I took the election hard. Like catastrophizing, totally hyperbolic, click-baiting clicking like there was no tomorrow hard.
I’ve heard I’m not the only one. It’s been tough times, guys, and so as we begin to move past the initial feelings of “Say what? I’m a little confused. What just happened here?” get out there and find a little joy. Here’s how:
(1) Go to the Charlotte Douglas International Airport Overlook Park
You should go to the overlook on a clear day, and you should bring sunglasses. If you are me, you will also bring dried apricots and a two-year-old plane enthusiast.
There is something very simple and joyful about watching planes take off into the sky.
It will calm you, I promise.
(2) Eat a big bowl of ramen at Futo Buta
Carbs are comfort food. There is no healing like ramen healing. It so comforting. Like chicken soup, but significantly more delicious. (Plus Futo Buta also has sushi and beer so…)
(3) Listen to the Hamilton Mixtape and daydream about the show coming to Charlotte next year.
Oh it is happening. Hamilton is coming. And we are going to be ready! If you have a huge amount of rage burning in the pit of your stomach (did I mention I didn’t take this election well?), I suggest you listen to Dessa’s “Congratulations” over and over. Let her anger speak for you. Make your friends listen to it. And your parents. Possibly coworkers. Share that Dessa love. (If you’re feeling more wistful, “What might have been” feelings for Hillary or Bernie, or, hey, Ted Cruz, then you should listen to Sia’s rendition of “Satisfied,” which is killer.)
(4) Eat a doughnut at Duck Donuts
Eat the one with maple glaze, caramel drizzle and bacon. It is the best one. You will be tempted to get one with pretty sprinkles because pretty sprinkles make amazing Instagram photos, but that is shallow, and you are trying to find joy. You will find the most joy from maple glaze, caramel drizzle and bacon.
Once, you have had this doughnut, you will start to dream about Duck Donuts, and the dreams will be delicious, if unsatisfying. (Or maybe that’s just what happened to me.)
(5) Visit Buddy Bear
His name is cute. His outstretched arms are cute. His weird, Queen-Charlotte tummy is cute. Cute things bring joy. He will ask nothing of you.
When you take a picture with him, he will be all about it. Buddy Bear is the best.
(6) Go to a brewery
You live in Charlotte. If a brewery doesn’t bring you joy, then I’m not sure what you’re doing with your life. I find that peak joy-bringing at breweries generally happens when the weather is good and there are tons of dogs and babies. In Charlotte, it is not impossible to have 70 degree days mid-winter. Make use of these.
And if it’s cold outside? Sit at the bar and commiserate with friends, loved ones and strangers. We’re all going through some stuff right now, am I right?
(7) Crawl into a cave at Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden
Does this election make you feel like crawling into a cave and closing off the world? Well, the Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden’s Lost Hollow Children’s Garden has just the place for you! The cave is small with beautifully lit stars on its blue ceiling.
Sure, it’s meant for children, but I think people will understand if you curl up in there for a couple of hours. (And then you should probably come out of the cave and start making an action plan. Because action plans? They bring joy too.)