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March 10, 2009

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Relax -- Here is a summary of the news you've missed: Economy bad, everything else is status quo. Eating well, getting a good night sleep, getting some exercise and having some fun are still good for you.

You haven't missed anything.

I, too had a news blackout some years back. (It was "W's" first election & I had just moved back to the States after years abroad. I was SO hopeful and then, I couldn't stand the insanity of the post election situation.) It was such a good decision that it lasted for years... I only came back to the news full time for this election and am glad I did, I'm sure my friends are too, I don't give those blank stares much anymore. You have a lot to look forward to; your children growing up (after the latest arrive) but mainly you are setting an example for them. How weird is it to be told that "You're just like your father"? Do you want your children to have the same feelings as adults?
You are an entirely entertaining writer and must be a great person to be around.
Buck up, keep writing and I'll keep reading about the past, present and your future.

You know what finally broke me out of the "stretched out" rut? One day it hit me that I couldn't remember what I'd been so stressed out about the previous year...yet I knew I had been. I went through old notes and letters and discovered that as important and urgent as things seemed at the time, a year later they were completely forgotten. And the more I looked back, the more things I found that had seemed terribly stressful at the time, but really weren't that big of a deal over time. And stressing over them sure hadn't made anything better.

So I discovered it all passes. I may have gone too far in the other direction, because not a whole lot of anything is important anymore other than my family and my dog. Pretty much every problem comes down to, "did anyone die? no? then it can be fixed."

(And my cure for current events is history. "The Way We Never Were", "Albion's Seed", "Generations" -- the world was never better, just different forms of messed up.)

Just last week I started a news blackout. I'd been obsessed since August. During the campaign season I could barely work b/c I had to keep checking news and politics blogs (and was very busy volunteering for Obama)

Post election I weaned down to listening to NPR in the car, and Rachel Maddow and Keith Olbermann on TV in the evening.

Then I realized my anxiety was also too high, mostly about the economy. So I'm back to listening to music on the radio, and junk tv in the evenings.

It doesn't help pay the bills or fix the economy, but I'm feeling less stressed and can focus more on my art and business.

Glad to hear I'm not the only one.

I'm the worst at creating scenarios in my head. I used to think it helped me prepare for potential bad situations, but all it really did was stress me out and things happened or they didn't and either way, I dealt with them.

So, now if I catch myself starting some bad what if thing in my head, I say STOP to myself and try to think about something else.

This doesn't directly relate to your post, but Leah's interpretation of "stressed out" reminds me of something my older one said when she was two or three. Sometimes when she got worked up about something I would say to her, "Calm down." Then one day, when I was worked up, she said, "Mommy, call him down."

Danny,

I too have been avoiding assiduously the media. Leah's "misunderstanding" of your "all stressed out" delights me no end. Those are my favorite word events! Instead of "presents under trees," I always heard "peasants under trees.!" It must have been my blue collar showing.

I enjoyed reading your other commenters' comments about your reflections very much. I too divide the world into "emergencies = death/blood out of the veins/maiming" and everything else is just an "incovenience."

Your post and their comments has given me a nice opportunity for reflection.

Oh, BTW, I saw "Slumdog Millionaire" in Rodgers, AR and then encountered individuals and families from India in the same town. My how things have changed and the world as come to small town USA! Nice...

My Chicago-based sister used to come home from work stressed out; one day her youngest daughter, then about 4, said to her: "What's the matter, Mommy: tired? Headache? Sick of this?" My sister realized she must have said one of those three things, at least once, every single day. The way it got reflected back to her made her laugh -- and changed the way she looked at everything from then on.

Here's hoping your kids will help you do the same.

Dear Danny,
You've been given a marvelous gift that I would practically kill to have: your writing talent. It's something that can finance anything you ever want to have or do.

I watch the news every day, and find myself incredibly grateful that the right person came along just when we needed him. Although Obama isn't as aggressive as I would like him to be, I put my trust in him to make everything right again. What else can we do.

This year, I suffered with panic attacks that were making it harder and harder for me to leave the house. But, my doctor prescribed some medication that has made me whole again.

I just started a new investment in a web site. How's that for optimism in a sour economy !

The secret I learned years ago, from reading books by Louise Hay, is to say over and over to yourself that everything is fine. Don't say that it "will" be fine. You have to say that it "is" fine. Otherwise, you can change the wording to fit any situation.

Everything is great !

thanks for this post!

It was so long since you last posted, I was getting worried..typical for the jewish mother i am. However, seeing your post two days ago, you reminded me so much of charley kauffman. Now to hear you're stretched..but jeff's advice seems the best cos everything is fine as gordon says. Especially since bernie madoff was put in jail this am. Now we can all know that everything is fine. Maybe if I keep repeating that, it will be so and my nervous reactions to news that my 85 yr old mother has inoperable tumors in her gall bladder and liver will be lessened since it's been a month since i heard the news.

oh danny i can so relate! i quote sheryl crow all the time now! she says is one of her songs.... "god bless this mess we've made!" oh....
god bless us all! so i try everyday....to help in some small way and mostly to try very very very hard to have some real fun every day!!!!
and we are heading to la next month for some more of that fun!!!

Love your post, Danny. As you know, I so relate, and then I started stressing . . . you know . . . did I contribute to the amount of stress with my conversation . . . and then I stretched myself out (thank you Leah!) on the couch . . . and began breathing . . . because I was most likely gulping . . . and I felt better. Thank you for being you.

ps love the picture! and your last post! and pix!

Hi Danny,

It was wonderful to read your post. I have not had a complete blackout, but notice I am watching and listening to the media much less.

I do have the belief that what we focus on, we get more of. So, I have been doing a wonderful abundance meditation called "40 days of Abundance" every morning written by by Jonathan Price in his book "The Abundance Book" and expressing gratitude for all I have. That is really working for me--some really good things have been happening for me and my family. My son Adam just got offered a full scholarship to Duke University for all five years plus money to live on to get his masters and PhD in electrical engineering. My husband Michael just got a promotion.

I also love the meditation by Adyashanti that I got out of the library. It is on his CD series "True Meditation". The meditation focuses on "accepting everything just as it is".

I have also been taking some time to pray for people who are struggling. All these things feel empowering to me during the difficult time.


I don't read ingest a lot of news because it's too much for me to cope with, not just because there's so much bad news but because there are so many complicated issues I can't begin to get to the bottom of. So I'm selective. Very selective. I am very much a person who is in the now. It doesn't mean my life is stress free, it just means I've relinquished the illusion of control over the future. I'll deal with things when I have to.

comment #2
You're married to the Autodidact!? How cool! I read her book years ago and kinda envied her.
A-a-and my daughter's name is Leah.
Karma. Kismet. whatever
Jenny

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