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Did anyone else feel like they woke up on November 9th to find themselves in an episode of The Hunger Games?  A place where people with funny colored hair and a dystopian world view are in charge? Did anyone else feel pummeled nearly to death by the You Tubing of democracy?  Our recent  attempt to elect new leadership reminded me of the time I was making soup and did not secure the lid on the blender. It blew off and spewed hot nasty mess everywhere.  I sat with my arm in a tub of ice for hours.  If sticking your head in a bucket of ice is not an option because you haven’t recovered from the brain freeze you got when you forgot to thaw out your Lean Pocket, I have a few other suggestions the just might provide some balm.

Remember when you were a kid and you put your hands over your ears and went lalalalalalalala…?  Do that when the news comes on.  As if things aren’t bad enough, the predictions and speculations are terrifying: Ryan Lochte for the Supreme Court. Lalalala…  Bouncy house replaces Lincoln Memorial.  Lalalala…Ivankacare won’t fund colonoscopies.  Lalalala….Walk away. Turn it off. Get a low tech pair of squishy ear plugs. Go outside and breath in a big lung full of greenhouse gasses. Pass out and sleep for 4 years.

Practice relaxing techniques such as yoga. Sticking your leg out at weird angles while wearing essentially a sausage casing does wonders for disenchantment. Another relaxing technique is meditation, though I’ve never been able to tell the difference between meditation and a cat nap. It’s just that napping sounds too lazy, as if you were moving to Canada instead of running for office and changing the system.  Definitely use the weightier word meditate when you zone out and think happy happy thoughts like when Watergate seemed scandalous. If you need a more robust release try popping bubble wrap with your teeth. If you meditate, do the downward-facing dog while chewing bubble wrap at the same time and your workout ensemble is sufficiently tight you could be lucky enough to pass out and sleep for 4 years.

Lower your expectations. Don’t run around all hot and bothered thinking that dignity, decency and truth should be universal values. You’ll just wind up with your compression shorts in a wad. If you presume the leader of the free world to be Wally Gator, that only hot women will have the vote and that casinos will replace town halls, then things won’t seem so bad. Don’t go expecting Reality TV to be entertainment and not actual reality.

Finally, there really are some nice people left in this funny old world. People who loan you good books and share their sweet potato fries.  Folks who manage to use respectful language when disagreeing and don’t actually hover by their communication devices hoping for the next dopamine dose of shocking behavior. Surround yourself with them. Be one of them.  If that doesn’t work perhaps you could make sure there is enough tryptophan in your holiday turkey to induce a 4 year coma.

– Margaret Baker. Hashtag #84, December 2016.

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Publisher/Editor in Chief at HashtagWV | + posts

HASHTAGWV ART & ENTERTAINMENT Publisher/Editor-in-Chief, Christina Entenmann-Edwards has been a WV resident since September 2008. She was born and raised in Fairfield County, Connecticut, and is no stranger to hard work and the entrepreneurial spirit. In 2006, she graduated from Quinnipiac University (Hamden, Connecticut), Cum Laude, with a B.A. in History. In 2010, she graduated with an M.B.A. from Liberty University (Lynchburg, Virginia). In February 2012, Christina launched HashtagWV as the area’s first full-color, free arts and entertainment tabloid + online platform. Christina completed the Leadership West Virginia class of 2021, which is an innovative program that grows, engages, and mobilizes leaders to ignite a life passion to move West Virginia forward.