Confession time: I have not watched television news in well over six weeks, maybe two months. And my life is better for it. Actually I can count on my hands how much television or streaming I’ve done, but that’s more because I have been inundated with books on reserve that need to be read (a post on that shortly)
Anyway, back to the no boob tube. I have seen no presidential walks of shame, no trials, no space X, no Sixty Minute interviews. No interviews of families of school children or in depth studies of various shooters. Nada.
I read the New York Times every morning (before embarking on Wordle, Spelling Bee and the Crossword), and then I take a quick glance at PBS news and the BBC news and on some occasions heaven help me, I quickly view CNN. I am fully aware of what happens in the world, but I am no longer willing to be caught in the proverbial mire. I do read of the above pages in the morning, glance again at the end of the day, keep an eye on the weather when necessary, and assume that between neighbors, social media and texts, I’ll be well warned when the zombie apocalypse comes mid day.
If there is something I want to know more about (and that happens), I’m a former researcher and know how to get to the real stuff-or the closest thing available to the real stuff. And occasionally I take a deep dive. Becausey deep dive is always going to tell me more than an hour of television.
But I have turned into a “just the facts, Ma’am” kind of news viewer. And life is better. And I am less anxious (see below). I don't need to see weeping families or the takedown of a killer to know the tragedy of another school shooting.
It may be true that I’m a little less informed. But I am so very tired of being bombarded with information, opinions, and the need of the 24 hour news networks to keep the content fresh. And it’s not just the news. I am actually a follower of the aunt of the young man who was shot through the glass, and so I learned of that by scrolling through pictures on Instagram of all things. And my Facebook feed (which is full of friends of similar persuasion), was full of “Yes” and “Whew” long before I went to a news source to check out the Supreme court. It’s enough.
In other news, my doctor recently prescribed Cymbalta- a depression drug that is also used for minor anxiety and neuropathy and arthritis pain. All of which I have times ten. My sister in law, the nurse clinician takes it, so I figured it could only help and was better than moving to something addictive or taking too much Tylenol for pain.
Apparently that’s true in the long run, but there’s an adjustment period. During which time you are completely lethargic (Not dizzy so you can’t drive, I’ve driven, just lethargic). As in sitting like a bump on a log daydreaming about what you should be doing, having dry mouth like you took ten Tylenol Pm’s and just-lethargic. Another short term result is insomnia. You can take sleep help with it but I am trying not to do that.
So after about five days I messaged my doctor and said basically “ I don’t know if I want to do this”. He assured me it would be mainly gone after a couple weeks and thankfully that was mainly true. Mainly. But it was a rough week plus, and if people who take larger doses have more of that effect, I understand why so many avoid medication.
I somehow managed to move through the fog and make a list of all the stuff to do and make and places to go. But any pictures of makes will have to wait a few days. Because cutting quilts or cans or using tools cannot be done without full mental attention.
Which I now have again.