Mitigating “Trump Fatigue Syndrome”

I’m reading WAY too much political news lately on Twitter. It’s like an accident you drive by: you don’t really want to look…it doesn’t make you feel good to look…but yet, you just can’t help it.

But it’s actually worse than that. The state of affairs is such that I have the feeling that I honestly shouldn’t look away….that I have an obligation, as an American, to keep up as much as possible with all of this crap…to stay informed and active and activated. This really isn’t a moment in time when it’s right to tune out, I think.

But, boy!!! There’s just SO MUCH!! It’s wearing – and it’s scary, too. Sometimes you just need a mental break.

Incidentally, I’m apparently not the only one who feels like this. I ran across this article earlier this morning  – which coins the term “Trump Fatigue Syndrome”:

“Trump fatigue syndrome”: the exhaustion you feel from trying to stay on top of the nonstop scandals and absurdities emanating from the Trump administration. TFS, for short.

~writer Lee Drutman, via Vox

I do definitely have some TFS going on! 🙂

So anyway, I am trying to step away from Twitter an hour or so before bed, at least. I don’t always manage it, but I figure it’s probably a healthy thing, a self-care thing, to allow that little bit of escapism!

And I thought I’d list out some of the “tools” I’ve been utilizing to support this endeavor.

(This will serve also as a VERY abbreviated Lists of 5 entry – because I haven’t done one of those in a really long time!)

So:

The Last 5 Books I Read

1-Captivate, by Vanessa Van Edwards.

This is really, really good. I first encountered Vanessa Van Edwards via Creative Live – she does classes for them – and I started watching some of her YouTube videos. Her suggestions and perspective have been helpful to me in some areas I’ve been struggling with (more on that in another post!) And so I thought I’d give the book a shot. I’m about halfway through it so far – and am thoroughly glad I picked it up! (I definitely have more to say on this. I’ll make a post when I’ve finished the book!)

2-Wild Space, by Karen Miller.

Yes, this is actually a Star Wars novel. Yes, I am embracing my inner geek lately. I’m not ashamed of it! I started watching The Clone Wars cartoon series with my kids – and it was surprisingly addictive! Which then got me more interested in the whole Star Wars universe. You can judge me if you want…but I’ll tell you: there’s nothing like sci fi when you’re looking to rest a tired brain!

3-Wonder Woman: Who is Wonder Woman? by Allan Heinberg, Terry Dodson, and Rachel Dodson.

Yes, not just Star Wars, but Wonder Woman, too. (If you’re going to embrace your inner geek, you might as well go all the way.) I can blame this, like Star Wars, on my kids, too! Or at least on my daughter. She LOVES the DC Superhero Girls and keeps asking me to look up their backstories. My interest has gotten piqued in spite of myself!

4-Hag-Seed, by Margaret Atwood.

I literally JUST started reading this. I’ve read like the first three pages. So I can’t say much about it yet! I love Margaret Atwood, though, and haven’t read a book of hers in some time – so I’m looking forward to getting into it.

5-Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, by Roald Dahl.

I had actually never read this one straight through until now. I think, as a kid, I always read to somewhere around the point when one of the girls blows up like a big blueberry – and then I would get creeped out and stop! I still find it kind of creepy, I have to say – and not in a good way! I read it to my kids and they both loved it though – so I guess I’m definitely in the minority in not caring for it.

The Last 5 Movies I Watched

1-Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

See the Star Wars-oriented embracing-of-my-inner-geek paragraph above!

Geek-embracing aside though, this was really a pretty decent movie – entertaining, and visually rather captivating, and with good actors. I actually watched the entire film before realizing that the reason the name Felicity Jones was familiar to me was because I’d watched her previously as the main character, Catherine, in an adaptation of Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey. I didn’t even recognize her!!

Here’s the trailer:

2-The Ghost Writer

With the rather powerful twin influences of Obi-Wan Kenobi (see #3 below on this list, and #2 on the list above!) and the Perfect Sense movie (see #4 below!), anything with Ewan McGregor in it is jumping out at me lately – so I snagged this at the library when I stumbled on it and watched it the other day. It was pretty good. I didn’t anticipate the final moments – and they kind of freaked me out!!!! I do like endings I can’t ultimately predict. 🙂

Here’s the trailer:

3-Revenge of the Sith

Yes, more Star Wars!

I actually had to watch this one though, as a parent, as my kids (at 10 and 8) were dying to see it, and really were both on the edge of appropriate age for it. It was in fact considerably pushing it to allow my eight-year-old daughter to see it. She sat next to me, and I ended up covering her eyes for multiple scenes! I knew it would be like that to a certain extent, but I forgot just how disturbing a couple of the scenes were – particularly the one where the limb-less Anakin slides down into the lava fire. Wow!!

It’s even worse after you’ve watch Clone Wars, too. Anakin is such a likable character in that! It made his turn toward “the dark side” here and his ultimate fate so much more disturbing.

It’s funny: I can’t say I was ever “disturbed” by Star Wars before (gruesomeness of that lava scene notwithstanding). I always liked it – particularly when I was a kid, watching the original trilogy. (Princess Leia was of course awesome…and I had a not-insignificant crush on Han Solo 🙂 ) So I was reliably entertained by Star Wars, always – but I don’t think I was ever emotionally touched by it at all. The Clone Wars series really grabbed me, though. I somehow got much more invested in the characters in the course of watching that through – Anakin and Obi-Wan, most particularly.

Here’s the trailer:

4-Perfect Sense

It took me weeks to get this movie out of my head, to stop thinking about it in odd moments. And I don’t think it’s actually all the way out yet! It’s one of those stories that just hits you a certain way and clings.

I think the last movie to affect me that way was Mr. Nobody. And, like Mr. Nobody, I’m honestly not even sure I LIKED Perfect Sense…but yet, I want to see it again. I feel drawn to it. (I’ll write more about it after I do. I think I might enjoy untangling my thoughts about this in a post. I think that might be helpful!)

Here’s the trailer:

5-The Light Between Oceans. This wasn’t exactly an enjoyable movie. It was sad and the characters weren’t overly likable – Isabel, particularly. But it was beautiful and really well-acted.

Here’s the trailer:

The Last 5 Songs That Came Up When I Put My Music Player on Shuffle

1-“Indian”, by Sleeping at Last

2-“Unannounced”, by Azure Ray

3-“Speed of Sound”, by Coldplay

4-“99 Red Balloons”, by Sleeping at Last

5-“A Beautiful Lie”, by Thirty Seconds to Mars (**see note at bottom!**)

*

So, there are my lists! Perhaps some of the items might be helpful to somebody else currently suffering from “TFS”! 🙂

*

One last thing:

When I really, really need a break from pondering the state of the world, yet can’t (or don’t feel right about) indulging in escapism, my lifeline these days is Seth Meyer’s “A Closer Look.”

Here’s the most recent episode:

I honestly don’t know what I’d do these days without this show! Seriously.

I like Stephen Colbert sometimes, too, and occasionally Samantha Bee. But I LOVE Seth Meyers. For some reason, watching him always makes me feel a little bit better.

****

**I just recently saw the “making of” documentary they did for this video. It was interesting – and it’s available for free via Hoopla, the public library’s video & music borrowing site. (Just FYI!)**

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