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clinton speech

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Today, Joanna and I met up with a friend to go see Hillary Clinton’s final campaign speech at the National Building Museum. We waited in the hot June sun with hundreds of others snaking around the building until we finally got inside. Fortunately we didn’t have to wait in the heat for too long, though we couldn’t see much from the second floor. We did hear the applause for Terry McAuliffe as he arrived and joked amongst ourselves that perhaps Bill had stopped off for a snack at the Burger King nearby as we watched the clock and waited.

Clinton is great speaker. She certainly did not disappoint today as she managed to address the disappointment of her supporters, the historic nature of her campaign, the need for full inclusion in the Democratic Party, and throw her full support under Barak Obama as the presidential nominee in a concise and eloquent manner.

I won’t lie, I’m genuinely sad that she didn’t get the nomination. I believe she is the best candidate for the job. I am also sad that this election will not send the first woman to the White House in a position other than First Lady.

I am, however, heartened by her speech. In hearing it live, as well as having time to reflect while awaiting her arrival I realized that there are important take-aways from her campaign. These points are especially pertinent to me as a woman. It’s difficult to explain, but I do feel that this election process has exposed the very serious cracks in the foundation our nation was built on. Sexism and racism are still present in our collective psyche. They are easy issues to ignore or try and overlook because they’re difficult to deal with. They’re messy, and personal, and emotional, but in order to really deal with them, one must do it head-on. It requires dialog both internal and external. There is no excuse for either, but I do feel as if sexism is easier to ignore. I heard a pundit on tv once I returned home this evening talking about how the idea of a glass ceiling was a “ridiculous” idea. Granted, the man was on Fox news, but I was still shocked that he said it. Shocked that he thought that was an okay comment to make as if months ago almost every news poll was asking the question if America was ready for a female President. They asked the question if we were ready for a black President too, and frankly I’m just kind of appalled that we’ve got to ask the question, even though it’s clear that we do, because we’re not sure about the answer.

Anyway, it’s a lot to process. Seeing Clinton speak this afternoon was inspiring to me. She was confident and gracious and conceded without being defeatist. I think it’s a good lesson. It got me thinking about what I might do to change my thinking about failures, both small and large, and how to work towards success in my own life. I came up with points made in Clinton’s speech today that I think would be helpful to me.

1. It’s okay to be proud and vocal about your accomplishments.

One of the first comments I heard about the speech today while watching the news was that she talked about herself a lot. My first thought was well… yeah, it was about her campaign. But then I really thought about it – she is able to talk about her own accomplishments without being self-aggrandizing. I think that’s important, especially for women, because I think we’re taught to down-play what we do and wait for someone else to congratulate us for our accomplishments, which ultimately, doesn’t do anyone any good.

2. Don’t stop just because other’s think you should.

People have been advocating that Clinton drop out of the race for months. If she had, we may never have seen just how much support was out there. I think it’s a good lesson in not giving up, trying your best, and having faith in yourself and your goals.

3. Just because you fight hard, doesn’t mean you’re going to win.

I think that sums it up. Along with this though, I think it’s easy to assume that because you didn’t win you weren’t good enough to win. In actuality, that’s not always the case.

4. Be thankful.

Clinton was thankful for the opportunity to run for President, for her supporters, her family and friends, and for the opportunities afforded her. It’s cheesy, but it’s easy to forget to be thankful.

5. Be gracious, exhibit grace.

Throughout the campaign, and even before really, I have always been a little amazed at Clinton’s graciousness. The speech she gave today must have been extraordinarily difficult, but she did it very well. I feel as if the ability to do this is born of a little hardship.

But that’s it. It was a good race. Now, time for a Democrat in the White House.

Part of my recovery plan was determined by an impulse buy of the second season of Big Love, which of course, necessitated the purchase of the first season. We watched both seasons in approximately 5 days and really binged on the second season friday and saturday. I have to say that I really enjoyed both seasons and find this show to be right up there with the Sopranos, Six Feet Under, The Wire, etc. in terms of quality. Both the acting and writing is incredibly well done.

If you haven’t checked it out yet, I strongly suggest giving it a whirl. Next up in the queue? Season 4 of The Wire – woo-hoo!

Joanna pointed this article out to me yesterday. While old school Sesame Street is being released on DVD it comes with a disclaimer. From the NY Times article,

According to an earnest warning on Volumes 1 and 2, “Sesame Street: Old School” is adults-only: “These early ‘Sesame Street’ episodes are intended for grown-ups, and may not suit the needs of today’s preschool child.”

Just for the record, my favorite character was oscar the grouch and i loved the alistar cookie bit.

*sigh*

Cancer has made me shallow. I know that this isn’t necessarily a unique feeling, but I felt this way before I ever knew this book, which I’ve never read, existed.

I didn’t have cable for about four years, and had come to think, and still do to some degree that watching television was a waste of one’s time for the most part. It was an opiate for the masses, so to speak. I had better things to do with my time than watch TV, and so did everyone else. While this still might be true, having a cancer diagnosis, even when the prognosis is in reality so good, has made me want all the opiates I can get. Working extra hours to have the money to pay medical bills, and the time to take off for surgery in addition to having newly time consuming events to deal with, like at least one medical appointment per week makes me tired. That’s on top of the tamoxifen induced fatigue and mental and emotional stress of dealing with something that, for all intents and purposes should not be happening to you, or so all seven of your doctors tell you.

When I’m completely fried, which happens at least twice a week, I park myself in front of the television to watch television programs which don’t make me think and drink beer that I shouldn’t be drinking. I’m almost over feeling guilty about it. Almost.

This process has lent itself to watching Grey’s Anatomy almost every Thursday. Because it’s a show based in a hospital the cancer connection is inevitable. Usually I can overlook it but last night when the former-Amish-girl’s surgery for a cancerous cervical tumor resulted in a Stage IV diagnosis, I couldn’t help but hear the voice in my head say, “Oh, fuck.”

I think I managed to mask the tears that welled up in my eyes just for a second as my mind made the connections that this kind of diagnosis would mean. She’s 23. Maybe she’d get a few years if she was put on the right series of drugs. Maybe there’s a clinical trial. Maybe she’d stabilize. Lots of people live with mets and are okay. But that’ll be her life now – where’s the cancer going? And to some degree, if only in her own mind from time-to-time at the very least, it will trump her career, her relationships, and the possibility of children. I was glad to not to have this experience first hand. Then I reminded myself that this was just a character on a TV show (whew!) and then quickly and automatically reminded myself that the situation is all too real and the possibility of this is wide open for far too many people.

So much for escapism. Cancer might make me more shallow, but it might also make me more forgiving, of even, myself.

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