My Bucket is Empty

I use a book in my classroom every year on the first day of school.  It’s called Have You Filled a Bucket Today? by Carol McCloud.  It’s about how being kind to people fills their “bucket,” and bullying or being mean is “bucket dipping.”  So, a person who is happy has a full bucket, and a sad one has an empty bucket.

M adores this book, and took it to heart.  A couple of days ago, she sat down on the couch next to me and said, “Mo, how’s your bucket?”

I had to tell her the truth.  It’s been empty since election day.  She put her arms around me, and said, “You’re beautiful, funny, and I love you.  There’s a few drops for your bucket.”

It does help.  But it seems like as soon as my bucket fills at all, it gets dipped out again.

I was saddened by the election results.  Trump’s hateful rhetoric and lack of viable plans concerns me.  I’m willing to step back and see how he does, though his choice of appointments gives me little hope.

But I can deal with that.  That will be what it will be, and I’ll wait and see.  What’s draining my bucket is the environment around me.  People angry around town and picking at each other.  I’ve sworn off social media for awhile.  I’ve seen people I respect and love saying things I didn’t know they were capable of.  I read heinous stories of harassment and ugliness bubbling up everywhere.  My daughter actually said, before she went to school, “Mom, promise you won’t check your Facebook today.”

I worry that my family will encounter that ugliness.  So far, it hasn’t happened, and I consider it lucky, but I worry every morning what we’re going to encounter each day.

I’ve had marvelous, civil discussions with Trump, Clinton and third party supporters.  I’ve had exhausting, miserable, draining conversations with all three as well.  I don’t have the energy for the all consuming rage that seems to be expected of me, so the way I’m coping is by backing off for now.  I’ve been sewing, crafting, gardening, focusing on my family and writing.  That’s what I have the energy for.  That probably makes some people angry, but I have to take care of myself.  I’ve been fighting with binge eating, migraines, insomnia and sorrow and I just don’t have the energy for it anymore.  This is my last post on the subject for quite awhile.

Don’t debate me.  I don’t have enough in my bucket.  What I do ask is think hard about how you respond to people.  I understand how angry people are, on all sides.  But think about, when you’re dealing with people, on your side or not, how’s their bucket?

And if they say stop, please respect them, and stop.