As the New Year approaches, it feels like there is a higher level of uncertainty about our future. From terrorist attacks taking place at seemingly joyful events such as holiday shopping in Berlin to the tragic streams of refugees coming out of Syria, it’s challenging to stay optimistic or even in a state of mindfulness. On some level, for me, it means limiting my intake of news that is grim, divisive, repetitive, and lately filled with
On some level, for me, it means limiting my intake of news that is grim, divisive, repetitive, and lately filled with dire projection about political maneuverings in Washington. Shows on the all-news cable channels can be a drumbeat of doom with the same interviews looping for several hours across several shows. Instead, I find it’s healthier to mix it up with the optimism of “Kind World” on WBUR; the wide, varied, and marvelous features on National Public Radio; and the humorous, light-hearted banter of Jim Braude and Margery Eagan on WGBH’s “Boston Public Radio.”
All of this peering into the unknown has me remembering that it just takes stepping back into the day and staying present. That is all that we truly know or can control. Fear comes when we project too far out into the future. Yes, we need to be attentive to the reality of news today – not fake or made up stories – but the real, actual truths of events taking place in many corners of our troubled world. But, balance that out with the knowledge that there is so much good in the world too as we all yearn for a sense of connection and community. When the news covers those stories, it’s a real triumph for all of us.
So to stay steady amid the turmoil, I often remind myself to breathe. Not hold my breath, but truly breathe. Try to do one thing at a time. Keep focused despite the onslaught of social media updates, news alerts, and a persistent heightened sense of urgency. And, find the calm within the chaos. It’s a tall order, but that is what I will count as my New Year’s Resolution for 2017.