Keeping it Sane on This Side of the Pond
The constant chaos and turmoil of this U.S. presidency is wearing on me. I have political fatigue and have been looking for ways to preserve my sanity and the better parts of my nature. But I still live with constant fear – even though I am not prone to anxiety. I feel like I am constantly loosing my balance.
I read a post, “Keeping it Sane” by my blogging-buddy, Isobel, who lives in London. She wrote about the Brexit fatigue she is feeling. She shared a couple of ways she is trying to cope with the political and economic turmoil caused by Brexit, asking how others are coping. I started to write a comment that was getting really long so I decided I needed to write a post on the topic of my political fatigue here in the U.S. I don’t have a good comprehension of the issues involved with Brexit because the U.S. news gives it the same cursory coverage that it gives most foreign news. I also don’t have the inbred understanding of their political system as I do ours, gained from growing up in school systems that taught civics. All the same, it seemed like I could have exchanged words from our political situation with words Isobel used, and the meaning would have been the same. I could identify with what Isobel said.
Sometimes I don’t feel like I can win in this tug of war between wanting to know what is happening and wanting to hide under a rock. However, I know I can’t be edified by the president. Like Isobel, I walk out of the room or turn off the TV when Trump is speaking because he tells so many lies that I can’t discern what is the truth. He is also inarticulate in his speaking. When he speaks he doesn’t say anything that has coherent meaning, and I find this very frustrating. Not listening to him helps to keep me cool.
I am also limiting the amount of time that I listen to political news. Our news cycle seems to move so quickly because of a president who tweets from the hip without knowledge or discernment. I have believed that I need to keep abreast of each breaking news story but so much of the breaking news is a repeat of last hour’s breaking news. With so much political chaos I have decided that I only need to know the summary, the really important stuff.
I have found that Rachael Maddow does the best job of giving the facts about the most important political developments, researching historical events that shed light on current events, and connecting the dots so I can understand the political players and how they are impacting on what I believe are the important issues. She does it with humor and intelligence so I end up feeling that we can fight evil and work for what is best for the common good. I also keep informed by obtaining periodic news updates from several other sources (both conservative and liberal) and read in-depth reports on issues that are of special interest to me.
This chaos and assault on our society and democracy has made me aware of the values that are so precious to our democracy, like a free press, an independent judiciary, and a voting process that is free of political interference. These values were so much a part of my being that I wasn’t aware of how fragile they can be when people who are unethical start a systematic war against them. I am becoming wiser, even in my old age. Life is good as long as I can keep learning and feeling strong. Yes, life is good when I can fight in my small ways for justice and kindness and democracy.
So I watch my nutrition and keep exercising so my brain stays strong and my body healthy. I work at not letting bad people make me nasty and naughty – I practice good manners and treat all people with respect. And the time freed up from not watching political talk I spend in creative projects, making my environment beautiful and peaceful, and engaging in healthy social relationships to keep my mood on a level keel.
I hope my U.S. readers are keeping themselves politically informed from several credible sources but also maintaining a personal lifestyle that works towards solutions instead of weakening our society. And please, please, please work towards what is good for the least among us so that all can be productive participants in our social and economic systems.
How wonderful it would be if everyone could say that life is good in spite of personal hardships and challenges.