My first impulse is to bury my head in the sand but it’s really hard to eat ice cream that way.
Second impulse is to read and watch the news; everything related to the troubles: what is going on with the crazy rhetoric about nuclear war, neo-nazis violently attacking protesters, acts of terror, hate unleashed! That lasts a while until I have to step away from the news websites and podcasts or my head will explode.
Third impulse, and I have to admit this one is strong, is to look for a way to run away, pretend it’s not happening, without feeling guilty.
How can I be a good citizen and remain sane enough to live my little life?
I tried out this recipe over the weekend and it worked pretty well:
One Part Connection: I believe in being an informed citizenry. I believe that in a democracy it is essential. It’s not easy when we are all in our silos not listening enough to each other. But I do believe that the great majority of humanity is Good. We have similar-enough core values if we could just tolerate, even embrace, what makes us different. So I try to consume the news in small, digestible bites from sources I trust, even if that means being uncomfortable.
One Part Escape: I was so relieved when I saw this article “To Stay Sane Read More Celebrity Gossip”. Yes! That’s perfect. So is meditation which allows the overstuffed head to let go of all the nasty. So is reading a damn book about someone else’s life. Watching a movie where things explode and no one gets hurt. Binge watch a favorite series (I’m partial to The Great British Baking Show right now. So soothing! Or Grey’s Anatomy. So much cathartic fictional drama!) Listening to music. Visiting Annie and my friends at the barn. Going for a ride. You get the picture.
Three Parts Living My Imperfectly Good Little Life the best I can: This is where I believe we have the most in common, all of us, with each other. We just want to live our lives the best way we know how. That includes everything from pulling up weeds in the over-run flower beds, working our day-job, taking care of business, caring for a sick relative, paying bills, catching up on emails, calling my sisters who live far away, grocery shopping, hell, even taking a shower!
Self-care is recognizing that, while we aren’t the center of the Universe, we are the center of our lives. People depend on us. We need harmony to function at our best. Give yourself permission to escape periodically, refresh, focus on your life and vote.