The Gift of Time, Just Before The Midterm Elections 2018

This year, I was invited to join a group of younger New York City women who chose to support women running for office across the country.  We had the opportunity to meet with many women running for the House, Senate and Gubernatorial races.  I sat next to the fit and determined Senator Feinstein for an hour at a lunch sponsored by this group and was mesmerized by her wisdom, her experience and her energy.   She gives hope to women who refuse to retire and disappear. The daunting time commitments and travel that she described could not have been managed by many millennials.

I met Amy McGrath from Kentucky who has run a campaign for the House that few could pull off against a longtime incumbent who seems to have forgotten who he represents and what their needs are.  Amy, a former Marine fighter pilot, pulled together a platoon of men and women who were ready for change in this deep red state that I once called home. This team set up a fully staffed local office in every county in the Kentucky 6th Congressional district.  She has a fighting chance to win this election and to bring a fresh voice to the House from this deeply conservative state.

Closer to home, Jane Whitney, a prominent journalist in Litchfield County, invited me to meet Jahana Hayes shortly after she announced that she would run for the House seat in my part of Connecticut, the 5th Congressional District. Jahana is well known across the country as the 2016 Teacher of the Year who personifies resilience and the benefits of American meritocracy.  She grew up in the projects in Waterbury, Connecticut, was raised by her grandmother, became pregnant at seventeen years old and yet, she persevered. She graduated from high school with support of mentors and personal determination.  She worked three jobs to attend community college, moved on to graduate from a state university and continued her education to become a teacher. She returned to teach in the same school system where she began her education with a vision that each student would benefit from the knowledge that no matter how little we might have, we always have something to give to others. She inspired her students and was recognized for the academic achievement of her students year after year. This April, when the incumbent for the House in this district announced that she would not run for re-election, Jahana chose to become a first-time political candidate. I was immensely impressed with her grit, her quick grasp of new information and her passion for truly representing all the people of the 5th Congressional District. She worked full time while running for office for the first time. It has been a joy to have been a small part of her campaign. Jahana’s victory will be more than a personal victory: her election to the House tomorrow will send the first person of color to represent the people of Connecticut to Washington.

Last night, I took the recommendations I have given to others with sleep disorders and situation specific anxiety. First, I had to acknowledge that I had done all that I could do to effect change and that there was no more I could do. I removed my devices from the bedroom two hours before bed. I took a warm bath with lavender bath oil. I read a pleasant book for an hour. I listened to my most soothing meditation music. I fell asleep easier than I have in months and today, the first work day after the gift of an extra hour from our return to Standard Time, I am at peace. Tomorrow is Election Tuesday. I will vote and I know that you will, too.




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