Keeping it Sane on This Side of the Pond

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“Longfellows” glass figures created by Hans Godo Frabel.

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.

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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.

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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.

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How wonderful it would be if everyone could say that life is good in spite of personal hardships and challenges.

17 Comments »

  1. Just finished watching Rachel and now it’s Lawrence who is another if my favourite presenters. I just wonder where this is all going to end. I do have a crystal ball but it’s silent. 😳 Love your beautiful images, Pat.

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  2. I approved the link last night without reading this, knowing I could trust you. I was right. I read this, nodding my head every few words. The paragraph which starts ‘The chaos and assault…’ speeds up my nodding. Here, Nigel Farage has started a new Brexit party, distancing himself from the reality f what he unleashed, talking about lies and betrayal. He is getting huge amount of coverage, and little questioning. https://twitter.com/baghdaddi/status/1117657939957956609?s=21 You will, I think, appreciate this Ted talk https://twitter.com/davidlammy/status/1118410973885489152?s=21
    And for clarity try @mrjamesob on Twitter.
    Thanks Pat.

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    • I heard or read that Robert Murdock is the least common denominator between what is happening in the US, England and France. He has publications in all these areas and they are incindiary and full of lies and misleading information. I bet with a new Brexit party you will have a tabliod owned my Murdock that is the mouthpiece. We have Fox News. What you describe is so familiar to what Trump is doing.

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      • Rupert? Several of our tabloids, not all owned by Murdoch, champion these xenophobic, nationalistic views. The Mail supported Hitler. Says it all really.

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        • Yes, Rupert.. I am glued to the TV today as the Mueller is being discussed. I am on the side of feeling positive that all will work out for good in my wild emotional swings. I probably should enjoy it while it lasts. 🙂

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  3. Both Brexit and the Trump Administration were created by foreign interference in our elections, in which Russia tried (and succeeded) to play off fear and nativism to create an impossible situation. The sh*t hit the walls two years ago, and I am never a happy person when I have to clean sh*t off walls.

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