This seems like the week to revive this feature, even if "Happy" might be an overstatement. Here are some things that have made me feel even a tiny bit better about the world this week.
Donating to causes and organization that can help.
I usually feel weird talking about the places I'm sending money to, but it feels important to share and to pledge to each other to continue to donate as much as we can. It's nice to think that my relative economic privilege can actually do some good. Here are the places I donated to this week:
American Civil Liberties Union
Council on American-Islamic Relations
Southern Poverty Law Center
These happen to be organizations with a national focus; because I live in a pretty liberal state (although it is in no way without its own serious issues), I felt like the first priority areas probably wouldn't be my immediate area. But my next goal is to focus on my own community, including donating money, time, supplies, and any skills I have that can be of use.
Listening to diverse voices.
Because I gotta be me, I've been doing this mostly through podcasts. In particular, I found the conversations on NPR's Code Switch podcast and on Still Processing from The New York Times to be required listening this week. And as always in this election, I rely on the NPR Politics Podcast for all their work, which is mighty and really, really necessary.
Reading smart newsletters.
This has become such an interesting genre of writing. Most of the ones I've been reading this week were actually not written this week, and aren't on the topic of the election, for the most part. I've just been finding something comforting about these pieces of smart, often personal writing. My favorite recently was Helena Fitzgerald's one-year anniversary issue of her tinyletter Grief Bacon. I can't figure out how to link it, since it doesn't seem to be archived anywhere, but here's a passage about writing and reading and confession that I love. If you want to read the rest, I can forward it to you, just drop me a note.
Planning Friendsgiving and other acts of community and fellowship.
As an introvert, being social doesn't always make me feel better, and my first impulse in difficult times is usually to find space be alone and to avoid other people. But that's not always the healthiest thing, and it's almost never the most helpful thing, on a larger scale. Coming together and working together are obviously going to be key going forward. I also want to support my friends, and see them, and allow us to have time to be happy and sad together. So I'm going to host my first Friendsgiving in a few weeks, and making up lists and plans for that has been a nice thing to give some space in my brain.
Watching my friends and internet friends figure this out together.
There are no right or wrong ways to grieve. Personally, I've avoided a lot of my usual social media arenas. But when I have peeked in, although some parts are scary and some are heartbreaking, I've also been so very proud of the things I've seen my friends doing: talking, organizing, listening, advising, helping. That Mr. Rogers quote always gets play in bad times, but looking for the helpers really is a great way to restore some measure of your faith in humanity. They've given me so many ideas for how I can help and I can't wait to get started.
I would love to hear if there are specific things that have been helping you this week, or plans that you have for the future that make you feel hopeful. I hope you're taking care of yourselves and the people around you as best as you can.