Deep Thoughts from Tammy on Election 2016

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While this week’s post doesn’t directly focus on health and wellness, it is definitely a hot topic these days–especially if you are suffering from election stress disorder.

Unless you’ve been living in the mountains or on a deserted island (which sounds quite appealing right now) there is no way you have not been exposed to this inexhaustible election process. To be honest, I have always been apathetic to all things political. I have  never really been motivated or interested in the proceedings beyond a tepid interest. Historically, I have had an innate cynicism for politics and disdain for all politicians; suspicious of both the players and the practice. So I GET IT when people say they are NOT voting this election because there is no good candidate, that they are fed up with the vitriol and burnt out by this eternal electoral hell. I also get that the decision to NOT vote is a person’s right.

READ: What to Do About Election 2016 Anxiety

But here’s where things changed for me this go around: For most of the last 15 years, I have lived in the US and was NOT able to vote because I was not a US citizen. I paid taxes and obeyed the laws, but did not have a voice and this bothered me more with each election. However, as of August, I am officially a US citizen with the RIGHT (and duty) to vote in this election. I can’t believe my “first time” will be THIS election with THESE candidates but here we are. If I ever were to be apathetic, it would be now, wouldn’t it? So I really had to analyze my 180 because not only am I excited to vote but I’ve become a political junkie (gasp). Wait…What??

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Here’s my hypothesis: The best way to describe my evolution would be to use the adage “you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone.” I think this has affected my desire and drive to participate. When the basic RIGHT to vote is not available to you; and you know there is NOTHING you can say or do; and that your opinion, your voice, does NOT matter – that’s when it does matter the most to YOU. So perhaps all along, I had taken for granted this right (when I was able to vote in Canada) but hid behind the concept of “exercising my rights” to not vote (apathy) or maybe it was just pure laziness on my part. Of course, the other side of this is the fact that not only do I consider America my home now, but I imagine that my girls and possibly my grandchildren will spend a good deal of time here so I truly care about the future of my/our/their country. I feel that it’s important to feel some semblance of control in situations that are as asinine as this election. Though I may feel at times that my one vote may not make a difference, more than that, I know I CAN’T sit back and leave this up to fate.

So, for the first time in 15 years, I WILL vote in an election in the US. I feel privileged and relieved that I CAN make a choice and contribute my opinion. I’m choosing to exercise my newly acclaimed right to perform my duty to my new country.

e pluribus unum

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Author: tammyjuco

Motivating and assisting you and your family to a healthier and happier lifestyle.

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