Scatter my ashes here...

Scatter my ashes here...
scatter my ashes in the desert...

Friday, March 1, 2019

La Resistance...

used by permission copyright 2018

Here we are, March 1. I cannot believe we have come this far into the new year, and winter seems determined to hang on. This morning was spring-like, and I managed to get out the door with Velcro and Gypsy for a run before 9 am.

The forecast is predicting big change overnight though. March won't be in like a lamb for long, we're expecting snow and below zero temperatures over the weekend.

I've been struggling with a few things lately and last night decided that when I woke up in the morning, since it was March and a new month, that it was time to move forward.

So this morning was the perfect time to pull a card out of the Divine Downloads deck, and this is what I picked- Resistance. Could not have been more perfect.

A little about Divine Downloads- they are a card deck developed and written by my nurse entrepreneur colleague Lisbeth Overton, who lives in Minnesota. Lisbeth and I met each other online through a social media site for nurses, and we have become friends, not just social media "friends" but we talk and communicate often and support each other in our mutual endeavors to make this world a better place.

Note: The Divine Downloads Deck is available through Lisbeth Overton's website. Thanks to Lisbeth for allowing me to use the image.

Lisbeth is intuitive and a true healer, and when she introduced this card deck last year, I jumped on it right away. I use it often when I'm struggling with something, and it has turned out to be the ideal tool to get me unstuck. Just having something to focus on that pulls you out of the hole you're stuck in- by thinking about the problem in a different way, is a powerful force.

What does it have to do with running? For me, right now, everything. I have been in a motivation struggle with myself when it comes to running, for going on 5 years. Every time I think I've moved past it, somehow it comes back to me. Last Saturday I ran the 10 mile Bacon Strip run with some of my running friends, and I've been trying to increase the length of actual running I do on those tough hills. Last weekend I got up to 6 miles of solid running up and down the hills.

It was cold and windy, and I felt okay until I hit 6 miles, and then my butt started to hurt. I slowed down and did mostly walking the last 4 miles, not wanting to aggravate anything. But afterward my left hamstring was screaming at me. My quads and hips had been sore for a few days and I wasn't sure what was going on. I've been sitting a lot because I had to write up a report on my research project that I did over the past year.

Sunday I went to yoga and Monday I went to boxing and walked the girls, and I had improvement of the other sore parts, but the hamstring persisted. So, basically I sat on my ass all week until today. Got a lot of work done, but I was feeling sluggish by last night. Pulling the resistance card got me dressed and out the door with the girls, best thing I've done all week.

Couple of things happened this week- besides my running avoidance- I recently joined the National Nursing Network Organization (NNNO) Advocacy Team. Teri Mills, who leads this organization, contacted me last week to try to get nurses in Colorado to encourage some of our representatives in Congress to co-sponsor the National Nurse Act of 2019 so it has a chance of passing in the 116th Congress. I contacted as many people as I could to write letters and emails to ask our new Representative in our district, Joe Neguse, to co-sponsor it.

And guess what? He did! It really doesn't take that much effort for citizens to send an email, especially a form letter that only needs a small amount of personalization. I wish my fellow nurses understood that in a way that it would encourage them to take action! In nursing, it's the same thing as what's going on nationally. Those who want to keep nurses down are going to resist change. What you have to do is stand up against the bad behavior and call it out. Those who have had power for a long time are going to put up big resistance to change. But that doesn't mean it's not worth fighting for it.

The National Nurse Act of 2019 would raise the profile of nurses on a national level, by establishing the National Nurse for Public Health. Here's more information about it.

The other thing that happened this week was Wednesday, while I worked on a few other things, I watched the House Oversight Committee hearing where Michael Cohen testified. What I took away from that was the sheer heel-digging, head-in-the-sand, blindfolds on, resistance of the Republicans to not only what they were hearing from Michael Cohen- they tried to stop the hearing before it even started- but their unwillingness to open their minds or ears to the experience of other people who don't exist in their little bubble.

The things that struck me were first, Jim Jordan's crybaby tantrum at the beginning to try to delay the hearing- they were willfully unprepared- and my thought was they were afraid of Michael Cohen saying something that might implicate the party itself, because Cohen used to be deputy chairman of the RNC Finance Leadership Team. He resigned from that position in June of last year.

A couple of doofuses (doofi?), from Arizona and Texas, made fools of themselves with their ignorant statements, including the "liar liar pants on fire" bit. Really? You guys are Congressmen? You represent people in your district?

The childish, schoolyard bully attacks by the Republicans on the committee ought to have Americans ashamed and embarrassed for these elected clowns who are there only to cover their own asses and protect their own wealthy, privileged interests. They are in no way living up to their oath of office and do not have the Constitution, our Democracy, or the American people's best interest in mind.

But most striking to me was the drama around Mark Meadows, who brought a black woman who was an employee of Donald Trump to demonstrate that Donald Trump was not a racist, and that he, himself, was not a racist. And the ruckus that ensued, when Rashida Tlaib called him on it, and Meadows launched into a laughable defense as he tried to prove his non-racism by saying that he and Elijah Cummings are friends, and that he has members of his own family who are "people of color", and I thought Rep. Cummings handled it very well. He allowed Rep. Tlaib to explain her point of view and allowed Meadows to speak, without backing down to him.

We need our Congress to not mince words and stop handling outright bullshit with kid gloves. And that's why I love these new representatives in Congress. You gotta dig in and confront it head-on.

Yes, that woman was a prop, and yes, this amounted to a George Costanza stunt by Mark Meadows. I feel like I have to write this out even this feels like it should speak for itself, but having a member of your family or an employee or a friend who is categorically different than you does not automatically make you not harbor prejudice against that category. Anyone who makes it a point to claim not to be racist is being pretty transparent- they are afraid of being called that because they know they have a reason to be afraid.

I was so proud of AOC, Ayanna Pressley, and Rashida Tlaib, women who are new to Congress and on that committee, being seen and heard and not pushed around. These good ol' boys, and yes, that is how they are acting- as boys- are used to having their way and being able to get away with protecting their interests, and no one ever called them on it the way they are being called on it- and publically- now. And to that I say, it's long past time and bring it on.

They've been allowed to get away with avoiding a confrontation about race, and especially institutional racism, for so long, that they just don't get it at all when they are forced to look in the mirror. They don't even understand what they are seeing, because they are resisting so hard. Yes, we are going to have a lot of pushback and temper tantrums, aggression and denial by these people in long-held positions of power.

But "America"- the United States, no longer looks like the current Republican party, and they have not accepted that. They are resisting it by kicking and screaming like a two year old. It is long past time we started changing our institutions, our laws and policies, and our government, to level the playing field for all citizens. It's time for a national come to Jesus.

We do need to confront institutional and entrenched racism and bias against historically non-dominant, less wealthy, and underprivileged groups. Yes, including poor white people, aka, Trump's base. We need to deconstruct the way we separate people into groups that enable this bias. This is the only way we are going to be able to move forward as a nation and I do think people will wake up if we have transparency around what's been going on to maintain that inequality- and our new Congress looks like a big step on the right direction.

Expect resistance. It's going to keep getting more intense and the 2020 election needs to be about that. I am so disappointed in the early primary field for the Democratic presidential candidates. Yes we need women in government, in the executive branch too, but more than that we need someone who gets it, who can truly see and understand the damage that has been done to so many Americans and run on a platform to undo it.

It's healthy for our country. It's healthcare in  the truest sense. Public health happens when the public is cared for. We need to stop neglecting our people. It affects everyone. It's long past time we stopped allowing the richest and most privileged to avoid taking responsibility for the well-being of the people of this country. You want to be a citizen, even if you're a gazillionaire, even if your ancestors came over on the Mayflower, contribute your fair share. No more welfare for rich people (or corporations).

Call it equality, call it socialism, call it reparations, or whatever you will, but we are a country of human beings with potential to benefit all of us by working together, without the constraints of those who seek only institutional protections for their greed. Our country needs to do this: honor ourselves by understanding the resistance and working through it, with the greater good in mind, for a healthy, permanent change.

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