1. Taking superior care of my physical self. I’m focusing on upper body strength and cardio vascular endurance. I’m eating clean, avoiding junk food, and absolutely eschewing processed sugar. I’m looking after my teeth. Getting appointments for check ups, eye exams and teeth cleanings for my kids and me. It’s time to be as proactive and intentional as possible with physical health and strength.
2. Increasing community vigilance. It’s time to be out and about more, not less. I’m prepared more than ever to stand in observation when a person of color is stopped by police. I’m prepared more than ever to intercede and advocate in the event of bullying or abuse. I’m prepared to act quickly to erase racist and otherwise hateful graffiti. It isn’t time to hide out at home and grow tomatoes. It’s time to join protest groups, civil disobedience demonstrations, and public prayer circles and vigils.
3. Saving my money to donate to causes I believe in. Our arts, literacy, science, and advocacy organizations will suffer. Public libraries, schools, and community centers will suffer. We can’t let them go down. We can’t let them be reduced in any way.
4. Enrolling my daughters and myself in self-defense classes. I’m not talking elegant forms of martial arts here. My daughters and I will be prepared for violence. We will never incite an attack, but we will be ready to end one.
5. Celebrating and making art. This is not a time to disengage with mindless entertainment. This is a time to read and learn and empathize and connect. This is a time for poetry, music, theater, art museums and films that are made with intention beyond the box office.
6. Focusing on education. I have a stack of books to read and I’m plowing through. My daughters’ schooling has always been a high priority. Now their education is even more important. This is not a time to give up on academics and learning. This is a time for the scientific process. This is a time to consider ideas, learn history, solve problems, think critically, and read.
7. Increasing kindness at home. For my family and close friends, this is a time of extra care, conversations, wholesome meals, and gifts of attention. We tend our relationships with great care. We give one another strength for the journey.
8. Remaining sober. I’m not a partaker anyway, and I’ve rededicated myself to sobriety. This is not a time to be anesthetized. Self-care, yes, checking out through self-comforting yet self-destructive substances, no. This is not a time to sleep.
This is a time to wake.