Brain weasels are jerks. Their nests clutter your thoughts, and the weasels gnaw on your sense of self worth, your confidence, your belief that you are deserving of common courtesy and respect. Once a nest of brain weasels gets going, they can keep you up all night with their incessant chittering and it seems like they'll never stop.
Case in point:
Early in our marriage, hubby and I applied for the Christmas Angel program through Kitsap Community Resources so our boys could have presents under our tiny Christmas shrub (I still have the picture around here somewhere). For two years, complete strangers gave of themselves to deliver clothes and toys so our children would have something to open on Christmas day. Hubby and I promised ourselves we would someday pay the generosity forward to another family.
Years passed, our financial situation slowly (sometimes too slowly) improved. Hubby opened The Dragon's Hoard Games and we began to breathe a little easier. In the middle of October I suggested we fulfill the promise we made years ago and become Christmas Angels. My wonderful husband agreed and I began to make plans.
Then November 8th happened, Trumplethinskin became the President Elect, and my world crumbled. A man who stood for everything that I stood against had been elected president. I couldn't go forward, I couldn't manage. Some days I couldn't get out of bed. The brain weasels had a field day. "It's all your fault," they chittered. "You didn't advocate enough, you didn't campaign enough, you didn't write enough/publish enough/parent enough/care enough and it's all your fault!"
Like many, I huddled in the clinging shadows wondering "what next?" The answer came in the form of a promise made years ago. "It'll never happen," whispered the brain weasels, feasting on my sense of self worth.
For the sake of what I held dear, I had to prove the furry little buggers wrong.
I contacted KCR for a family, and they sent me 3 siblings (girl 7, girl 3, boy 2). My splendiferous mother-in-law made a poster for a Giving Tree for the store, and I set about getting the word out to the customers. Santa Dragon had come to town and we needed their help to make Christmas happen for these kids.
At first people looked at the poster, but no one donated. People were gun shy, afraid to commit when their day to day lives felt so uncertain. Then the first donation came in, and the next, and the next, items on the tags and cash. I eventually gathered together all of the money and set about shopping to finish off the lists for each child.
For the 7-year old girl we collected shirts, pants, socks, underwear, pajamas, a winter coat, shoes, a sewing kit, Play-Doh, a TMNT movie, Spanish and English pop music, a FROZEN coloring book, a bicycle w/helmet and tire pump, and lots of goodies.
For the 3-year old we collected shirts, pants, socks, pajamas, a winter coat, a space princess dress-up dress, a wooden puzzle, a color game, Megablocks, a Minnie Mouse backpack, a car booster seat, a bike w/helmet, and lots of goodies.
For the 2-year old we collected pants, shirts, socks, pajamas, a winter coat, a Mickey Mouse doll, Megablocks, magnetic letters, lots of toy cars, a tricycle w/helmet, and lots of goodies.
Here are the bikes with helmets and a bicycle pump (all donated by one customer.)
The bikes were loaded into the sleigh, erm, van, and we headed to drop everything off.
My Christmas jam for the ride.
The elf fell asleep along the way.
We arrived at KCR and off-loaded the gifts.
And...the brain weasels grew quiet.
I cannot save the world, but that doesn't mean I'm ready to give up. Too much depends on my participation in the world. Trumplethinskin has uncovered much of the hatred and bigotry lurking in the heart of America, and to that I say no. I've fought too hard for my children, friends, and family to stop now. I am one person, but one person plus one person is two people, and two people plus two people are four people. The more who fight for acceptance, for equality and decency, the better. Every kindness, no matter how small, matters. Promises matter. We matter. Resistance is never futile.