I usually am organized and write my column on Wednesdays for my editor’s Thursday noon deadline. I’m writing this at 12:05 p.m. Thursday on an iPad in the passenger seat of my mother’s car at a gas station at the corner of Eubank and Constitution because it’s the slightly less hot side. Driving home with her from an appointment in town, we stopped for gas and I managed to lock the steering column. Requiring a tow. Which is taking forever.
So instead of a leisurely drive home followed by messaging Ms. Harriman that my column might be up against deadline a bit and then writing about the insidious growth of executive branch powers in the United States and New Mexico in the 21st century from the air -onditioned comfort of my home office with an icy sparkling water to quench my pundit’s thirst, I am sweating buckets with a full bladder while the split ends of my hair rapidly crisp and make their way toward my scalp sitting in a hot sticky nonworking car that I broke—typing on a tablet about the importance of adapting and making do.
(Leota, my column is going to be late, by the way).
You see, today is the 3rd of September, which means two things: I have a ton of work tasks today because of invoices, vendor payments and closing the August books; and it’s my 26th wedding anniversary. I had a lot on my plate today besides my Independent deadline. And now, because I managed to move the steering wheel as I shut off Mother’s car, this is now one of the days where I have to stop everything and rearrange all the priorities. Like many of us, I tense up as I realize my plans, if even for the next eight hours, are upset. It’s taken a bit of work for me to learn to adjust with abrupt and unpleasant change.
First: Get Mother out of the hot car and home. Done. She has been collected and taken home by family.
Next: roadside assistance. Done. Now, it’s just figuring out what can be done from an iPad and cell phone while waiting for a tow. I’ll still be able to have a nice anniversary dinner at home with Darrell (I got a sous vide circulator for my birthday!). So everything is okay, if not quite ideal. Which brings us all back together at one of the Duke City’s less picturesque intersections as I write this.
My point with this pretty insignificant narrative of overcoming adversity is that we’ve all done a lot of it already this year. And we have more to come. In particular, half of us are going to be bitterly disappointed at the end of the first week of November. But you know what? We have already coped with a similar situation in 2016. No matter who wins the presidential election in 2020, half the country is going to be angry, disappointed and genuinely worried.
I’m looking at the same priorities after the 2020 elections. I might get a little mad. Actually, given the candidates, I’ll likely freak out either way for a bit. Then I will think about what my family is going to need short and long term in whatever the new normal looks like. Then I will take care of the figurative car—I’ll review finances, financial planning and the like, because I worry about ever-growing debt-fueled markets and ever-shrinking interest rates that all but punish personal savings.
I’ll take care of business, work and our employees in the new regulatory climate. Then I’ll go make some dinner and feed the sourdough. (Also, the Anatolian shepherd, standard dachshund, OG ginger tabby tomcat and surplus ginger tomcat really are unbothered by all of this and will help me put things in perspective.)
If this sounds defeatist, know that I mean for it to sound resolute. I keep on keepin’ on, no matter what you bring me, American and New Mexican politics. Richardson, Martinez, Bush, Obama, Trump, Lujan-Grisham, Kanye West, whatever. I’m still here. I’m still voting. I just might outlast you all.
This car is so hot, though.
Merritt Hamilton Allen is a PR executive and former naval officer. She lives amicably with her Democratic husband and Republican mother north of I-40 where then run two head of dog and two of cat. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org