On days when big current events happen, my wife asks for my thoughts. (Bless her heart, she actually thinks I have intelligent things to say.) My inevitable response these last few months has been, “what are you talking about?” And I truly have no clue. I’ve lost touch with the immediate present, with what’s going on beyond my little world.
Life has slowed down so much in unemployment that entire news cycles, sometimes entire news days, pass me by. Huge stories – like the US Air plane landing on the Hudson or last Friday’s unemployment numbers – zoom beneath my radar. Eventually someone says something or sends along a link. And I remember that there’s a bigger world out there where stuff is actually happening – big, important, exciting, scary stuff. So I check the news.
I’m not a hermit shut-in who’s lost all connection with reality (yet). I do listen to various podcasts related to current events, generally a few days after their radio airings. I read the weekend
It wasn’t a conscious choice to lose touch, so much as a subconscious reaction born out of circumstances. When employed, the news divided up my day. My morning routine included a quick scan of the headlines over coffee. Switching projects or killing five minutes before a delayed meeting allowed for a glance at the markets. And many a lunch hour was spent reading election coverage on
I still care about the news; my tolerance is just much lower. I’m a news lightweight, some days even a teetotaler. It’s just all about the down economy, crashing stock markets, failing companies and rising unemployment numbers anyway. Extrapolating out, every story is also about my bleak job prospects. That’s really damn depressing. I know finding a job is and will continue to be difficult. I live it, so self-inflicted reminders throughout the day aren’t needed. And they don’t help. Ignoring the news is largely an act of self-preservation. If I really need to know something, someone will tell me. Otherwise, I’ll catch the highlights in a few days.