However, now we have the mad monk and many of my family and my Facebook and Twitter firends are in despair. So I want to offer some tips that I will use to survive the next three years.
1. Is to say thank you to Van Badham for this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m5tnjPa8D7s&feature=share which certainly helped lift my spirits this morning.
2. Celebrate the people in life that bring joy and ground me, including my dog, my family and my friends.I will try to be kinder to them, to let them know how important they are to me and acknowledge and celebrate the ways in which they contribute to the world being a better place.
3. Find ways to get involved in more grassroots political movements like this one http://earthwiseharmony.com/CONNECT/EH-Transition-Towns-Australia.html and in my local community so I know I can work towards making a difference no matter who is in power.
4. Work towards creating a smaller footprint. Now this is a hard one for me, I drive to work, I have a beach house which I drive to whenever I can, I sometimes even am so lazy I drive the dog to the park when I take her for a walk! So more solar panels, less driving, less reliance on power driven gadgets (but not giving up my Ipad).
5. Eat well and drink well. Use fresh vegetables from my garden or local market gardeners to give goodness and nourishment. Hang out for free range meats like chicken and bacon. So if pay a little more, I'll eat a little less. Buy organic when I can, yes I know you can't always trust the labelling, but at least if it's labelled organic there is more likelihood that it will be than if it's not. Drink good wine (and the occasional spirits like Gin and Tonic) when I can afford it and if I can't afford the good stuff then go without. Savour tastes, smells and the look of the food I put on my table. Take time to prepare meals properly and appreciate the work that I and others have put into it.
6. Feel the sunshine on my skin, the feeling of the water when I swim, the joy of the wind when I cycle, the breeze blowing up from the sea. Take time to smell and feel close to the roses, the native flowers, the fuschias that grow wild along the coast in spring. Have fresh flowers in the house all the time. Listen to and savor the birdsongs, the possums playing on the roof, the laughter of children and create and listen to music.
7. Take a stand, get angry - remember that 'the behaviour you walk past is the behaviour you accept'. So whenever someone says or does something that I find offensive or disagree with, I'll let them know. Politely if I can, with humour when I can, but I will try not to just listen and nod or let it go past. Respect others have a right to their opinions but I have a right to mine and have a right to express those opinions without harming or causing offense to others. (unless they are right wing, bigotted, conservatives who will be offended by anyone just having an opinion different to theirs, never mind expressing it)
8. Avoid shock jocks and the right wing bigotted conservatives -(does that mean left wing bigotted conservatives are okay - probably not!) avoid bigotted people in general and dont; liten to or read their rants. My stance is not to pay for newspapers anymore, though I admit to reading them at work and in cafes where I don't have to pay, so I can stay in touch with the world around me. Turn off people like Jon Faine or The Drum when they annoy me and I'll let them know I am doing that. Don't get sucked in to behaving like the trolls and use personal or obscene insults.
9. Find political analysts and commentators that I can respect and read and listen to them. That doesn't mean looking for people who say only what I want to hear but people who provide a reasoned position, don't resort to personal attacks or insults and can support what they say with an argument that makes sense even if, in the end, I don't agree.
10. Live life with joy and vigor - get out there and talk and dance and listen to and play music. Go to places where there are like minded people. Shout and cry and laugh and enjoy the quiet when it's appropriate. Find places that ground me and lift my spirit and go there frequently. For you it might be a tree in a nearby park or a magnificent waterfall, or a good cafe, or a spot in your home, whatever it is, find it and enjoy it and seek solace when you need it. Take time to watch the sunrise (or if you are a late riser like me, the sunset). But look at up at the sky whenever you can.
And hopefully in 3 years time if we all work at saying what we think and encouraging others around us to think and argue and look at what's on offer we can vote for a positive change and someone like Tanya Plibersek or Kate Ellis can be a Prime Minister that we can be proud of again.