Politics, yes, but keep reading for non-political thoughts, too.
Today is... a total mixed bag. I was SO pumped up yesterday after voting (which I did first thing in the morning because I was so excited, was number 26 in my district!) and really hopeful. You can probably guess that I was routing for a massive shift in the opposite direction for our government this election. To say that I am not a fan of 45 is an extreme understatement. But, there were more local races that I had my eye on, too. I have lived in New York state my whole life, and while everyone knows it's a reliable blue state on the surface, what many don't know is that there are rather large swaths of the population that are quite conservative and vote red consistently. Basically, if it weren't for New York City and a couple other larger cities in the state, New York would be a solid red, or at least a swing state. Niagara county, where I live, is one of those places generally. It gets really discouraging to see.
So, I was pretty sure incumbent US Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D) wouldn't have a problem keeping her seat. She won handily with 66% of the vote over her Republican challenger. Hooray!
The good news in New York state is that its government has flipped back into a democratic majority. I was very disappointed about some local races, though. The first one was for the seat held by incumbent Congressman Chris Collins (R), who has been under investigation/indictment for felony insider trading; he actually WON. He won. Do you know by how much? ONE percentage point.
This right there, folks, this is why it is so important to get out and vote. People think their vote doesn't matter, doesn't make a difference? It sure can, and it sure does.
I'm still shaking my head over why people want to re-elect someone who's got a felony charge hanging over his head.
Another race that I was excited about was Carima El-Behairy's race against incumbent State Senator Chris Jacobs (R) in the 60th district. I've known Carima for almost 20 years and was so hopeful that she would get elected there. Unfortunately I don't live in the 60th and couldn't vote for her myself, and it was too late before I realized that I could have still been actively supporting her since lots of people I know do -- we have quite a cut-up puzzle of districts here in western New York (oh, you know... gerrymandering). Carima put up a good fight but fell short with 42% of the vote.
Meanwhile, in my district, the 62nd, republican incumbent Rob Ortt ran practically unopposed for the second time in a row. That's right... no one challenged his State Senate seat in 2016. For shame. This time, he actually did have a challenger running under the Green Party line -- except very few people knew about him! In fact, I didn't find out about Peter Diachun until just over a week ago. Even then, I couldn't find out much about him except that he was a retired chemist running on a shoestring budget with the strict intention of only holding office for one session in order to get the New York Health Act passed. I emailed him expressing support and he sent me a link to his website, which I hadn't been able to find on my own, funny enough.
I wish I had been able to support him better, too! As you might imagine, he did not come close to winning the seat, with just over 10% of the vote. Sadly, 20% of the 62nd district voters chose not to cast a ballot at all for this office -- it was recorded that they left that circle blank on their ballots.
I've learned a few things about myself during this election.
+ I need to be more proactive in learning about candidates and what my choices are way before the actual election (duh)
+ I need to pay attention to local races going on around me so that I can be supportive of candidates that I feel are deserving, even if I can't vote for them myself.
+ I want to become more active politically, somehow.
+ I want to pay more attention in general. Since the 2016 elections, I admit it -- I've been burying my head in sand a lot! But that will get anyone nowhere, am I right?
+ I'm realizing that my ambition to go into environmental science work is indeed a political act in itself, which makes me even more excited about it.
One proactive thing I did when I voted this time was ask the polling place workers how I could volunteer during future elections. It turns out that, bonus -- they actually get paid, paid well, and tax-free to boot! Also, in my voting district, they're in desperate need of workers. So I actually followed up and called my Board of Elections and left my name to be considered. The man I talked to on the phone this morning was actually really grateful to hear from me! He told me how busy the polls had been yesterday and how short they were of workers, and was also glad to hear from a younger person. I had to laugh at that one and made sure to correct him on that! But it sounds like (and seems like) many polling place workers are on the older side, so... I guess in comparison I'm a spring chicken.
I'm excited to be part of the process next year!
+ + + + + + + + +
In other news, er, thoughts...
I haven't weighed myself in a while, and I think I am going to stop food logging. I feel like I've been doing OK with my eating and really trying to pay better attention to what my body needs. I just don't feel like fussing so much at this point. As you know, this will likely change again in the future, but for now, this is what feels right.
I keep almost pulling the trigger about starting to make art again! It feels like an itch that I am going to have to scratch really soon. That said, I had one of my older small paintings sell at a group show I had a few paintings in recently, so that felt great. I also have a commission that's been in the works for almost two years now that I finally told the client (a very old friend of mine!) that I'm just going to set a real deadline so that it just gets done. So, by December 15th, Maria will finally have her Finland painting! Hooray! I also have a pile of small canvases that I am anxious to put something down on -- portraits, more houses, animals, still lives... I just want to try all those random ideas floating around in my head.
I have a deadline. It starts now.
(I've always worked far better with a definite deadline; don't ask me why.)
I did a crazy thing and emailed my favorite parfumier to say how much I love her fragrances and how I would love to collaborate with her as an artist and/or graphic designer. I'm sure nothing will come of it, but... you don't know until you ask the question. So I asked!
I'm trying to think of other "crazy" things I can do to get side work that I love and believe in.
Budgeting is still a priority but all kinds of things have happened this year, and it's been a roller coaster. I want to make paying bills and saving money easy. Is easy the word? More automatic? I am constantly scribbling in my notebook making the money I earn at my day job work for the expenses we have, but it hasn't been easy without the buffer of all the part-time stuff I had been doing up until a few months ago. We're making due, it's not horrible, but I hate worrying about it. So I need to make a plan so that I can fix that. And I know I can. (I've been listening to lot of Dave Ramsey et al, discarding the Christian stuff and taking the rest. I can hack it!)
I'm excited about my future wardrobe but won't be able to fully implement it until I have some money set aside. It's OK. I can wait!
Phew, that was a lot. Let me ask you: Do you mind that I don't often post photos? Funny enough, for a very visual person my blogs tend to be pretty wordy.