I’ve made the same joke three times this week. When I find one that works, I just keep using it. I’m a 65 year old man. I just keep saying, “I need football season to start so I can be disappointed in something besides politics.” It’s kind of a joke. But mostly it’s true.
I’m worn out, you guys. I view things from a certain political angle, and yours may be different. And believe it or not, I am actually totally fine with that. I’ve always found it frustrating that we are all supposed to fit in two big buckets. I can believe in equal rights and tax reform. I can be socially liberal and fiscally conservative. There is currently no home for those who vote, act and advocate based on issues, not on straight party lines.
Which leads me to where I am now. Exhausted. There is so much outrage each day in the news. It doesn’t even matter which news you are watching. Every single person is outraged. And angry. And there seem to be very few people who are working for the good of us all. But there sure seem to be a lot of people working to prove the other side wrong. It is all so tiring to watch.
I’ve always kind of poo-pooed people who “have to step away from Facebook.” What’s the problem, I wonder. Just hide “those people.” Just scroll past the stuff you don’t like. It’s not that big of deal. And yet, I find myself, in this moment, torn to open Twitter. It’s so divisive. There are so many Chicken Littles with verified blue checks that if you spend too much time in that space you really do start to believe the sky is falling.
And that, my friends, is not good for my mental health. I have to find a balance between staying informed without being alarmed. Is that even possible? I’m not so sure, but I’m going to try. I’ve got some ideas of things I’m going to try to bring a little harmony and delete some outrage.
- Writing. Like real writing. I read something the other day that I found so profound and inspiring, it made me want to quit my job and become a writer. I didn’t, of course, because you know, responsibilities, but I am going to carve out writing time. Set goals. Small goals (sign up for classes, set word count goals per week). Big goals (write essays, get published, work on a book).
- Yoga and meditating. I’ve never done either. Well, I’ve done yoga in my room via DVD, but maybe I can actually get over my fear and go to a class. Maybe. Also, meditating. Any tips? Can I learn how to do it on YouTube?
- Running and spinning. As cliche as it sounds, sometimes the only time my mind is free is while running. Or spinning. I can’t believe I’ve become someone who finds exercise therapeutic.
- Reduce. I’m cutting back on who I’m following on Twitter. More comedy. Less, “THIS IS IT, PEOPLE! THE END IS NEAR!” I can set those little birds free. The fun thing about the internet is that I know where to find them if I need them later. Fun fact: I’m positive I don’t need them.
I have zero intention of playing down last weekend’s events. I can firmly say that I will always be outraged by Nazis and white supremacy, that’s not going to change. But the political controversy-a-day environment I’m currently swimming through is more than I can handle. Politically, I need things to be somewhere in between VEEP and Scandal. I would throw House of Cards in there, but it’s just a tad too murdery for real life.
As I get older, I’m finally starting to realize that if something is making me miserable, maybe removing that thing is the right choice. Remember my favorite quote? Nothing changes if nothing changes. So I’m making changes.
It would be helpful if the people running this country, all of them, could pull it together as well. So let’s all try to focus on bettering ourselves rather than battling those with whom we disagree.