After the election was called in the early hours of November 9 (and in the hours that followed), Ive settled into a holding pattern wavering between utter disbelief and numbness.
Social media is filled with heartbreak and sadness.
The people on mysubway platform are doing their best to avoid eye contact, and its hard to have a conversation that doesnt come to a screeching halt when the topic of the presidential election inevitably comes up.
Its clear we cant go on like this forever, and its important to remember we wont.
As Aaron Sorkin wrote in a letter to his daughter and wife published inVanity Fairlast week,
America didnt stop being America last night, and we didnt stop being Americans and heres the thing about Americans: Our darkest days have always always been followed by our finest hours.
But how do we get from these darkest days to those finest hours?
Long term, if youre feeling exceptionally put off by the events of lastweek, get involved in your local governmentscene.
Im not saying you should run for office, but be more vocal in standing up for what you believe is right.
In the short term, if what youre looking for is a reason to feel slightly better about humanity and you arent really getting any satisfaction from the overabundance of crappy dog videos and articles highlighting cheap tickets out of the country, Ihighly recommend getting yourself immersed in a different sort of politics the fictional kind.
Through video games, TV, movies, comics and books, you can distract yourself in a way that not only takes your mind off the cable news cycle, but will also perhaps make you think through the next four years in a way you hadnt thought possible.
Heres a quick rundown of fivethings to check out in order to tear yourself away from what cant be changed (and, frankly, entertain yourself) without feeling like youre slogging through meaninglessness.
1. Make your own America in Civilization VI.
Civilization VI came out this past October, and even if youve never touched a single game in the series, its easy to dive right in and begin creating.
Its a super helpful way to understand what it takes to make a country run both politically and economically while still playing an incredibly addictive (and fun) game.
2. Read Margaret Atwoods The Handmaids Tale.
Set in a future where a totalitarian theocracy has overthrown the government, Atwood explores the effects of extreme governance and policy on women in North America.
Its worth noting the book came out of the fanatical rightwing talk of the 80s, so it feels exceptionally spot on right now.
3. Binge all seven seasons of The West Wing.
One of the best TV series ever made is more relevant now than ever.
From empty Supreme Court seats to sickness in the White House, The West Wing covers everything weve been working through over the last year.
Oh, and it may help renew your faithin the political system, too.