How to Find a Balance


Image: amazon.com

Image: amazon.com

Sometimes I think that I should take a break from the news, just turn the car radio to music and not read my Flipboard or Facebook feed for a few days, because it gets too stressful. But right after that I think, what a luxury to be able to contemplate turning it all off for a while because it’s too hard to hear, too much to read about.

People working their butts off every day to provide for their families and who are scared to death right now because any moment they could be picked up by ICE and dumped across the border in Mexico don’t have that luxury. The young widow of that Indian engineer who was shot by that rabid xenophobe doesn’t have that luxury. Children in Syria who have seen their parents blown to bits don’t have that luxury.

So I bounce back and forth from singing along loudly to Hamilton songs on the way to dropping R off at the bus, to listening to the news on the way home, to escaping into my late medieval city on Forge of Empires, to watching The White Helmets on Netflix, the Oscar-winning documentary about the first responder teams in Syria who dig people and bodies out of the rubble after each bomb strike.

I feel obligated to hear and read about the bad stuff, because if it were happening to me, I’d want to scream and shake people and be heard, at least. So I donate to several organizations, to the homeless at traffic lights and to Go Fund Me sites. I save dates for demonstrations and other meetings in my calendar. And I read and I listen until I just about lose it.

And then, sooner or later, if I’m lucky, I remember to take time to meditate, to center my mind, to empty my head of it all and just be. I’m reading several books by Geshe Kelsang Gyatso–when I’m not foaming at the mouth–and following meditation sessions on my Calm app. Which feels great, and that makes me feel guilty again…

As of this moment, unless he is impeached, we have three more years, ten months, twenty-three days, fourteen hours and two minutes to go with the malicious man-baby-in-chief. No wait, one minute. That’s progress, I suppose. Time for some Breaking Bad.

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