so much room for error, and that's pretty much the way it was as we watched the forecast paths for the hurricanes. Any one report didn't mean much until the storms got closer and then each report mattered a great deal. But the bottom line was that all you could do was to prepare for the worst as you repeated to yourself over and over, better safe than sorry. That's the way I'm approaching this election. I'm trying to prepare myself just in case bush should win. Better mentally safe than sorry.

As hurricane Jeanne approached and I was trying to secure as many of our belongings as possible before leaving our, already Hurricane Frances-damaged home, I kept telling myself the reward would be to find out later that everything I was doing was unnecessary. As I was jamming so many precious things, just about everything that we owned, into big black plastic bags, I kept thinking, I hope I'm doing this for nothing. Even as tired as I was that Thursday night, I kept hoping that I would be just as tired another night as I unpacked our undamaged things.

Lately I have been jamming all my fragile emotions and my optimism into the mental equivalent of big black plastic bags, and hopefully after the election is over I can revisit these bags and retrieve the undamaged contents. Maybe after the election I can revisit my emotions and feel the same elation that I felt upon returning home after Jeanne had passed. The elation I felt when we came back to our home and discovered that it was almost exactly as we had left it is indescribable. We walked in the door and there were all the black bags sitting obediently, just as I had left them. It was almost as if they had planned a grand party for us. They were silently waiting there in the dark for the moment we would open the front door and walk in. They were waiting to see our anxious faces before they would in unison call out, Surprise! and Welcome Home! They planned well.

That's exactly the way I want to feel after the election. I want those black bags that are protecting my emotions to be waiting for me with their contents intact. I want to open that door and see that all my mental preparations were unnecessary. I want to be able to smile as I retrieve and restore my optimistic hope to its proper place in my life. But, because I am a cautious soul, for now I'm bagging my emotions. Better safe than sorry.

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