Saturday, February 18, 2017

Of Lipstick and Liberals

MAC lipstick. My favorite brand.
I started getting into lipstick in the past two years because of a young friend who is really into it. I never thought it was something I looked good wearing and bristled at the brightness of the color on my face. 

But my friend Laura kept encouraging the practice by giving me lipstick samples, taking me on lipstick shopping trips, and discussing the different types of lipstick. It was all foreign to me but I started to embrace it. Now I never leave the house without even the most muted color on my lips - just as my mom did her whole adult life.

It's been a tough few months to be a liberal. The constant negativity in the news about the GOP's efforts to shut down civil rights, animal rights, and earth-centered policies is so against my core values. I have lost a lot of sleep while catastrophizing the next four years. 

My friend Susan told me recently that I need to keep writing and I realize that writing helps me put things in perspective. And maybe it helps others do the same. I find when I write that I don't catastrophize. Instead I find the inner pearl of wisdom that gets me to see the lesson in all of this. 

Today when I got out of bed, I do what I always do - check social media to see what's going on in the world (mine and the country's). It was filled with the usual button-pushing headlines. Comedians I follow try to find the humor in the absurdity of this presidency. That helps. Some. 

My mind shifted to my day. What did I have to do when I arose? As if by habit, my mind went to what I needed to do: answer emails, clean the house, do some laundry. It took me a few minutes to remember that I'm going out with a gang of friends tonight (we call ourselves The Usual Suspects) that bring me great joy.

I started thinking about what I would wear since we are going to a gourmet restaurant and jeans just won't do it. I mentally picked out my outift and then my mind turned to what lipstick I would wear because now I have a fairly large selection of colors and finishes to choose from (thank you, friend Laura). 

As a person who cares about the world, I think I often get lost in its troubles.  The earth's troubles become mine to the point of forgetting that I'm part of the universe too. What good does it do if I forego my life as penance for the misguidedness of others? How much of myself do I have to lose in an attempt to compensate for greater societal losses?

And, more importantly, will it change anything?

I have my coping strategies to get through what I feel is a downturn in my country's future. One of them is humor, one is listening to uplifting music especially the Hamilton soundtrack which reminds me that this country is resilient, another is helping those who suffer on a one-to-one level. These add brightness to a world that sometimes feels colorless. 

Kind of like lipstick.