By Guest Blogger, Joanie Shawhan
Swings. Swings conjure up memories of my carefree childhood. Higher and higher I flew. I grabbed the chains, pumped my feet and sang at the top of my lungs. But life in a “swing” state has violated this childlike innocence.
A new kind of violence has emerged–political assassination. Traditional commercials bowed to scandalmongering campaign ads. Even Fact Check struggled to sift the truth from the lies.
Debates replaced primetime shows, making the boxing ring appear to be a two-step. Shout. Sneer. Interrupt. Raise a fist. The match is on! Fight over, (oops, debate over). A winner declared.
The presidential campaign trail led to my city not once, but twice! With two large lakes surrounding us, the traffic was rerouted to make way for the entourage of 18 police motorcycles, two black limos with darkened windows, followed by a train of white vans loaded with the press corps. We waited at stoplights while the lights changed from red, to green, to red… No alternate route. Streets barricaded. The 9-5 work force hindered. For security reasons, university classes cancelled.
Robo callers barraged my voicemail with unsolicited political opinions. “Unknown Number” inundated my private phone line, overtaking the volume of personal calls. As the election approached the finish line, I performed the one act that any self-respecting person would do¬–take the phone off the hook.
Now, the election is over. Promises made only to be broken. The other driver, my only traffic hindrance. Verbal assaults and slander return to the soap operas, violence to primetime. The phone is silent. (Did I put it back on the hook?). Chili’s fired-up favorites, adventures in the F4 pick-up and the breakfast of champions have made a peaceful return to my commercial screen. With multiple reruns, education for the aging population is underway once again featuring Boniva, Ginkgo Biloba, Lifeline and Depends.
Santa, snowmen and twinkling Christmas lights will soon replace glaring yard signs. Life is back to normal in the “swing” state.
Joanie Shawhan is an ovarian cancer survivor and a registered nurse. She writes articles of encouragement for women undergoing chemotherapy and is available for speaking engagements. Two of her articles have recently appeared in Coping with Cancer magazine. Joanie enjoys designing jewelry, knitting, and playing guitar.