I’ve been listening to too much news lately, especially during the presidential campaign and its aftermath. It’s like a soap opera with real life consequences—hard to turn off. Like a box of See’s candy or a sack of bite-sized Snickers—bad for your health but oh, so tempting to overindulge in it.
My solution: listen to more music. I don’t mean to say that I’m opting out of the news. I still feel the need to know what’s going on in my country and the world. To be a knowledgeable citizen. To do my part.
But for a while I was going overboard. And so, in order to gain more balance in my life, I’ve decided to turn to music. Or at least I’m trying to make at least a partial transition from news to music. Old habits die hard.
One old habit of mine is listening to NPR while I drive. Sometimes I listen to music CDs when I’m in the car, or even to “the sound of silence.” Lately, though, NPR has had the lion’s share of my driving time. The mix CDs my daughter made for me deserve more attention. And really, there’s nothing wrong with a little silence now and then.
Another habit: watching or listening to the news while I’m cooking, eating or washing dishes. I haven’t always been such a news junkie. I suppose I fell into the habit after my husband died. The house had begun to seem too quiet, and the radio and TV helped fill up that sound space. This year, the outrageous presidential campaign and election overflowed into every nook and cranny.
My transition to music started a few weeks ago with the songs I have on iTunes. Those songs were getting a little stale, though, so I signed up with Pandora.
Here are some of the “stations” I’ve set up so far on Pandora:
Bruno Mars, Sam Smith, Smooth Jazz, Sara Bareilles, Santana, Fun., and Christmas Traditional, which I play when I’m wrapping gifts and addressing Christmas cards.
I still find it hard to tear myself away from the news–all those meaty, complex, outrageous things going on every day in my country and the world. When I listen to music, though, I smile more. I even find myself swinging my hips and twirling my way around the kitchen.
I feel happier. And that’s gotta be a good thing.