Women’s March on Washington ~

I’m pretty sure it’s not a real thing, but I’m also pretty sure I have a Women’s March on Washington hangover.  I woke up with a headache, my body aches and I’m beyond tired.  But at the same time I’ve never felt more empowered.  #protesthangover.  We left home at 7:00 a.m. yesterday morning and didn’t make it back until 10:00 p.m.  To say it was a long day, well… judge for yourself.

Rude Awakenings

When you’re retired, alarm clocks are only for absolute necessities. You know, like making sure you get out of bed to go join 100’s of thousands of protestors in the streets of our nation’s capital.  So when the alarm squawked at us at 6:30 a.m. it was in fact what’s known as a rude awakening.

Because we wanted to march with our peeps, we drove 45 minutes to Virginia to meet our little march contingent and from there we headed to the Metro Station.  As we stood on the platform and watched 1, 2, 3 trains packed like sardines pass by, it was time for Plan B.  We hopped on a train traveling in the opposite direction, rode it to the end, and then happily sat back as the train reversed itself and headed back toward DC.

We chose to stay on the Metro long enough to bypass the march area – and packed stations – so by the time we exited the Metro it was probably close to 10:30.  Not wanting to stand in one place for the 3-hour rally, we decided sustenance was a far better choice so we took ourselves out for a hearty breakfast.

Washington, DC

The city of Washington DC is a beautiful city with so much to offer visitors and locals alike.  And, it is a city well-trained in handling large crowds and events.  Seemingly though, two back-to-back events (inauguration/march) were a bit too much and I’m pretty sure someone in authority just threw up their arms and said, “What the hell?”  What was supposed to be 200,000 people marching along Independence Avenue, in a nice orderly fashion, turned out to be 500,000 people marching throughout the streets of the National Mall and downtown core.  In my head, epic, is the only word I’ve been able to come up with to describe the day, and it doesn’t even begin to do justice.  No one saw this coming.  And, not just in Washington, DC but in cities all over the country and all over the world.  It was epic.

Truthfully, I was not always on board with attending the march.  I’m not particularly comfortable in large crowds and I was somewhat nervous about the concept of a peaceful protest turning confrontational.  But, it didn’t happen.  We marched and protested for maybe 4 hours and we saw nothing but respect for everyone in attendance.  It’s my understanding there were zero arrests and zero confrontations.  There was definitely a police presence, but again, the massive number of people in the street was way beyond what anyone – city officials, police and organizers alike – could have imagined.  I’ve never in my life seen so many people in one place and I doubt I ever will again.  It was empowering, it was inspiring, it was exhausting and it was exhilarating.  It was epic.

Pennsylvania Avenue

If you’ve seen reports on television or online, you’re probably thinking, how did anyone even begin to move let alone march in that sea of people?  There were times when we were gridlocked, no doubt about that, but there were definite opportunities to march as well and I think I felt the most inspired as we marched along Pennsylvania Avenue; the iconic parade route of presidents.  Drums beating, crowds cheering, chants rising above the din, it filled my ears and my head and it reminded me that we each have a voice and it’s up to each of us to decide how to make ourselves heard.

Sometime around 4:00 ish, we decided to make our way to a Metro station to head home, along with 1,000’s of others.  Knowing we’d be standing – and standing – for a minimum of one hour, probably two, before we’d be able to get on a train we collectively said, “Let’s go!” We left the station and walked another three miles to a distant Metro Station to catch a train, but not before stopping to once again gain sustenance, this time with pizza, sliders, beer, wine and cocktails.  Once off the Metro at 9:00 p.m., it was back in the car for 45 minutes before reaching home and literally falling in to bed.  It was a 15-hour day, but it was beyond glorious.  It was, epic.

Buckle Up!

I learned a lot yesterday, not only about myself but also about this thing called freedom of speech and what it means to live in a democratic society.  I pushed myself way out of my comfort zone to march in peaceful protest and as I wrote in my last post, it was scary to do so, but it was deliciously scary.  If someone who knows me well had said to me 5 years ago that I would be marching among 500,000 people through the streets of Washington, DC, I would have laughed in their face.  But I did it and being there at the Women’s March on Washington was completely life affirming.

Never let anyone define your path by their standards.  I’ve planted both feet into my sixth decade and I think I better buckle up because it looks as if redefining our path of retirement is going to be quite the ride.  It’s going to be epic.

march on washington

It’s a beautiful building and I never get tired of looking at it. It represents so much.

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32 Responses to Women’s March on Washington ~

  • What a feeling of exhilaration you must have today Patti, after an EPIC weekend participating in an historic event. I’m so glad you stepped out of your comfort zone and translated your words into action. I applaud you and take my hat off (pink with ears) in a salute. Good on you and good on the hundreds of thousands who marched around the world!
    Anita @ No Particular Place To Go recently posted…Caballerizas Reales de Cordoba and The Andalusian Horses of SpainMy Profile

  • Patti, not only have you become an activist, you have become an inspiring writer. Kudos to you for giving us the real feel of your day. I am proud of you, Pushy Broad.

  • Thanks for sharing your experience. Brilliant idea to travel to the end of the line and then ride back in. I’ve done that in elevators. I couldn’t attend any marches because of our travel schedule, but I was glad to be able to be there vicariously through your account and those of other friends.
    Suzanne Fluhr recently posted…Zentangle Diva Challenge #299 – Hawaii Bound EditionMy Profile

    • We were at the 2nd stop on the Metro line and quickly realized we were not going to get on a train. Fortunately, I think we had the idea to reverse direction before so many others got the same idea. The trains were packed and at each stop we had to wait for the train in front of us to clear the platform before we could stop at the same platform. Aside from the massive crowds, Metro did run smoothly.

  • I marched in Houston and had a #protesthangover too! It was epic! Looking forward to continuing the fight together!

    • So glad you had the opportunity to march, Jennifer. That day after was exhausting, but well-worth it! And, yes, time to fight the good fight together.

  • I don’t do crowds either but was there in spirit. Thank you for challenging yourself. I can feel the positive vibes from around the world. An epic beginning.

  • Epic indeed! It was amazing to see on the news the attendance at marches all over the U.S. and in other parts of the world. There was a march here in Winnipeg, Canada too. I didn’t participate but supported all the marches in spirit. As Neale Donald Walsch said, “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.”

    • It was amazing, Donna, to see so many people taking to the streets all over the world. I love that quote, “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” Definitely marching alongside 500,000 people pushed me out of my comfort zone and I’ll hold that with me for years to come.

  • I’m amazed that the rest of the world joined it. It’s definitely epic. Good for you.

    • I was blown away by the crowds in Washington, DC and when we saw the news coverage from around the world, it was so validating!

  • What a fantastic day. I went to the march in Ventura California. Not nearly as big but still great. Love the idea of going back the wrong way on the subway. Got to remember that.
    The GypsyNesters recently posted…Extra! Extra! Read All About It! New York Times Picks GypsyNesters as Travel Experts!My Profile

    • I’m so glad you got to march! Yes, on the subway – Fortunately, it was only 1 stop back so we didn’t lose too much time, but it’s a great trick!

  • Wow, what an experience and yes it was epic with over 500K + people – I did the march in Oakland and it had over 100K+ and that was just incredible to witness.

    • I’m so glad you were able to join a march, Noel! It was indeed an incredible day in so many ways. History in the making!

  • It looks like it was an incredible experience and well done for overcoming your fears to attend. Had I been in America or Europe I would have tried to march too. It’s so heartening to see people all around the world joining together peacefully to protest. You’re right, this is definitely history in the making!
    Amy recently posted…We just got married in Thailand!My Profile

  • HI, Patti. What an experience you have had by participating in the Women’s March. Sounds like a once in a lifetime experience you will always remember.
    Doreen Pendgracs recently posted…Swiss chocolate travel to VeveyMy Profile

    • Definitely a grand moment in time, something I will carry with me for the rest of my life. It just goes to show what good intentions can accomplish world wide.

  • Patti, I salute you for pushing yourself to do something scary and out of your comfort zone. I find big crowds quite terrifying, but it was a peaceful march and it certainly must have felt very rewarding to be part of the demonstration and make history. Thanks for writing about your experience, the little film clips helped to get the feeling of it
    Gilda Baxter recently posted…Amsterdam A City Below Sea LevelMy Profile

    • Thanks so much, Gilda, it was well-worth me giving myself a good nudge. I still can’t quite wrap my head around the experience and how much of an impact it had on me – and Abi.

  • Really interesting post. Looks like place worth to visit. 🙂

  • I think that word “epic” really fits. I used to attend marches as a child with my parents (anti-Vietnam war and civil rights) and as a college kid I attended marches addressing issues in Central America. So joining the women’s march in Amsterdam decades later was a return for me, rather than a first time, and you’re right, it was exhilarating.

  • Good for you Patti! Like you I was apprehensive about going to the March. We had many friends who headed off to Washington but we settled on marching here in Chicago. What a turnout! We thankfully arrived at 8am so beat the unexpectedly large crowd. I’m so glad we decided to go it is something I’ll never forget. So empowering and so hopeful.
    Sue Reddel recently posted…Bootler Brings All Your Favorite Meals HomeMy Profile

    • Completely agree, Sue. It was definitely an experience that I will carry with me for a lifetime. So glad you were able to get out and march!

  • Thank you for representing for those who couldn’t be there .

  • I saw your comment on GeoGypsy and just had to come read your post on fighting the good fight”. Thanks for doing this for us all. Wish I could have been there (or at any of the ones in other cities); what you all did was inspiring and I plan to take part in following through with the suggestions that have been posted.

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We are Patti and Abi. We retired early to live a simpler life, travel the world and hopefully, inspire others to redefine retirement.

 

2 years, 290 days ago!

 

 

 

 

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