My last blog post offered all gloomy takes on America with this upcoming presidential election, COVID-19 spread and the endless spin information war raging across American media every single day, but despite all of that we all can try to live a happy life, as we feel our way through the gloom.
Find other things to do besides listening to media hysteria and political drama. I have been a news junkie since I was around 12 years old, so with watching “spin war” develop since the 90s, often I’ve had to step away from the news watching, especially in “crisis” periods, and just find other things to divert my attention, like my family, crafts, needlework, and lots of reading.
Many Americans, myself included, pay too much attention to issues the media hysterically spins up and we often listen to advice from national figures, politicians, Hollywood and TV celebrities, sports figures, and even social media influencers, when we’d be better off talking more to our family, friends and people in our own communities. My most despised media phrase is, “We need to have a national conversation about…” And that conversation is all one-sided as the media bombards us with partisan spin talking points or talking heads spewing claptrap that fuels distrust and anger. We end up being pawns in the spin war.
By paying so much attention to so many famous (yes, even YouTube famous) “personalities” rather than talking and getting to know more people in our own neck of the woods, we fail to build a real and meaningful support network for ourselves. I mentioned this before in a blog post long ago and I firmly believe it’s the truth. Get to know and develop relationships with real people around you. In an emergency or even if you’re just feeling stressed with all the bad news these days, having real live people to talk to and share your concerns and bitches with can help you feel like you’re not alone.
Many people do make friends in social media groups too, so I’m not dissing that type of networking by any means. I learn a lot watching all sorts of YouTube videos and reading blogs, from cooking, to crafts and needlework, to gardening and in recent months I’ve learned a whole lot about prepping and food storage.
My oldest granddaughter is a senior in high school this year and she’s handling all the COVID craziness with calm and cheerfulness. They were supposed to start in school classes, then more parent and teacher fears postponed that. She’s doing distance learning and trying to maintain her grade point average, so she’ll be the salutatorian of her class. She learned to drive this year and got her driver’s license, she found a job in a retail store. She’s also applied to three colleges, been accepted and offered scholarships. On top of that she’s got a boyfriend, whom my daughter says is a very nice young man. I’m very proud of her and I’m glad she hasn’t let all the craziness of 2020 hold her back from living as normal a life as possible.
To highlight the craziness of COVID decision-making, my next younger granddaughter, also in high school, is at home doing distance learning too, but started basketball practice at the school… wearing masks. She’s just happy practice started.
I have been at home this whole time and go out very little, but I try to work on some craft projects, read, sew and take breaks from the news. I also look for new recipes to try, learn new things and most of all try to remember to be grateful for every day.
Sure, I expect more political chaos and perhaps a tough winter with COVID, but I feel hopeful we’ll get through these challenging times. No matter what happens we all still need to live our lives and carry on as normally as possible, without letting the media-driven hysteria turn us into fear-driven basket cases.