I have exactly one thing to thank our outgoing president for: my diary habit.
I have always kept notebooks, but starting in January 2017, I started keeping an old-fashioned, bonafide diary. 3+ pages every morning, no matter what. (Before anybody asks me what brand of notebooks I use, just shop here.) I realized early on in this administration, I was going to need a good place to have bad ideas, a place not Twitter, to shout into the void.
My diary habit led to starting to blog daily again in October 2017, and by February 2018, I had the “How To Keep Going” talk written. That talk led to Keep Going the book, which came out in 2019. So, I guess I could thank the ex-president for the end of the trilogy, too, considering I wrote it as an answer to the question, “What if we have to live through a second term?” (I did not anticipate that “second term” would be swapped out for “global pandemic.”)
I forgot, somehow, that the original ending of the talk was: “Spend time on something that will outlast them.” This was based on the Leonard Woolf “Planting Iris” story I wrapped the talk with:
For the book we went with the more — positive? — line, “Plant your garden,” which was a better container for thinking about seasonal time. But I still like that original advice: “Spend time on something that will outlast them.”
What seeds are you planting now that will flower long after this pandemic, this administration, the administration after that… maybe even your life?