I sometimes get what I think of as my “America feeling.” Usually when I get this feeling, it’s so strong that I actually choke up.
It hits me at the oddest time. For instance, I felt it when I got my daughter’s emergency passport, and the officer was giving us our directions. (You can hear me tell the story on episode 31 of the podcast: “If you have an appointment, you’re in line A, for ‘appointment’; if not, you’re in line B, for ‘bad planning.’”)
I felt it during the musical Hamilton — for instance, during this part.
I get the America feeling whenever I vote. I love to vote. It gives me such a feeling of accomplishment and participation.
Also, writing Happier at Home made me more attuned to the feeling not only of “home” but also of “neighborhood.” Voting is always a great neighborhood experience for me.
Today when I signed the voting register, I saw the signatures of my husband and my mother-in-law (we live around the corner from my in-laws, and I mean right around the corner); my father-in-law’s name is on the flip side.
I had a nice chat with the people on either side of me in line, plus we saw Paul McCartney walk by! It was a very friendly neighborhood experience.
This has been a tough election cycle. Voting reminded me of how grateful I am. Grateful for my family and my neighborhood and my country. Gratitude for democracy and the ability to vote. These elements of my life are so easy to take for granted, and yet play such an important part of my daily happiness.