89 things to hold onto after the election (16 of which actually matter for democracy).
After this election, there is fear, anxiety, and disappointment felt all across our country. So here's a list of things — from silly to serious to sacred — that are all sources of positivity the American government can't take away.
1. The freedom to seek and acquire information.
2. Running barefoot through grass.
3. Parallel parking on the first try.
4. Knowing that otters hold hands when they fall asleep so they don’t float away from each other.
5. Faith in the goodness of other people.
6. Getting the triple-word and triple-letter score.
7. The freedom to practice your religion.
8. When you trip and think “no one saw that,” but then you make eye contact and laugh with the one stranger who did, in fact, see that.
9. Global inspiration Malala Yousafzai.
11. Naps. Most especially naps on a bed where the sun is shining through the window and warming everything up.
12. Really fast, reliable Wi-Fi.
14. Knowing people are out there who really do dedicate their whole lives and careers to helping people.
15. Being buried under lots of blankets with the window open.
16. Bonfires, especially with s’mores and friends and maybe a crunchy leaf pile or two.
17. The feeling you get when you pull on your jeans and they fit exactly right.
18. The right to assemble.
19. That “yes!” feeling when you get to your subway platform and the train is waiting for you.
20. When a cat does that mushing-its-head-onto-yours thing.
21. The first day of fall jacket weather.
22. The right to teach others about what’s important to you.
23. When your kids surprise you with something nice all by themselves.
24. Going to a movie alone. (And getting the big popcorn.)
25. Surprise military homecoming videos, especially ones involving dogs.
26. Baking your own bread and smelling it all through the house.
27. Making a baby laugh.
28. Mac ‘n‘ cheese.
29. The first time you successfully communicate with a native speaker of a language you’ve been trying really hard to learn.
30. Laughing so hard that you’re out of breath.
31. Popping bubble wrap.
32. Harry Potter.
33. When someone asks if you and your best friend are brothers/sisters because the two of you are so in sync.
34. Watching a child learn to play an instrument.
35. Seeing a really cool animal in the wild.
36. The ability of every law-abiding American citizen to run for public office and effect change.
37. Your first windows-down car ride of the season after a long, hard winter.
38. When you’re first dating and your hand brushes against theirs and you feel like your heart might explode.
39. The Budweiser Clydesdales.
40. A dollar slice and an ice-cold soda.
41. The hopeful feeling of meeting a really self-assured young girl.
42. Making art, even when you’re not very good at it.
43. The satisfaction that all people get when things fit perfectly into other things.
44. Rainbows. (Related: double rainbows.)
45. The joy in someone you love’s voice when they call to let you know they finally achieved something they’ve been working toward for a really long time.
46. When you’re reading a book and you find the previous reader’s notes in the margins.
47. Seeing the first sprouts of something you planted and watered and nurtured starting to grow.
48. When you get that first text and realize that they might just be crushin’ on you back.
49. Falling asleep in a freshly made bed.
50. The right to learn.
51. National treasure Lin-Manuel Miranda.
52. New school supplies.
53. This GIF:
54. The smell of new books. And old books. Let's just say books.
55. Chocolate chip cookies, especially warm ones that fall apart when you eat them.
56. Diving for pennies in a pool.
57. Sitting quietly in a room with all the people you love, all doing your own thing, existing together.
58. Hot coffee.
59. Falling in love.
60. Finding money in your pocket.
61. Catching a whiff of something that brings back a memory you’d forgotten.
62. Being a little bit drunk in the girls’ bathroom and making friends with really nice strangers.
63. Running into your childhood teacher after you’re all grown up.
64. Jewel of our nation Michelle Obama.
65. The ability to be silly, even when things are looking bleak.
66. When you get your liquid eyeliner cat-eye perfect on the first try.
67. The ability to form and participate in supportive communities.
68. When a stand-up comedian perfectly explains the thought you’ve had rattling around in your head for years.
69. When you get a haircut and they massage your head a little bit while they wash your hair.
70. Tom Hanks in "Big." Also, Tom Hanks in "Toy Story." Actually, just Tom Hanks.
71. The right to vote in elections.
72. Weirdly inspirational commercials that make you cry.
73. Encouraging notes from strangers in books or in happy graffiti.
74. The right to organize and to support organizations like Black Lives Matter, Planned Parenthood, or the ACLU.
75. Cuddling up inside while it thunderstorms outside your window.
76. A really well-made gin and tonic.
77. Jon Stewart, Samantha Bee, Stephen Colbert, and John Oliver.
78. The rush of sneaky enthusiasm you have for winning a board game.
79. The right to free speech.
80. Girl Scout cookie season.
81. When the perfect bop-along song comes on in the grocery store and you’re in the mood to dance down the freezer aisle.
82. The ability to laugh in the face of adversity.
"I would say laughter is the best medicine. But it's more than that. It's an entire regime of antibiotics and steroids." — Stephen Colbert
83. The kindness of strangers.
84. Giving the perfect Christmas gift.
85. Grandmas on Facebook.
86. Nailing a song when you sing karaoke.
87. The feeling of accomplishment that comes from doing something difficult.
88. When you start crying a little, so then your friend starts crying, and then you laugh because you feel silly for crying, so your friend starts laughing, and you both end up cracking up and covered in tears.