WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- Are you frustrated? Embarrassed? Or just feel like saying "Really?"
What's the one word you'd use to describe your feelings about the shutdown?
We asked dozens of people on Capitol Hill and in Dupont Circle, and heard some words we can't type here. Some we can: "un-American," "embarrassing," "asinine," "frustrating," "upsetting," "unfortunate," "confusing" and "crippling" to name a few.
For so many days and in so many ways, the frustration is palpable, even if you're not a federal worker, says Mary Bliss of NW DC says, "Your local sub sandwich place is shut down, your local bars are shut down because there's no federal employees to come in to eat."
Darcy Waugh works in retail in Dupont Circle, "We are surrounded by government offices and we are excited for people to come back to work and start spending money. So we are waiting anxiously."
We asked Dr. Mary Alvord, a psychologist that focuses on resilience in the face of adversity how people can cope when they feel as if Congress has held them hostage, "If we are worried about controlling the outside which we can't, then we feel helpless. We can't control that aspect. But we can control what we do with our thoughts, we can control what we do with our life, routines, our family, our friends so we actually have a lot of control over sort of the smaller world that we live in."
In short, control what you can, and know the difference.
Tonight, we dispensed Alvord's professional advice, and gave people an outlet consisting of a whiteboard and a magic marker.
Tia Buroughs from Philadelphia is in town for a conference and is upset she can't visit the National Zoo, even though her tax dollars go to pay for it, "It is worrisome to be living in a country where this is happening. This isn't what you think about when you think about the United States."
We asked Alvord if there's ever a good time to yell and stamp your feet? Her answer, "In the privacy of your own home so it's not affecting anyone else. It's still better to get into the habit of what can I do about this?"