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The First 100 Days

Updated: May 13, 2021

You can hardly turn on the television, pick up a newspaper, or listen to even public radio without being on the receiving end of somebody banging on about President Biden’s first 100 days.

What? A new U.S. President’s first 100 days – a somewhat arbitrary length of time – a ritual coined by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt during an address at the height of the Great Depression. There is no magic about 100 days, but it is a nice round number and a healthy length of time to begin to show progress, advancements – promises made moving towards promises kept.

Keeping the promises of executing an effective COVID-19 vaccine plan and surpassing the goal of immunizing 100 million Americans is amazing. It gets us all closer to being able to claim our lives back from the pandemic. Creating economic stimulus by extending more financial support to small businesses, families, and individuals crippled by the pandemic provides much needed support for many who were left to fall between the cracks of transitioning administrations is a great thing.

Rejoining the rest of the globe in pursuit of curbing rapid climate change respects science again, raises public awareness in areas where we have been misguided like the connection between climate change, infectious diseases, and public health, is a wonderful thing. And of course who can argue with advancing discussions around reinvigorating the nation’s crumbling infrastructure, broadly defined, gives neighborhoods and communities across the country hope that new, more accommodating, and safer roads, bridges, and even more are on the way.

But what did individual Americans personally accomplish this first 100 days of this new administration? What promises did you make to yourself and what promises did you keep? After all, we shouldn’t be passive citizens, watching the government do things on our behalf. Within our sphere or cone of influence we can work to achieve little things to become the most productive and contributing members of our societies – becoming better human beings.

What would 100 days on a new diet have looked on you today? What would 100 days of mindful self-care look on you today? What would 100 days of consistent Bible study have gotten you? What would 100 days of going tobacco or weed free have brought you? How much money could you have saved over 100 days if you were being mindful about your spending? Over the same 100 days that President Biden started measuring his progress, I have been working on a few thing in my space.

1. I am watching way less cable TV news – I promise you, I just can’t take it all in like I used to. I no longer need to see and hear, in excruciating detail, this car crash America is experiencing in slow motion with every angle magnified by phrase turning analyst after analyst. After the Biden inauguration, I scaled waaaaaay back on cable news screen time. The polarized debates over topics that are not even policy-based are mind numbing. Back in the mid 1990’s my boss at CNN for one long hot summer, Bill Headline, told me that the news business was going to change into something totally unrecognizable. Who knew that the seat of our legislative power in Washington, DC, American democracy would become equally unrecognizable, leaving cable news with nothing to report, short of a reality show with a cast of overpaid, disingenuous, liars, too ugly for Hollywood, and just right for cable news.

2. Increased my automatic deductions and deposits into savings and retirement. Since I haven’t had to pay for weekly fill ups for my car, tolls, lunches, coffees, and random shopping sprees there has been a bit more to sock away.

3. I was invited to give another guest lecture at American University - Periodically I am asked to give a guest lecture in the School of Public Health. The professor that invites me is so supportive of me and also the non-profit women’s health and wellness organization that I co-Executive Direct. I absolutely love it; preparing the lecture, researching a relevant or timely topic, rehearsing the presentation, the butterflies just before delivering the lecture and the joy of connecting enough with students that they ask engaging questions and contact you afterwards. I may have missed a calling. I feel like I’ve reached a point in my life where I can pay it forward more.

4. I adopted a shelter kitty – I’ve had a couple of cats before, but this time I adopted a black and chocolate brown short haired kitty with the biggest beautiful eyes, named Lily. Outside of her early pre-dawn wake ups, her finicky eating habits, and her inability to bring me things other than her toy mouse clinched between her teeth because she doesn’t have opposable thumbs, LOL, she is absolutely the coolest cat. See if I feel the same after the next 100 days.

5. I significantly changed by diet – I’ve blogged about this in the past, but I decided that I was done with short term, quick fix diets, but wanted to make a major change that would increase and improve my health all around. I can be a pretty active person, cycling, hiking, walking, water classes, but the weight was not shifting and the blood pressure was not moving. I’ve connected with an interesting community of folks who are eating plant-based, lower fat, high carbohydrate diets. So far I am feeling good, seeing improvement in health stats, and learning to do amazing things with whole foods and new herbs and spices.

6. I'm setting new boundaries and eliminating toxic, full friction relationships – Anybody clinging to the argument that the 2020 election wasn’t fair or legal or that Joe Biden isn’t the legitimate president, or anyone who is trying to play down the storming of the U.S. Capitol on January 6th can forget about me calling them back, engaging with me on social media, and can expect for me to tell you to get off of my phone or get hung up on.

I’ll warn you that I’m going to hang up, but know that I mean it and don’t call me back. I no longer have the patience or feel I owe you the courtesy of conducting meaningless full friction discussions contesting your nonsense in an effort to maintain my sanity. The last time that the U.S. Capitol was stormed by the British it was burned. That remains an embarrassing moment in U.S. history. This time, because it was a domestic hit, it is not just embarrassing, but criminal.

Kinda boring, eh? Well, I’m just getting started on my second 100 days. What are you planning to do?

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