My Post-Inauguration Bubble Was Blissful – How I Handled The Overload
The March for Women. Riots. Protests. "Alternative facts." He said. She said. Ugly insults on social media.
I don't know about you, but within a few hours of President Trump being sworn in, I was on information (or, to be fair, misinformation) overload. Even benign websites featured posts of someone lashing out at someone else. I think the completely distasteful signs being held up by children was the straw that drove me into my post-inauguration bubble.
And it was fantastic! Blissful, really.
I decided I wouldn't go anywhere near social media, unless it was to post something or check a message. As soon as I saw a negative or political post (which was every time, by the way), I put my phone away or logged off.
Then, I went and did something productive or enjoyable.
I worked! I did a couple of shifts on air. I love being able to spend time with our listeners. I feel like I'm keeping you guys company, and I know I'm not alone. I do my very best to provide useful information or make you smile.
A few weeks ago, I decided it would be fun to start doing puzzles again. Real puzzles. I bought a 1,000-piece puzzle called "Happy Hour." The irony shouldn't escape you. It frustrating and fun and challenging and infuriating by turns. I may scrap the whole thing and go buy one that's a lot easier to complete.
I vacuumed my whole house. OK. Maybe my husband did some of it. Our large, completely spoiled yellow lab sheds a small dog-worth of hair a week. It feels good to be able to walk around without her hair stuck to everything. That is, until she starts the process all over again.
My husband cooked a heavenly beef roast and deer backstrap stew. While it simmered, we hooked up antennae and various new gadgets to the televisions to watch anything but the news.
I went to mass.
I binged an entire season of Mad Men. I love that show. I want Joan's wardrobe. I want to go shopping in their costume trailer or wherever they keep that stuff. I want to have a drink with Don Draper.
I ate ice cream with strawberries and maple walnuts.
I almost finished our 2016 tax return.
My husband and I went on an impromptu "date" to Waffle House. I'm a sucker for the pecan waffles, and I don't often have the opportunity to go. So we did, and then we caught up on shows we had waiting for us on the DVR.
I tried to do more of that blasted puzzle.
So what's the point?
I pulled the plug. I stepped away from the ugliness. I put down the phone and logged off the computer. I didn't engage or allow myself to be consumed, either way, by all the anger and ugliness. I had that power.
I, personally, couldn't find peace in all the noise. So, I had to find my own place to be peaceful. I'm thankful for my family and the ability to go to such a place.
No matter what I believe or what you believe or what anyone believes, none of what we are trying to resolve will see a solution in anger, and certainly not in violence and profanity.
One of the episodes of Mad Men revolved around the murder of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. A young black woman who was a secretary went to work the day after he was shot. Riots were happening, at the time, in the streets of New York City. The woman she worked for told her she could go home if she felt like she needed to. Before she left she said something profound. She said, "Why are they doing this? This is exactly what he was against."
I'm know that we all have differing opinions. We live in a country where that is not only allowed; it's the foundation our great nation was built upon. I realize that there are issues that need to be dealt with. What I'd like to believe is that, at some point (hopefully sooner rather than later), we can all be civil enough to speak without shouting to find solutions that will benefit the greater good.