Like so many people with long roots in West Virginia, I have the lovemaking, hard stepping, fight starting, large drinking, genetic and cultural legacy of Ireland and Scotland in me.
It doesn’t matter much that we never owned that or planned events around it when I was young; I know now that ignoring the woven threads of how you were put together does little to nothing to change the cloth.
I suppose the Scotch-Irish piece is, however complex, the “fun” part. It’s Braveheart and bagpipes and line dancing and shamrocks and large families.
The Polish piece, the Eastern European thread, that’s the ever-surprising outlier in my garment.
My friends are asking one another about their “plan for self-care” during this election season and the inevitable point where as a nation we all try to move on, regardless of the outcome.
Regardless of the outcome.
I’ve realized I’ve talked about my Polish side as Stoicism, but that’s not what it is. Stoicism is “indifference to the vicissitudes of fortune and to pleasure and pain.”
That’s not really what’s going on with my Polish side.
It’s not indifference. It’s the technique for managing pain.
So what is my plan? It’s too late to become truly Stoic. My plan is to lean into being truly Polish.
And at first I thought that meant storing potatoes and ignoring my feelings. But then I remembered……
“Whenever Poland fell to foreign powers, Poles would rebel over and over again. Admittedly, most of our uprisings turned out to be crushing defeats, but that didn’t break our spirit ‒ we would simply prepare for the next rebellion. In the end, here we are, free and prosperous.”
That’s my plan.
Prepare for the next rebellion.