Keep on keeping on?

So, I have been having a bit of an existential crisis.

I’d like to think of myself as an expressive and opinionated person.  I (used to) derive a sense of satisfaction and fulfillment in the act of communicating my thoughts.

Like many, for the past several years a good deal of my attention and creative output has been focused on the state of the political and economic divide that our nation currently faces. I am confident in my beliefs and my ability to articulate my positions.   I have never minded the debates, nor am I deterred by the sometimes overheated rhetoric that these debates inspire.   I recognize that I have a vested interest in future of this nation and that a favorable outcome will only occur if I (we) participate in this thing we (erroneously) term our ‘democracy.’

Lately, I have found myself feeling great distress and anxiety when reading the day’s news.  Too many things anger me.  Too many things sadden me.  Too many things disappoint me.  Too many things just plain scare me.  Even the good news doesn’t inspire me.

I realize that these are very trying times and that these feelings are normal.   I also realize that I am likely suffering from information overload.  The 24/7 news cycle provides a little too much information for one to process.  I have positioned myself to receive a torrent of up-to-the-second information.  From my computer.  From my iphone (during those precious few moments that I am away from a computer).  From the TV at home.  From the Radio.  And on and on.

But why am I having such strong emotional reactions all of a sudden?  My creative output has ground to a halt.  I never had these feelings during the incredibly tense 2008 presidential campaign or the town-hall summer of hate in 2009, or during the 2010 mid-term elections.  What has gripped me so strongly that I am driven to distraction?  What makes me want to withdraw and disassociate myself from the whole process?

And most importantly, why can’t I go about my life, like so many others seem to do, without being so effected?

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13 thoughts on “Keep on keeping on?

  1. I get the doldrums. Then I run for chaos.

    MIX IT UP DAMNIT!!!

    I mean I might not get my tiny check on April Fools Day, but I am protected from the interminable winter, the sun is now showing almost twelve hours a day, Sarah Palin is getting roasted regularly, they shall soon lynch Gov Walker, idiots like Newt are constantly warning us of a special announcement that he may have a special announcement any day now, repubs are distancing themselves from unions, workers, women and minorities, gas might reach five bucks again and I do not have a car. hahahaha

    Everythings gooooooooooooooooooooood!

    the end

  2. cmaukonen

    Not surprising really. Our long held simplistic (and usually erroneous) beliefs about politics, economics, social justice and the world in general are being questioned and turned upside down almost daily. Our pundits and intellectuals are sounding more like Emily Litella.

    And even the republican part does not know what to do. And if the republican party doesn’t know what to do, then things are really messed up.

    So relax, it’s not you.

  3. Since having been empowered from the results of the elections of last November repubs have gone right off the deep end. No question.

    Watching and listening to the daily parade of nonsense that repubs have taken up is unquestionably a challenge to any sane person. We can take heart in the certainty that what took GWB eight years to do will take this bunch only one elective term before it all gets handed back to democrats. For two short years I can take whatever mental battering they want to dish out. And after that it’s kick ass time.

    1. MSNY

      I’m not so sure it’s only the heightened level of douchebaggery being displayed by the republicans – that doesn’t bother me too much. Although, it really has reached epic proportions, hasn’t it? Its more the din that bothers me. The sheer volume of cross talk.

      But that’s not it either. It’s something else.

      1. The daily deluge takes its toll. Being the fair minded persons we try to be and sitting at the scorers table as it were, is awfully hectic. Flower is right and I’m sure Lis would endorse, your going out in the lobby and having a cool one is a good idea. Let somebody else keep score for a while.

  4. ~flowerchild~

    Dude. You need a vaycay.

    You know what? It’s okay to take a break from giving a shit every now and then. Nothing will collapse. Let your like minded brethren, most of whom are strangers to you, hold up your edge of the tent while you take a breather. When you come back you will be refreshed and better able to hold up an extra part of the tent while some other worn out warrior takes a rest.

    Seriously.
    Unplug.
    Here…if found this on the net years ago and it makes me feel good every time I look at it.

    How can you have a sad after seeing the smile of the goat?

    1. MSNY

      Unplugging is the key. But it doesn’t matter if I only catch up on the news once a day if the places I look to for news are speaking in increasingly panicked tones.

      Even the sites I prefer to read are now littered with jarring sensational headlines. And my Facebook wall is crowded with links to these sensational headlines, with even more sensational commentary added. Everything has this dreadful urgency to it these days.

      1. I don’t bother with the echo chamber of FB etc. It takes me twenty minutes or so to scan eight or ten major sites on my own. I simply turn on my humanity filter looking for things which speak to that part of us which is being left out of the equation. Keeping in touch with ourselves is essential. The opinions of others is useful but we’re the final arbiter of our own soul.

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