Been reading the news? Watching it on TV or online? Feeling fearful — despite your best efforts?
I definitely consume more news these days in comparison to my years as a working mother. In part, I chalk this change up to Empty Nest, since my schedule is now entirely my own. As for the rest, I admit to a growing sense of responsibility to staying informed.
In the current climate, for me, this is a double-edged sword.
At the moment, I’m uneasy. Very uneasy. I’m not a politician, a diplomat, a debater, or a negotiator, but I’m not a fan of inflammatory rhetoric under any circumstances.
Most particularly when lives and nuclear threats are in the mix.
The past few nights I’ve been caught off-guard by vague recollections of “duck and cover,” instructions to take shelter under a desk, and one pointed memory that is startling in its clarity.
I’m four or five years old. I’m wearing a dress. I’m standing in the driveway at home. I’m wondering… When the flash in the sky appears, if I’m playing outside, would it be okay to duck and cover by putting my hands over my head and hiding beneath my mother’s big blue car?
To recall these images and relive these feelings is eerie to say the least. Yesterday my visceral discomfort was heightened by a news segment explaining Hawaii’s civil defense preparations — just in case North Korea, in fact, decided to strike.
There would be a rolling, wave-like siren. On all media. And 20 minutes to take shelter before impact.
Now about that ice cream…
These days, among other things, I’m slogging away at a healthy eating diet. (Cravings, remember?) While I’ve lost a few pounds, I’ve also hit a plateau where I’ve been for Twelve Tedious Days. I seem unable to budge the scale (much less my waistline) from this stubbornly stalled state.
I know, I know. Cue the violins.
In the past 48 hours, given the undercurrent of alarm in the news, I’ve been straining more than usual to keep to my calorie count. In fact, all day yesterday I was pondering ice cream… two scoops on a waffle cone, three neon-colored mounds in a chocolate sundae, a direct spoon-to-container encounter for my much-loved gelato carefully concealed in the back of the freezer.
Suddenly, I felt silly for depriving myself of something so small and satisfying… well, as long as I didn’t overdo.
After the sixth or seventh dire discussion on the news, I thought to myself: Just eat the damn ice cream!
So I did. And it was fabulous.
This morning I’m reminded of clichés — those catch phrases we all use to manage moods, soothe spirits, and activate our optimism. The one that returns, again and again, is this: Cooler heads will prevail.
I imagine that you, like me, can only hope so. Yet the Secretary of State’s remark that we should all “sleep well at night” is offering me no solace at present.
Still, I’d like to find a lesson in these challenging times, so on the assumption that I’m not succumbing to my own “rhetoric in search of a strategy,” let’s never forget that life is precious, we should savor our good moments, and sometimes you’d be wise to just eat the ice cream.
Do you watch or read too much news? Are you worried about the current state of affairs, foreign or domestic? Any vague recollections of duck and cover? Are you taking the time to enjoy your good moments — friends, family, a “small win,” a little ice cream?
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