About a year ago, I came to the realization that watching the news and listening to the noise of Trump’s madness gripping the world was taking up a lot of my time and energy. I was starting every morning on a diet of endless news stories filled with outrage. I was reading constant loops of intrigue about FBI investigations, Russian Links, and cruel taunts and Tweets from a President. And I realized that all of the noise was cluttering my mind and taking up too much space.
That week I decided to do something drastic. I stopped reading. Anything. Period. For a whole week. I found that this created much-needed space in my mind to fill with ideas, dreams, inspiring thoughts and actions I wanted to take. My writing flowed more effortlessly and I finished tasks I had let gather dust for months. I spent more time in my garden, I sat and talked to my kids, and I wrote, a lot. I had so much more space without the noise of the Trump news cycle, and, I don’t even live in America.
Since the day that Trump was elected President of the United States, the world seemed to come to a standstill to watch the show. We became weirdly fascinated with watching the unravelling of American democracy with each investigation, firing, tweet, and tantrum. Even conversations at a birthday party in rural Holland became discussions over the latest scandal.
The noise and chatter around Trump as the President of the United States was distracting. It filled us and crept into our thoughts. After my week of non-reading, I went straight back to checking the news as soon as I woke, throughout the day and the last thing before I slept. I was stuck in a sad fascination with watching the never-ending drama series of America.
That week without reading opened my eyes to how much time and energy this fascination was taking. Fascination should be a good word; we should be following our fascination and learning and growing. It is time to get back to that.
It is time to turn off the noise that is Trump, wish him goodbye from the White House and from our minds. It is time to nurture fascination with other things again. It is time to remove the clutter from our minds and make space for things that bring us joy, hope and wonder. It is time to expand our reading and listening to writers and journalists who tell us about the world and all that is happening in it, not just in one oval office. These next few weeks are going to be hard to tear our eyes away from, as America transitions to a new President. But, it is time for me to move my attention from the Trump noise. While I can’t imagine a life without reading, I look forward to one that has the level of noise turned down a little now that the Trump era is over.