I have a dysfunctional relationship with the news, I admit it. There have been times in my life when I have refrained  from watching, reading and even talking about breaking news stories. The 80s, for instance, especially when Ronald Reagan was president, was a rough time…I pretty much was newsless for that entire decade. Not that I was unaware of the world at large. It is kind of astonishing how much you pick up by  purely by osmosis. You know, people talking about the latest hot TV show, or going on about what’s happening on a reality series. Without seeing even one episode I knew all about American Idol, Jersey Shore, Survivor, etc. (In the interests of full disclosure, I did have one aberrant season of American Idol fever where I…sigh…yes I voted, repeatedly.)

Now I am torn between the complex (and twisted) story unfolding at Penn State, the GOP candidate follies, holding my breath to see whether the Phillies trade     away one of my long list of favorite players or bagging the whole thing and removing myself from the stress of keeping plugged in. Because for me at least it is a stress. I get riled up, frustrated with politics, especially politics. And to what end? Does it help me to stay this current when I end up getting royally pissed off at what is happening in government, or not happening as the case may be? It is a question I have tusseled with over the years. Especially when it seems that I am railing at thin air.

This brings me all back to what I can do to counteract the cumulative toxicity of 24 hour news cycles. The first thing that comes to mind is to start putting into practice anti-stress strategies. Just like New Year’s Resolutions (which I don’t actually subscribe to) I have cycled this path before…I don’t seem to be very good at continuing healthy practices beyond a year or so. Sometimes much, much less. Things I know are good for me seem to have some set expiration date once I make up my mind and commit to them. Yoga, TaiChi, meditation are all tremendously helpful in stopping the noxious rehashing of stress thoughts through my brain. I know this, I have felt their positive impact on my life. Yet what do I do? I start fading away, making excuses and drifting off course.

I hear about people who have made tremendous changes in their lives and have stayed committed to whatever that new regimen is. I am caught between envy and admiration. I know what it takes. A deep commitment to a goal. I wonder if my lack of self-worth plays a role in all this. I too have goals for where I would like to be, who I would like to be. But they seem removed, unattainable. Just over the next hill. On the other side of a thick glass wall.

How do I get from here to there?

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