I’m so upset right now I can’t breathe. 

Last night when I went to bed, I was SURE I’d finish a chapter I’ve been working on first thing in the a.m. A few scenes, speaking to me all week, would go from ethers to page.

I opened my eyes at 6:50, with nothing on the calendar until 10:00 a.m. The smile on my face caught me off guard. Oh, hey, I thought as I looked in the mirror. Three hours, girl. You’re almost there.

Then I heard it. A dog whimpering. I remembered that my guy had an early meeting. The pups probably hadn’t gone out yet. Ugh. Do I let her cry? I’m sure she can wait. She’s got a camel’s bladder. She’s only whining because she heard you moving around. 

My instinct was to be selfish, to stay in my bed-office. Of course, I threw on my robe; took the girls downstairs into the yard. Then fetched up their bowls and rustled up breakfast.

But here’s where I messed up. In chaperoning Miss Merry through the grass (I watch her like a hawk—because, hawks), always with one eye on my 8-lb love, I checked social media with the other eye.

I know. I should know better. Just a quick peek, I thought. I’m multitasking!

Damn. Not again. It always seems to be the case lately. The daily assault has begun. Does anyone else feel like our president is ruining their life?

Today’s chaos reminder is the photo I tried to forget from yesterday. Our president and vice president meeting with a group of conservative MALE lawmakers to decide the fate of mammograms and maternity care for future health insurance policies. The Huffington Post published this photo, originally tweeted by Mike Pence, with the caption: “Conservatives say health plans shouldn’t have to cover maternity services.”

Come again?

As Glennon Doyle Melton so eloquently said in her repost of this photo: “Where are the people of color? Where are the women? Those who do not have a seat at the table are ON THE MENU.”

That’s all it takes. Here I stand staring, mouth agape, blood boiling. My writing moment is lost.

F-ing lost.

Or is it?

You know how when you get so triggered, you can actually feel your heart in your chest? Mine is racing right now and my arms are physically shaking. I am rarely enraged like this, so it’s a little scary to me. But I’m also tempted to welcome this feeling because it’s showing me I have enormous power at my disposal. I feel the energy gaining strength as it rises from my gut and out through my limbs and my very hot head.

Power. I have it to flip the script right now. To rewrite my morning.

No. I will not put down the loving scene between my fiancé and me as planned. Instead, I will go back in time and relive another moment I’ve been putting off. The one about a fight with my son, where he ruined Christmas soon after Bad Boyfriend left and I’d started dating again. He was testing me, as kids are apt to do when their mothers choose men who make them feel unsafe.

“Fuck You This Christmas.” That’s what Tosh yelled to me that morning, as I whipped the mashed potatoes for the feast that was anything but festive. Fuck you this Christmas. That’s what I’m going to call this chapter. And you know what else? I’m all in. I will take my rage at the insanity of this photo, of this administration, and lay it down. I won’t be done this morning, but I’ll keep coming back to it for as long as it takes.

Thank you, Trump. Anger as fuel. I tell my writing clients to use this approach all the time; the headspace I’m in now because of you and your shenanigans is exactly what the doctor ordered.

That’s what I’m doing today.

And when I’m done, I will carry this fuel with me and use it to call my congresswoman. Anyone with me? Vent with me over on Facebook.

Write on!

Linda #shepersisted

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