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Entries from December 2015

News Fast Finished

I ended my boycott of all news media the other day. I set out to spend an entire month without reading or watching any news, just to see what would happen.

I survived. 

Actually I thrived. Even now the only news media I am consuming is a local Kenyan newspaper. I still have not been looking at on-line news (other than music related news) nor watching videos from news media companies. Might keep that permanent.

Being free of worry over what is happening over there has caused me to realize that I spend way too much time thinking about world events. I do not need to have an opinion on what is happening in France, Egypt, or Mongolia. I need to be rooted locally, with an occasional look at American politics. (Mostly because I enjoy it.)

Really I have no idea what happened this past month. Except for things that are important to me, and of course what has been happening here in the village and Nakuru. Otherwise I know nothing, and I am better for it. Happier, safer, and more well read. 

When I bought a newspaper ending my fast I was greeted with this nice story of Muslims shielding Christians from terrorists out to kill Christians:

http://www.nation.co.ke/news/Mandera-bus-attack-victim-says-Muslim-men-confronted-gunmen-/-/1056/3007070/-/7m4m27z/-/index.html

Now what else can I get out of my life?


Christmas

Each Christmas I write a post about how much I dislike Christmas. (Last year's is here.) Which I really do, dislike Christmas that is. It is a terrible holiday. I much prefer Easter. All of which has been said before. So what do I feel this year? Particularly on Christmas Eve as I type this?

This year I am feeling melancholy. Don't misunderstand there are great things going on right now. I'm with Kate, which is spectacular. The kids of course are fantastic, and I do love them loving the holiday. Plus a baby is coming any day now. Not bad for the season. 

Yet the melancholy persists, which is unusual state of emotions for me. After pondering it a while I realize that I miss home. I mean my cultural home, Texas. I miss my Mom, sisters, brothers, and the myriad other family members. I miss all the decorations about town, the parties, the general good cheer that happens this week. I miss the Christmas specials on t.v. I miss Christmas.

Cannot believe that I actually miss Christmas, but well maybe I am getting soft(er) each year that passes, or perhaps I am just feeling homesick.

I am missing the good old United States of America this Christmas. 

Sigh.

At least there will be eggnog and mulled wine tonight.


News Media Fast

I am a consumer of news. I read several different sources on-line plus I generally buy the Daily Nation here in Kenya almost every day. I have always enjoyed being informed. I like knowing what is going on across the world, and am one of those rare people who actually enjoy politics.

That has changed over the past couple of years. I have come to realize that being informed is not all that useful. In fact it can be harmful. Anxiety, anger, regret, and a whole host of other negative emotions accompany the consumption of news media. Politics has become less and less enjoyable as the middle continues to disappear. (U.S. politics)

December will be a news free month for Johnny. I will not read, watch, nor discuss any current events beyond Kasambara (the village we live near) and Nakuru. I will not follow the U.S. presidential campaigns. (I am just going to vote for the Libertarian candidate no matter what I read or see on the news. Why waste time consuming what will not feed me?) I will not read about terrorism. The recent attacks in Beirut, Nigeria, and Paris have had zero direct impact on my life. Knowing about them has only added negativity to my otherwise peaceful existence. I am no better off for the knowledge. It seems to me that knowing of these things, seeing them, only adds fuel to the fire. It is what the perpetrators of these criminal acts want, attention. I will deny them that.

I will still follow news of a musical nature, I mean who could live without music? Plus perhaps news related to science. Otherwise I will black out all news of current events. All that extra time will be spent reading more important things, consuming art instead of voyeurism, and enjoying the peace and quiet. 

If I die from a lack of being informed on what is happening in France, well then you guys will know that watching the news is important. My prediction is that I will come out on the other side, January, better off. Very much still alive and happy without knowing what is happening in the world. 


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