How many of you watch the news or read newspapers? I'm supposing around 50%.
I have always been a bit of a news hound. From high school days I would read the Sunday papers. Once I started working I always had a variety of magazines and newspapers on hand. I would read the paper at work every day, plus log on line a few times a day to check headlines, watch the main news bulletin at night and read the weekend papers, together with a variety of magazines.
Then I got sick. As most of you know Kyle has a personality disorder. I know I'm not supposed to label it, however the child is in Boys Town and it isn't because he is up for Saint of the Year. My life became hugely complicated as a result and I suffered various episodes of anxiety, panic attacks and of late depression - that's just the psychological. In the last 3 years I've added Diabetes, a forced hysterectomy due to stress related uncontrolled bleeding, weakening eyesight and the latest Adrenal Fatigue - which screws up EVERYTHING else both physical and psychological... how joyful. Anyway I'm slowly getting back on track... except for the occasional passing out while driving.... (just kidding that's getting better too!)
Also an open secret is the fact that I see a Psychologist once a week.
She realised very quickly that I become very 'invested' in news. Things work on me. I take an alarmingly personal interest in news events. So she banned the News. According to her my mind didn't need the additional stress. I needed to focus on myself and I wasn't doing that by worrying about what was happening in some far off place and over which I had no influence or control.
It's been about 6 months and I must say it has made a difference. It's made me aware that there are simply some battles I can't fight. While I feel deeply about the injustice of the world getting myself into a situation where it consumes me does not help me focus on the here and now. And in fact I think I was using it as a shield. It was easier to focus outside then try and focus on the inside. Or deal with Kyle.
But it is a catch-22.
I do at times feel out of touch with world events. I'll pick up a headline or catch something in passing on Facebook and have to go searching for more on the story, whereas before I would have had the information at my finger tips. It can be incredibly frustrating.
I've tried to develop different habits to keep in touch. I skim the morning headlines at work and will read the Sunday paper. But I don't read it cover to cover. I avoid reading too much detail, in particular if the story involves violence. If there is something of importance, for example the Ferguson issue that has been so much in the news, then I will follow it as much as I can by catching a few news bulletins on TV.
I've found other blogs to be a wonderful source of information and opinions. Instead of just reporting the 'facts' a blog post will give a more personal feeling and connect you to a story and if you are wanting to invest time and energy into that story then that is a good place to start. I try to make sure I at least have the facts.
I try to at least know what is generally happening worldwide. Bear in mind I have teenagers. They do from time to time take an interest and I would like to be able to engage with them.
But I've learnt it's all in moderation... which is good. And I try look for the good news stories. Which is even better.
Until tomorrow :)