More on Fear (and being out of the (political) loop)

I feel like the topic of fear is everywhere lately:  in my heart and in the news; in what I read and hear; underlying so much of what I talk about.  This is not surprising, of course given everything I discuss in my last post.  This is, after all, the historical moment of Trump’s candidacy.

Last night in her acceptance speech (tangential and not really all that funny, but wouldn’t it be something if someone didn’t accept that nomination?), Clinton addressed the topic of fear, quoting FDR:

We have nothing to fear but fear itself.

Though I actually thought she put it well herself (disclaimer:  I was/am an ardent Bernie supporter, not a Hillary fan, but I really did love this line) when she said (regarding Trump whose platform is, essentially, fear):

He’s betting that the perils of today’s world will blind us to its unlimited promise.

Last night was actually the first day of the DNC that I was able to watch.  Becoming a mother has also meant I’ve become helplessly out of the loop in terms of politics and in terms of the news in general.  I’ve been thinking about this lately (how can I not?  One can only be partially out the loop in an election year, I think, regardless of whether one is a parent) and feeling a bit badly — like a bad citizen.

Before becoming a mother, I would describe myself as slightly more knowledgeable about politics than the average person.  That is to say, I stayed on top of both local and national politics regularly, got my information from an array of sources, was fascinated with the mechanics and spectacle of it all, and also cared deeply about the outcomes.  I felt passionately that being an informed citizen/voter matters (I still do feel this way).

It’s not that I now feel uninformed.  I followed Bernie’s campaign closely.  I read a lot of articles about folks who felt caught between Hillary and Bernie (and both overtly and covertly tried to sway some of them to “my side”).  I guess it is just that, in general, I truly get most of my news coverage in soundbite form these days.  For example, I’ve been wanting to watch a  few of the DNC speeches (Bernie’s, Michelle Obama’s, Joe Biden’s, Corey Booker’s), but I just haven’t had the time prioritized it.  This is where things get messy.

As a mom, my “free time” is after bedtime.  I generally get out of Levi’s room around 7:30 at which point I do a final “sweep” of the house, tidying rooms, taking out trash, cleaning the kitchen, etc.  When I am done with that I have three priorities that I have to choose between:  doing yoga, writing, and working.  Lately, however, I have been succumbing the mind-suck, time-monster of…social media….  And playing text catch-up with friends.  I am just so damn tired at the end of each day:  I don’t want to move anymore.  I don’t want to think anymore.  I just want to escape, go numb, all of that stuff that I know isn’t good for me long term, but feels like what I need in that moment.

And now, now it just sounds like I am making excuses for my careless slide into cluelessness, so here is another side of it all:  having a kid who has to live in this world makes me want to hide from the news.  It’s too sad, too violent, too scary, too upsetting.  For example, I know (from my Facebook scrolling) that Trump said “something” about Khizr Kahn’s speech.  I know people are horrified.  I know it’s being called “a new low” for Trump (if that is even possible), but you know what?  I haven’t opened a single damn article.  It’s not that I don’t care.  I thought Kahn’s speech was one of the (if not the) most powerful DNC moments.  It’s just that I seriously cannot hand over one bit of brainpower, my energy, my anything to this man whose goal is to antagonize the ever-living shit out of people.  (Note:  I purposefully chose to link to an article about Kahn’s speech, rather than one about Trump’s bad-mouthing, because I truly think we just need to start ignoring this sociopath.  Sociopaths feed on attention — good and bad.  So even all the anti-Trump stuff is feeding that man’s over-inflated ego).

All of this is to say that as a mom, my emotional sensibilities are a bit more fragile than they were in my pre-mom life.  And I need to protect them.  This might mean being a bit clueless on certain newsworthy topics that are #trending.  It might also mean being a “bad” citizen.  But to be honest — I don’t need to know anything more this election year.  There is only one way to vote in my opinion.  After all, I have kid that has to grow up in this already very challenging world.

In other news:  I cannot name one single movie out in the theaters right now:(




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