4. Something in life that gives you balance
There was a time period in my life where I kind of liked being out of touch with what was going on in the world. I kind of reveled in the reactions of others when I looked confused at their pop-culture references. I liked being able to shimmy out of conversations when they turned political and news-oriented.
But I also liked the peace of mind it brought me. It was a little “ignorance is bliss” – okay maybe a lot.
But something changed this year.
Maybe it’s the fact that things the President decides affect me more now that I’m getting older. I’ve seen how certain decisions Obama has made (healthcare) is affecting my world directly and I’m seeing the importance of having a President whose values are similar to my own. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that this years election season is kind of like a circus.
But in the last few months, I’ve been listening to an elections podcast. It’s data driven, not opinion and yakkity-yak nonsense, and I’m learning all the things about our electoral system that I didn’t pay attention to in High School. I find myself looking forward to this podcast (FiveThirtyEight), it’s actually one of my top two favorite podcasts! (This American Life is the other.) Also, I subscribed to a daily email called TheSkimm. It gives me the latest news in a really fun way. It’s kind of like one page newspaper, and it’s clever. I feel informed, but not depressed. I also don’t feel like there’s a lot of bias there.
I am an artsy-language-food-and-fun-please kind of person. I prefer art museums and afternoons full of reading. I like to color and write and did I mention reading? I love plays and Shakespeare and I hate math and science. I think I’m stereotypical in that sense.
So these new things, keeping up with the elections and what’s going on in the world, give me balance.
Most importantly, it challenges me to trust that God is in control. I think when I was safely in my ignorance bubble, relying on God focused on things that were, in a way, in my hands. And I had to make an active effort of dumping them from my hands so as to trust God with them. But current events and elections are so far beyond my grasp, that my only reaction options are fear/worry or trust.
I have found immense value in taking off the blindfold to the world and keeping my eyes open to the reality of what’s going on around me. Shutting my eyes and ears to the outside world kept me in a safe bubble, yes, but where did God ask me to be safe? And answer me this, how can we see the world with God’s eyes, and love the world with God’s heart, if we don’t open either one of them?