So there’s a very clear thread I should follow, Segueing perfectly from the finishing statement of the previous blog post. But, as it sometimes happens in life, I will need to steer off course and follow the torrent of current events: the recent Women’s March on Washington (and 600 sister marches!).
With the recent developments in the political realm, it’s hard not to feel strongly about what’s happening in the world around us. For Mr. Sweetspot and myself, this meant getting involved in some way; the Women’s March was a perfect first step. It was a very moving experience, and the massive amounts of people who showed up in support were touching and overwhelming. I specifically recommend the speech by Michael Moore (by the way, CBS was reporting 200K on screen, but now we know, at the time of recording the numbers we already over 600,000, some reports say in total as many as 1.1 million), which gave an action plan for different ways to get involved (including running for local government! Leslie Knope would approve!)
Just two short years ago THERE IS NO WAY we would be able to go to this type of event… and by “this type of event” I don’t mean a political rally- I mean any event that involved
- going out of town
- on a weekend
- taking more than 2 hours at a time
- occupying an evening
- requiring overnight accommodations
The reasons were simple. With Mr. Sweetspot working weekends and evenings with a very rigorous schedule and me working weekdays and some evening, essentially doing anything outside of work was impossible. Even when we had the opportunity to be together, we were too exhausted to do anything but snuggle on the couch and mindlessly watch tv… often while eating pizza or take-out. Bad for the soul, wallet and waist-line. And, obviously, bad for involvement with activism out of town.
However, with me still on winter break (yay for the academic schedule) and Mr. S self-employed, we couldn’t use the old “we just don’t have time” excuse. Which means we just had to battle all of the other excuses (aka super valid reasons) that we couldn’t go. Dog care was the first list item- we do have 3 lovely and amazing dogs, so we need to figure out pet sitters prior to travel. Luckily our friend was able to take care of them, and the pet hotel had room open for our old lady- Golde (the oldest of our dogs… we don’t actually have an old lady living with us. If we did, we would have taken her to the March, it was handicap accessible).
Next came the discussion of whether or not we wanted to spend the money on this event. We are currently working towards a level of “extreme frugality” we are hoping to buy some land soon (more on that later, but fingers crossed) and will have expenses related to moving. Together, we decided that this is a once in a lifetime opportunity and it was important for us to act (similar to when we traveled to see Bernie speak before the primaries). After all, one of the advantages to saving money is the ability to spend it on things that bring value to your life.
We marched, we learned, we reunited with old friends and got to meet some new ones- the good kind, one of whom’s mom shows up with enough vegan food to feed an army :). It turned out to be a wonderful investment of both time and money, one for which I’m incredibly grateful. The return of this investment is that it has left us wanting to do more… and more… and more.
To tell the truth, political involvement is a place where I struggle to find “the sweetspot”. I feel we all have a duty to make our world a better place. But the moment I listen to the news, even for a little bit, I can feel myself getting incredibly angry and frustrated and ready to give up. It’s so easy to give up. Give up and pay attention to something else. After all, the world is full of easy distractions (I’m looking at you Netflix!*). Today, though, more than ever, it is important to stay in the fight and find “the sweetspot” for us all. So we’re going to keep trying, and we’ll make sure to let you know what we discover. Stay involved my people and let us know how you find the balance!
*Mr. Sweetspot would like me to point out that there are some great resources on Netflix as well, you just have to find the sweetspot between Ken Burns and GoTs. Here are some of our recent favorites:
updated Jan. 27th to add Women’s March video links