Opinion: Escape artists


I used to avoid the news like the plague (or Ebola to be timely). “How can you live in this day and age and not be up on current events?” my husband Doo would ask. “You were a history major, for God’s sake!” True dat, Doo. But frankly, it bummed me out. I had four babies to keep alive and I just didn’t have the time or energy to think about elections or economies or energy efficiency. But my decision to live in blissful ignorance was put on hold when I went back to teaching. For the sake of our future leaders, I had to get me schtick together.

At first it felt good. I liked being able to join in on Obamacare conversations and offer intelligent insight on the latest Chinese crisis. I’d even preference my astute observations with “I just heard on NPR” or “Did you see that article in the NY Times?” to subtly brag about my newfound worldly awareness. Listen to me! I’m smart!

But after four years of blowing off Bob & Tom and Cosmo, I’m ready to revert to my unplugged self.  It’s all too much. Between the Middle East, Africa, Russia, and domestic issues, my anxiety at three in the morning is in overdrive. Add to that pre-dawn stress an ounce of overactive imagination and two of the sense that I should be doing something to help, and you’ve got a strung-out mom incapable of restful sleep. So I’m calling it quits. The world at large can continue to muddle onward, but I’m checking out.

Before you fire off a hate mail, rest assured I’ll continue to scan the headlines daily to stay subconsciously aware of local, national and international goings-on. But for the sake of my sanity, I need a break. With kids, struggling students, a demanding job, and five disgusting toilet bowls constantly flipping me the bird, I have enough things to worry about. (How are we going to afford car insurance for my 16-year-old and when exactly am I going to get around to cleaning the aforementioned porcelain thrones?) If I do find the time for a book or TV, then I choose to be entertained, not informed.  That’s why I’m currently reading Chelsea Handler’s Uganda Be Kidding Me and watching the oddly-addicting nautical reality series Below Deck.  Doo’s Economist can march itself right back over to his bedside table. I now prefer to escape from this world, not dive deeper into it.

I understand that many of you, like Doo, feel incomplete when you don’t get your nightly dose of Brian Williams. You go! But for me, no news is, once again, good news. Peace out.

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