Like many of you, the issues facing the world at the moment have me frustrated and sad. The crisis in the Middle East, war in Ukraine, a Congress that cannot get its act together, and as I write this, the Republicans are about to elect an election denier — who also seems to be against funds for Ukraine and funds to keep the country open — as House speaker. To all of that, we can add the war against our trans community, war on women’s health and a Supreme Court which seems to have one of its justices bought and paid for. Did I mention the country’s relationship with China or the clown show of Donald Trump’s legal issues?
Each of those is a story in themselves and each has many moving parts. Our community is split on many of them. It’s a difficult time for us in the media. Reporting facts is strenuous since we’re in a tribal world at the moment and it seems many only wish to accept facts that support their point of view. An opinion column — which this is — can and must give its reasoning for the story it wishes to share while welcoming opposing views. At times, this becomes overwhelming.
At times like this, I attempt in the early evening to turn off what is happening in-the world and have family time with my husband, Jason, and our little girl, our french bulldog Zola. Computers and phones are switched off and we go into our living room and just chill and enjoy our private time as a family. Jason and I snuggle on the sofa and turn on the TV and immerse ourselves in our latest series or movie, and of course Zola gets into the act since she demands our attention. She’ll bring over one of her toys and demand to either play fetch or tug of war. It takes a while before she finally tires and will sit quietly and watch whatever we are doing.
It might seem so simple, but that is how we turn away from the troubles of the world. That doesn’t mean we don’t chat about those issues, but in family time, it’s secondary since Zola demands all of our attention and the world simply has to wait. If we don’t pay attention to her while she plays with her toys (currently, her favorite is a rubber fish), she begins to run at high speed around the room, which we call “zooms” and jumps on the couch, crashing into one of us. She looks at us as if she were saying: “Do you get the message? You haven’t paid enough attention to me.”
Regardless of the world outside, I want more family time.