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What do I do now that the election is finally over?

The people have spoken. It was the longest election cycle in history. The ads were endless, the attacks were sometimes ruthless and the gossip was wickedly riveting. But now that it's all over, my big question is: What am I supposed to do with my free time?

I'm coming off an election addiction that feels like I'm trying to kick crack cocaine.

How am I supposed to get through the day without constantly checking CNN or the Huffington Post?

What I am supposed to do on the weekends without monitoring all the political shows and staying up late for "Saturday Night Live"?

And worst of all, what the heck is my family supposed to talk about at dinner now that Sarah Palin's wardrobe is off the table?

I know I had a life before this election, but I'll be darned if I can remember what I did with it.

Sitting at my computer frantically surfing the net and eating cereal out of the box while I watched "Meet the Press" might not qualify as an actual purpose. But it sure felt like one to me.

However, now that all the hoopla is over, I'm floundering.

Our president-elect has suggested that there's actual work to be done, and that rebuilding our economy and our country is job one.

That's all fine and well, but it doesn't sound like as much fun as watching Tina Fey do her pageant walk. I'm all for supporting my country, but I'm starting to get an inkling that Obama is going to expect me to do a little more than just

forward all the funny YouTube videos.

I know Obama isn't the president just yet. But since the current commander isn't venturing out of his house, for all practical purposes, Obama is our leader.

And while he may able to jump from a grueling two-year campaign straight into the job of running our country, I'm a middle-aged woman and I need some rest. I might be the same age as Obama, but he's clearly taking better vitamins.

While he's choosing staff, I'm still whining about how my legs hurt from waiting in a five-hour line to vote.

And while he's reaching out to the other side, I'm still detoxing from all

the fighting.

That's the hardest part of recovering from an election addiction, coming together after it's all decided. Because in the heat of debate, you sometimes forget that the people on the other side, love their country just as much as you do. And that the people you voted against, are just as committed to public service as the people you voted for.

So as part of my own detox, I'd like to pause and say thank you. Thank you to everyone who put their time, energy and hearts into this election. Whether you won or you lost, you showed the world that Americans really do care about our country.

We care enough to vote, we care enough to give money, we care enough to knock on doors and we care enough to disagree. It's an amazing thing, this election process - no guns, no violence, no riots. It all ends with a gracious concession speech from a true American hero and people hugging each other in a public park.

We the people of the United States of America have conducted another election, and frankly, I couldn't be more proud.

Snellville resident Lisa Earle McLeod is a nationally recognized speaker and the author of "Forget Perfect." Contact her at www.forgetperfect.com.