OK.

So we got a little bit of snow last night. It is not surprising the get some snow in the middle of April in Chicago, Illinois. In previous years snow at this time of the year would be disheartening but with everyone sheltering in place and not really going out to begin with, last night’s flurries didn’t really seem to have that much of an impact.

The streets were extra quiet this morning during the daily walk I use to start the day. I listened to a podcast from the folks at Relay FM. I like their selection of podcasts. Today I listened to “Focused”, which helped me get my brain back where it needed to be during these pandemic times.

I’m writing this blog entry during my lunch break and the snow on the balcony has already given way to the meager amounts of sunshine poking through the clouds. It is spring. We are moving toward more moments of sunshine.

We will be just fine.

Draining.

I had a small epiphany this morning during my morning walk. During this COVID-19 crisis that has gripped the planet for the past couple of months, I have done my best to keep abreast of what’s going on in the news. Follow the news outlets during this crisis, coupled with the ramped political unevenness we’ve been riding for the past several years, is like getting bludgeoned with a sledgehammer on a daily basis.

Honestly, my time and mental health are worth much more than I have allowed them to be.

I freely admit that I’m not a fan of a Trump (to put it mildly). The guy has been an asshole since entering the public eye way back in the 80s. He was an asshole, he is an asshole, and he will always be an asshole. The mere sound of his voice makes me want to punt our very large television off the balcony.

So why the hell am I subjecting myself to news about him or from him? He rarely adds anything constructive to the national dialog. He is constantly boasting and bending the truth and being prideful. I can’t understand how his followers can tolerate his incessant pridefulness. My attempts to rationalize his behavior to ultimately filter out some news about the pandemic have been futile. And more startling, my rationalization has been a huge distraction to my way of life.

We’re going to get through this just fine, with or without Trump. There is very little about my life that is going to change whether or not I hang on every word belched out by the news media. I don’t need to know the minutia of Trump said this or Pelosi said that for my life to continue.

I don’t need the distractions. My mental health can’t take the distractions. So I’m allowing myself a quick summary of the daily news twice a day and then I’m going to focus on my family, my friends, and my work.

Twitter is also a big contributor to the decline of civil discourse in this country. My problem with Twitter is that I also have a lot of aviation and other geek friends on there and it’s an outlet for me since I can’t get to an airport and hang out with other pilots right now. So I’ve eschewed the official Twitter app (again) and turned off all notifications. Twitter is not worth the time sink. Like the news, I’ll periodically scan and contribute but under no circumstances will I go down the tweeted replies rabbit holes. They’re an endless pit of despair.

I’ve been feeling a little more uneven this week when compared to the past couple of weeks during these uneven times. I feel like more weight is building on all our shoulders. It’s time to shake off what we can, tune out the unproductive noise, and stand up straight again.

I’ll be better off for it.