News Fasts and Balancing Acts

Recently, I've been getting weekly (on average) phone calls or emails that someone I know well has been laid off, downsized, rightsized, restructured, let go, had their job eliminated, are expecting to be in need of a job, etc. I've always loved to listen to people and to help if I can. I have to admit, though, that at this rate, the need will outstrip my ability to help.

I climbed in my car this morning and heard the beginnings of an unemployment story on NPR. I reached over to turn it off. I hate to stick my head in the sand, but hearing one more story about how many people are unemployed isn't going to help me stay positive for the people calling me - or myself. I've heard them called news fasts - periods of time when you choose not to listen, watch or read news reports. Perhaps a periodic break from the relentless onslaught of awful-ness would be useful to us all.

From the news I have heard or read (before my fast that started today), it's not going to get better soon. I guess I have to find a whole new balance. Especially since I still want to do what I love - listen and help. And I want to keep my own anxiety tempered.

Life is like that. Complacency isn't allowed. The moment we think we have it figured out, something comes along to challenge our comfort. Or at least it seems.