For the last two days of the election, I walked a few precincts. If you have ever seen my gut, my divulging to you this was the first traditional exercise I'd really had in a long time won't come as a surprise. Yes, I've done gardening and wood cutting and weed pulling and such, and there has been the odd walk. The Saturday before, I took my first jog in roughly nine years. I'd walked precincts in 2008 to get out the vote and was hugely sore for a few days then, as well.
Mostly, however, I've been a slug, proved by the fact that I'm 10 belt sizes and nearly 100 pounds larger (roughly 45.4 kg.) than I was nearly 30 years ago. I hate what I see when I look at myself in profile in the mirror. Additional weight is not becoming on me.
Today, Thursday, I'm better rested (Election Night is always a very late to bed matter for me; to me, there are few things more entertaining at the end of a cycle than watching returns coming in; they don't do them outside of California the way they do them in the Golden State, however, so it's just not the same). However, I'm only marginally less sore.
I love, even revel in my soreness. It means I did some exercising!!! Yay. A chance to burn off that fat around my midriff, neck, shoulders, etc. I even love the cause of my soreness, walking those precincts for a good cause.
What I don't love is the outcome. I hate the outcome. Yesterday, all day, I was grumpy because of the outcome. Befuddled. Bewildered. Disoriented. In a haze. Frightened. Sad, even distraught.
I could go on, but you hopefully see the point. The only winning campaigns on which I've ever worked were a special legislative election back in 1995 and a more recent executive branch election. Other than that, every single race on which I've worked in the last 20 years has been a losing one (I did absolutely nothing electoral-wise besides vote in four intervening cycles, so those don't count). I can't begin to describe how terribly disappointing that is, to put in your heart and soul and so much work, so much time away from one's life and one's family ... for nothing. To hell with moral victories. Give me a W. Keep your Ls and feeling righteous in the face of defeat. True, I can hold my head high and say I've never compromised on principle when it counted. I pray I never will.
However, I'd love to know what it's like to win and revel in the life affirming glow of victory. Just once, Lord. Is that too much to ask? To hug one's comrades with whom one has fought and struggled for weeks and months throughout early starting days and late ending nights, hug them out of congratulations, out of a shared sense of accomplishment, to bask in the realization that all the hard work was not for naught, that in the end, it paid off?
What about those others? you ask. In the aforementioned special, I felt pride in its outcome, but on election night, I was already working for a different campaign. I was alone, without those with whom I'd toiled.
In the aforementioned executive election, we thought we had won. One network and then others called the election for us. Then they all called it for the challenger. Then most will recall what happened after that for 30+ days. It doesn't really qualify, now does it? By the time victory was truly ours (and some will argue the fact to this day), the moment, the thrill of the night had worn off.
Pardon the crude analogy, but it would be like finally getting to the point of climax 15-30 minutes after your spouse had achieved theirs, gotten dressed, and left the room or even the house. Yes, it still brings with it the requisite physical sensations, but one would have to concede the whole experience is greatly diminished in some pretty typical and fundamental ways.
Tuesday night, however ... It was ... It was Charlie Brown going after the football held by Lucy yet again. Yet again, all that frantic work for no payoff.
And to lose to someone who's never accomplished a thing that real people have in their life and who is, by all indications and accounts, a closet leftist, who fundamentally believes in a different vision of our country than I do, and who truly scares me about the possibility of practicing my religion in peace in the coming decades or even years, who brings with them the personification/embodiment of all the things that went wrong on Election Day (witness two ballot measures in the east and two in the west), it makes it doubly hard.
I will ... not hope to but will ... build on the good work I began on Saturday, Monday, and Tuesday. And hopefully the 50% that rejected the thought of a second term for this leader will build on what I pray is their heightened political awareness. I pray they will create a stronger, more philosophically sound democratic system that will give our nation true, wholistic recovery, not just the kind sought by so many on the economic front.
But until that happens, for the time being, I'm just sore.