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Midterms 101: What You Should Know About the Elections

September 25,2018 22:09

This week, we were joined by another contributor to The Edit, Ebony Miranda, to talk to a few members of The New York Times politics team about the midterm elections and what we should know about them. Joe Jurado: Why are midterms important? If we're ...


Last week, Ian Caveny wrote about his move from a big city to a small town. We asked you if you’ve ever made a big move, and many of you wrote in. Here’s what some of you said:
After high school, instead of going straight to college like many of my friends, I moved to Busesa, a rural village in Uganda, for six months to work in a school and teach science. It was a drastic move, to say the least, but I think at that point in my life it was a welcomed change from my childhood in Kansas City. It took awhile to get used to it, but I began spending much more time at my school, as well as making friends in the village, so that I was constantly hanging out with someone or learning a new skill (like how to know when your goat is in heat! Yes, I'm serious). — Julia Davis
In 2011, my husband and I left Red Hook, Brooklyn for his tiny, rural hometown of Fort Bragg, Calif. Fort Bragg’s population hovers around 7,000. Almost immediately, I hated it. I missed our community garden, walking everywhere, the museums, the food, the hustle and the bustle of New York, the diversity, the feeling that anything and everything was just around the corner. We lasted 11 months in Fort Bragg.
I took a job teaching in Detroit for a year then made it back to Brooklyn. We stayed on in New York for three more years before finally succumbing to the realization that Fort Bragg had a lot to offer. I missed seeing the Pacific every day, the pleasant commutes, the kindness of everyone I met, the joyous bounty of the weekly farmer’s market, the rugged beauty, and of course, the absolutely ideal marine climate. We’ve been living here for a little over two years now and just purchased a house last October. We can hear the roar of the ocean from our backyard and there is so much small-town charm here from the Labor Day Paul Bunyan festivities (logging remains a big industry here) to the light-up truck parade at Christmastime. I feel very fortunate to call this lovely little town home. Now if only I could afford to keep an apartment in New York for visits... — Amy Sarisky
The day before our big move, we visited Chicago's Field Museum, fine dined downtown and ended our day attending a Grant Park Symphony Orchestra concert. Two days later we arrived at Esterbrook, Wyo. With our arrival, the town grew from nine to 11 inhabitants. It was 19 miles by gravel road from a town of less than 4,000. Fine dining consisted of Friday night potlucks where neighbors competed for the most exotic dish. Roasted rattler anyone? How about porcupine stew? Our neighbors were just as interesting as our meals. One day, two of them got into a dispute over a barking dog. They argued, tempers flared and soon the dog was shot dead. Twenty minutes later the dispute was settled when the culprit was shot in the knee by the dog owner. We saw both of them a month later at our Friday potluck. One was limping badly. They had decided things had gotten a bit out of hand, but there were no hard feelings.
And then there was us, well educated in everything useless for life on the Wyoming range. Discussing current events was difficult. There was no national news since there was no available TV. There were no newspapers. The lead story on the local radio station one day was the hours the cemetery would be open for Memorial Day. So, how did we do? Not so well. We lasted a year, then moved into the town of nearly 4,000. — James Taylor

Tiernaur Anderson, a junior at Columbia University, sent us a problem to figure out this week:

I have a tendency to throw myself at a lot of things, and then slowly quit and back out of commitments as I find my overwhelming schedule taking a toll on my physical and mental health. But with this comes an immense amount of guilt, especially as I see my peers taking on more and more and toughing out the sleepless nights and lunch-less days. Last year, I tried to do it all in order to avoid this guilt and to keep up with my friends. It ended very badly. By the end of the spring semester, all this stress had exacerbated a chronic health issue I have, and my health and spirits were at an all-time low. I ended up having to take a step back and spend my summer at home focused on my wellness.
Now, I can feel myself slipping back in to the same pattern of overcommitting myself. As I see it, my options are either backing out of said commitments and spending my then less-busy days feeling guilty, or sticking with everything I have committed to and trying to balance it all without letting it affect my health. I don’t like either of these options! What do I do?!

Tim Herrera, the founding editor of Smarter Living, has done a lot of thinking about this, so we invited him to weigh in. Here’s what he said:
I love this question because it’s something that all of us struggle with, but there’s an incredibly simple, beautiful mantra I stumbled across years ago to deal with it: If it’s not a hell yeah, it’s a no.

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