I’m not a surfer, but I have a world of respect for those who have mastered the skill. It’s a sport that’s both thrilling, and terrifying.
We took a family trip to Florida once, and devoted ourselves to learning to surf. I did manage to get up a few times, but when I fell off, I wasn’t prepared for the crushing blow of the waves that snuck up from behind, pummeling me further under. Just as I was coming up for air, a massive wave would crash on top of me, leaving me coughing, disoriented, and gasping. I just couldn’t catch my breath.
In many ways, recent news has been like that. Just when we think we’re starting to get a handle on the latest events, another wave comes pounding down upon us, leaving us reeling. Canada (and Nova Scotia) has suffered another devastating loss with the recent crash of a Cyclone helicopter off the coast of Greece. Our hearts and prayers extend the the families of those who who were on that flight. The military is an extended family, and any losses or injuries cut deeply.
If we didn’t care, it wouldn’t hurt so much.
I don’t recall a time when there have been so many repeated waves of challenge and tragedy in such a short space of time. At least not in my generation…and not in this country.
It’s important to acknowledge that there’s a backdrop to all of these current events. Personal challenges or struggles each of us face in our immediate circles. Family members who are sick or struggling, losses that people can’t formally grieve, economic hardship and uncertainty.
Yes, it is important to stay informed. But it’s equally important not to oversaturate oneself with the news. I’ve spoken with many veterans and first responders in recent weeks who’ve been glued to their televisions trying to get a handle on the steadily changing state of things. Doing their best to be prepared. After all, knowledge is power.
Or is it? If we watch too much, it starts to control us. Maybe it’s time we cut way back, limiting our news exposure to a few basics. Taking a break entirely, or limiting our exposure to a few minutes per day so that we gain the latest highlights.
Putting distance between ourselves and the news does not mean that we don’t care. It’s evidence that we do. Because we care so much, it’s important that we don’t immerse ourselves in it.
So if you can, this weekend, turn off your electronics. Go for a walk. Bake, cook and be creative. It’s a great time to make some flower boxes in preparation for transplanting your indoor garden outside. Ride a bike, enjoy a hike and take some time to enjoy the signs of spring.
Take some time to catch your breath, allowing ourselves to realize that this too shall pass.