Watching the news

I’ve always been a news junkie. I credit my upbringing. In our family, the daily news was almost sacrosanct.

Today’s news environment, constantly looping, constantly available on internet feeds and cable networks, feels quite different from a once-a-day newscast and/or newspaper, however. What’s also different is that I’m older, thus more flexible time-wise, so when a president’s speech to the U.N. is carried live, or there’s a public hearing involving a Supreme Court nominee and his accuser, I can watch. And usually, I do.

And then, of course, it’s possible to keep checking the endless subsequent punditry and chatter. (I write at the computer.) Because an answer is continuously available, my mind continuously begs “Has anything else happened?”

Trouble is, the news may rivet, but in a week like this one, it affects me too. Disturbs, that is, not reassures.

The obvious solution, which some people seem to manage, is:  turn off completely, just live your “other” life. I’ve been thinking about that. But I’ve concluded that withdrawal is not where I land. I want to keep up. In fact, being older, I feel it something of a duty. I want to keep up because I’m still alive, and because of my grandchildren (since I have enough span by now to evaluate the word “historic” when tossed about for current affairs).

But how does a person live the calm of “watchful” instead of the anxious compulsion of “watching”? I have some strategies on the go but I have to confess, at this point it’s a big challenge.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7 thoughts on “Watching the news

  1. I too am a “news junky,” so no matter where I am in the world, I watch The National (I’m in Romania right now) on FB, even at home in my armchair! I listen to the news hourly throughout the day as I drive around in my car! I, like you, feel this sense of responsibility to know what’s going on in the world. I am chagrined when I mention the horrors in Indonesia to someone and they give me a blank glance! But I think we’re “old school!” My internet provider was flummoxed when I chose only channels that primarily broadcast news! Yes, I think I’m weird!

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    • Hi Susan! Meditation: don’t do this as faithfully as I wish, but the other day post-hearing I found it especially calming to quiet myself that way. Praying the news: often while I shower; I find this not only releases its effects but holds to the Light the events of the day. Getting myself into non-media places in the house to read and “making myself” read for longer stretches without interruption, which usually isn’t hard once I’m over the hurdle of the first while when the temptation to check tweets or whatever is strongest. Thanks for asking. Do you have some to suggest? Always open to ideas that encourage discipline but don’t require complete disengagement (except of course for chosen “fasts”).

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  2. Thought-provoking article – “enough span by now to evaluated the word “historic”. Well put. I have taken to watching the CNN versions of the decades produced by Tom Hanks, e.g. the 2000’s. It is truly a different perspective looking back even 20 years, let alone 60+.

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