It amazes me how much the weather affects my mood. The last few days here on Prince Edward Island (PEI) have been stormy ones, with strong winds, crashing waves, and mostly grey skies. And I’ve felt edgy and antsy, not sure what was up but not feeling at all content about life in general.
Being in Canada has meant I’m mostly away from US news, unless I choose to read online newspapers. I hadn’t realized how much the constant news cycles of outrage and frustration, intimations of conflicts ahead, strife with formerly trusted countries and partners, was wearing me down. There are so many issues: guns, abortion, freedom of speech, civil rights, immigration, and the list goes on and on.
I went back to some advice a good friend gave me after the elections: pick two or three issues that matter the most to me, and focus on those. Yes, the rest are important too, but someone else will pick those up. Focus on a few, don’t burn out.
I looked at the list of things I had chosen back then (November 2016 feels so very long ago) and those three things are still what I want to focus my time and money on. I’m going back to my friend’s advice and stay with it this time, to feel some control over the storms raging around me.
Feel free to pick your own two or three issues. We can stand together facing the future as we all fight for what matters most to each of us.
I’ll still keep an eye on the big picture and be ready to jump into the fray if something major happens (I’m old enough to remember Nixon’s Saturday Night Massacre of the special prosecutor). But to keep myself sane and mostly balanced, I can’t watch it all, I can’t listen to all of it, and I can’t be constantly outraged by everything. It’s too exhausting. Three focused issues, that’s my strategy.
Here’s to a more calm tomorrow for all of us, both Monday and in the months and years ahead.
Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise.