This is a confession and affirmation, not a political rant. But politics greased my slippery slope, so if you are sick of anything political, skip now to the comments and tell me something good about your day today.
I have been off my game for nearly a year, and I have only myself to blame. Oh, I could be like many of our current leaders and point fingers in this direction and that: To Republicans for choosing a candidate whose personal behavior and hateful statements go against so many of the moral values I believe in. To Democrats for treating the electorate as if their candidate had a divine right to inhabit the Oval Office. To people on the right and left using ad hominem attacks instead of engaging in discussions based on a complete set of facts (and not using cherry-picked sets of words to imply a different meaning from the one actually conveyed). I could do that, and yet I would be wrong.
The only piece of that narrative I can control is choosing how I react to these and similar events.
In July and August and September and October I fussed and fumed and spent inordinate amounts of time keeping track of the political news and fake news and non-news as it was shouted and pontificated by everyone, everywhere. I read news articles and blogs and watched far too much television relating to the election. I checked my online news feeds multiple times a day.
When I hit a spot in my writing where I wasn’t sure what I wanted to say or whether the verb I had used was the best choice, I’d slip away and check the latest news or deal with the few emails that had come in since the last time I checked.
Seven months after the election, I’m still easily distracted and spending way too much time keeping track of political news and fake news and non-news, still checking online news feeds multiple times a day.
Well, enough of that! I declared June 1 the beginning of Take Back Jim’s Life. I know, how lame is it to label the regaining of one’s own life? But, we all know an effective advertising campaign can do wonders for sales. And changing one’s behavior is a personal sales job.
So be warned, siren song of news headlines: you’ll only have a chance to catch me once in the morning and maybe again at night. I’m sure my email program will miss our constant interactions, but it will get used to receiving my attention only before or after I start a project. I’ve already blocked politics from my Facebook feed (although it’s not a perfect filter).
These are all little steps, for sure, but they are all addressing my desire to regain a state of living deliberately, of taking control of those things I can, and letting go of those things I can’t control.
Thanks for allowing me to share my confession of losing my way and my first step to taking control.