Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Coping with a four-year sickness*

Yankee dollar talk
To the dictators of the world
In fact it's giving orders
And they can't afford to miss a word

I'm so bored with the U...S...A...
But what can I do?

~~ “I’m So Bored with the USA” by The Clash
I read a really good article from Vox today about dealing with what they have dubbed “Trump Fatigue Syndrome.” It is well worth a read because I think it has a lot of validity. I know I’m not the only one amongst my like-minded friends and family who have experienced this to some extent. For me, part of it is that I really can barely stand to hear him speak. At times—especially if he is not using a teleprompter, which he seems to have embraced now despite ridiculing President Obama for using one—he sounds like an absolute idiot. I’m not the best public speaker but at least I can manage to put together a cogent argument without sounding like the village idiot. I feel offended and embarrassed by his poor language and oratory skills.

Anyway, I learned pretty quickly that if I wanted to survive this with my psyche intact, I was going to have to limit my intake. I have instinctively done what the article recommends. During the election season, I had CNN on all day, every day. Now I leave the TV off and listen to music. I obsessively read every political news story in the sites that are on my read feeder. I had already limited those sites to ones that were fairly credible so of course I do not read demonstrably false sites. Now I skim through those stories and try to glean the tidbits without falling into that time-sucking rabbit hole. I am trying to get back on track with my book reading, although I still read the occasional political book. That’s okay...I know when I need to read something else. That’s why I’m currently reading a book about some teenagers making a zombie movie.

It’s important to know when to step away and that is a hard lesson to learn. After the 2012 election, I took a fairly long (at least for me) break from politics. My guy had won and I needed to get back on an even keel. I jumped in again for the 2016 race and that one didn’t turn out as well for me (or for our country...or for the world...but I digress) and it hasn’t been easy to regain my equilibrium. I am doing that and sometimes that involves just stepping away for a bit. It doesn’t have to be for a month, or a week, or even a day. Sometimes I just need a few hours to cleanse my palate. Music and books are a big part of that for me.

It is up to each of us to find that outlet for ourselves. One thing I would add to the Vox article is that it is vital to find your Happy Place™. You need something to which you can retreat when you feel overwhelmed. Don’t let him steal your joy. Find it within yourself and nurture it. If it involves quietly reading a book, taking a walk to clear your head, spending fun times with friends and family, curling up with your critters, or rocking your face off at a concert, DO IT. He can’t take that away from you.

I don’t doubt that many of us will see some dark days ahead and experience setbacks, some of them major. We are already seeing quite a bit of pushback, though, aren’t we? The courts issued a major smackdown on that horrid travel ban, he’s not making any friends in the intelligence community, people are starting to dig up the dirt on the Russian connection, and a handful of Republicans are balking at the new health care bill. There are limits to what our President can do and I think he is starting to find that out. I take heart in that.

So don’t despair, Warriors. It’s not going to be an easy four years*, but we have to support each other. Part of that is taking care of ourselves so that we have the strength and fortitude to be there for others when they need us. We stand together!

*Note: Four-year duration to be determined.


  1. Funny, I am feeling many of the same things. I was just talking to a former coworker this evening who said she feels despair over the direction our government is taking. She feels similarly about her church (Catholic), but for different reasons.

    I don't feel despair. I feel anger that so many of our fellow citizens (not to mention family members) could have voted so recklessly. It is all I can do from calling them stupid (stooopid), but that really does not serve us well. Our Mayor Pete would say we cannot poke fun at them anymore but find ways to reach out to them (love thy enemy?) and find a common ground.

    Great essay, as always, Beth.

  2. I am in the same boat... I have shut down all of my info gathering on what is happening in current events (read:politics) and I try to avoid glancing at television news... I do wonder which one of my neighborly Nebraskans voted for the current Presidential office-holder but that would mean that I would speak to even fewer people than I do already..!

    What I don't understand is why there was no discussion about his failures especially since business acumen is one of the qualities people gave for their Presidential choice... anywho, I don't feel as poorly as I thought I would have... and who knows... maybe I will start listening to NPR on the weekends soon..!

    My only concerns lie with those who voted for the Republican candidate who are on the fringes... take those who are upset with the threat to the ACA when they were ready to get rid of Obamacare... or those in the rural areas without skills and still hoping that factory jobs are going to make a comeback...

    Anywho... I only can do what I can and not let my imagination keep me from living in the now and doing what I can to insure the tomorrow that I envision...

  3. Occasionally I read some poli-news I feel has neutral commentary, or much better~ no commentary. I get fatigued by ALL Left as well as by ALL Right political lean to "news" in the media. Crucifixion or Hero Worship?
    Neither, thanks.
    Some of my current happy places involve evolutionary studies, peanut butter, & Adele's music. She does make me cry, but mostly in a cathartic way.


I'm funny how, I mean funny like I'm a clown, I amuse you?