A long day’s journey into night

It’s gonna be a long day. A travel day for me, made extra long by Southwest’s inscrutable new schedule of flights from the Left Coast to Louisville. This summer, you pretty much can’t get to Louisville from CA any earlier than 9pm. I’m landing at 1am local time, after balancing total travel time, cost, connections, and arrival time. Way past bedtime in either time zone. But SW’s macro-schedules are like the seasons…just wait 3-4 months and they’ll change.

Surveying the news this morning things sure seem grim. Are grim. Republicans plotting revenge on the Jan 6 Committee – they’re very angry at truth being told, at being called out. Russia and Ukraine locked in a deadly war with no end in sight. Republicans hate Democrats who hate them back. The American economy struggling to find a new balance after 2+ years of pandemic disruption, with most Americans blaming anyone in sight for troubles that took years to develop. More mass shootings, every day. Another young black person unnecessarily gunned down by angry police (what would have been wrong with just letting the guy run away after he left his vehicle?). Liberals and conservatives each convinced that the others are monsters based on their beliefs about conception and body autonomy. Trump and his unhinged followers waiting in the wings for the next elections, lurking like some ancient evil eager to be unleashed on the world.

I could go on, but that’s plenty. Has it always been this way, or is this just a particularly rough time for the world? Each of these conflicts, each issue, seem intractable by themselves. Taken together they’re overwhelming.

Trying to think clearly about all this, the smart thing to do is disengage from the bad news stream and focus on what/who I can affect positively – myself and just a few others around me. Disengaging from the news is harder than one might think – I’m an info junkie, prideful about being well-informed. But all that news is driving me into a dark place.

I suppose the bottom line is that even while the world seems hell-bent on self-destruction, I don’t have to follow suit. Hunker down, do something creative and fulfilling, try to make a small positive difference and let the rest go. If the world’s chaos and conflict come to my little corner (as they have to the Ukraine), deal with it then. It’s not much of a plan, but it’s what I’ve got.

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