It’s been quite the week hasn’t it? Regardless your political bent, the whole world has been watching this election. It’s one for the history books.

And like my friend Emily says, I’m not here to tell you how you should feel. But you’re allowed to feel how you feel, and to acknowledge it as a real thing.

The results make it plain that we are deeply divided as a people, and that alone is cause for mourning.

Here’s my tendency when I’m sad—and I think it’s a valid form of the grieving process:

1. I let myself be sad. I don’t try to push it away, because it will show up eventually, and the more I deny its presence, the more it will fester. I sit in sadness, and let it do its thing.

2. I focus on others. There’s someone else around me who could use something—encouragement, a compliment, a donut. I try to reach out.

3. I roll up my sleeves and get to work. I get back to my homefront, I take care of my people, I do the work in front of me, I read books, I go on walks, and I ask, What’s my role in light of this [fill in the blank moment]?

Here’s how this looked for me:

Yesterday, I admitted that I was sad about our divided country. I cried, and I made a playlist. I had it on repeat all day.

Then, I went grocery shopping and bought soup ingredients to make for our new neighbors. And I donated to an organization I love. My soul needed to do these things.

coffee shop

And then, I went on a walk. I got coffee at my new favorite place down my street, and I talked to the sweet employee who always remembers my name (sorta) and we talked about our grief.

Then I folded socks, swept the floors, and listened to the kids talk about their days at school on the way from picking them up. And I focused on all their little, detailed stories, as best I could.

I stayed focused on my real life, here and now.

Friends? I’m grateful for you here. Continue to be kind to yourself, and to your neighbors—for awhile now. We’re tender. And we’re so ready to get back to the work of caring for our families, loving our neighbors, and doing the everyday things that make our daily lives sacred and precious.

“How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.”
-Annie Dillard