Last year I gave up complaining for Lent. It went so well that even though I haven’t stopped complaining altogether, I do it decidedly less than before I gave it up. The volume of any complaints, as a direct result of my 2015 Lent challenge, has been dialed up to a Spinal Tap 11, which stops me pretty quickly from elaborating.
So this year I had a grand time musing about the new way I can hopefully make another significant change. Now that our son is finally weaning, a whole line of detox opportunities are open to me that haven’t been in a long while, but giving up something like processed sugar would mean giving up Lake Champlain 5 Star Peanut Butter Bars and I’m not at all ready to do that.
My final decision is that I’m going to give up reading the news for Lent. Today’s world of news is gut-wrenching and soul-sucking because 1) the amount of horrific global violence on full display and 2) it can be so shallow. Unfortunately these two types of news stories are not mutually exclusive. On one page of Time Magazine is a picture of dead bodies with a horrific story attached, and on the next is an ad for People magazine with the cover title that screams “How to Love the Way You Look!” Looks like Melissa McCarthy is on the cover, which is awesome, but the ad made me feel even worse about the war torn people’s plight I just read about because our culture somehow can say the words Bieber and Assad in the same breath without being embarrassed.
The best part of this decision is that it’s an election year so I am MORE THAN HAPPY to dump any news about Trump and most of the other candidates. I am going to have a very hard time however, not diving into my NYTimes app all day, every day. I am a subscriber and I just can’t get enough of it, so I now have one hour and seven minutes to read like crazy, and I just might check out vox, Le Monde, and BBC News too, my other favorite news sources. I have also realized, that as a SAHM part of keeping up my identity as someone who is globally-minded and literate, I do acquire personal puntos when I hear myself say “Yes, I DID hear the latest about Venezuela’s government!” but that just means I need to grow up and see my value beyond having those types of conversations.
No matter what, it will be good to break the overarching, powerful habit I have to pick up my phone relentlessly.
Besides the NYTimes and my other usual suspects, I will miss hearing about freaking cute pandas being born. I can still see pandas romping around on YouTube I guess, and hmmmm, I have a question, does watching Last Week Tonight count as news?!?!!???! Say it ain’t so!