Which group were you in when you found out the President and First Lady have the coronavirus? Were you a 1 a.m. person who saw The Tweet? Or were you an early riser, wondering, “Why did I get a dog again?” when you noticed your phone lit up like a lamp store?
What we wouldn’t give for a morning without news of considerable consequence filtered through several cartoon memes! What we wouldn’t give for a piece of toast and some coffee first!
It makes me yearn for a simpler time. It’s true there actually were no simpler times, only the rosy glow of nostalgia misting the trash fires of today. However, creating simpler times in our minds can be therapeutic.
Imagine waking up in, say, 1598 England. How would someone learn that William Cecil, chief adviser to Queen Elizabeth I, had fallen ill? Dramatic for the throne, not to mention all the intrigue playing out at Theobalds House. I mean, GIRL.
There were no tiny bedside computers. There was no Twitter. There was no 24-hour cable news. There was not even a printed newspaper to slither into the sheep’s feed.
To learn the shocking news, one would have to venture outside, at which point the sunshine would trigger a release of serotonin. Perhaps you’d grab a delicious cask of grain pottage. Then, you’d have to find someone who just happened to know Cecil’s son, Thomas, 1st Earl of Exeter, to spill the proverbial tea.
That sounds nice.
We can’t be there, but we can employ practical tips to get through the rest of this year:
Go to bed very early. Very early. Like, I would consider going to bed at 4 p.m. As a “news professional,” I can tell you that 4 p.m. is the slow time in the information cycle, because consumers are burned out and looking for a snack before dinner. It’s a great time to call it a day.
If you can’t go to bed that early due to the six coffees you had when the news woke you up, consider entertaining yourself by reading Lord Byron poetry around a candle until you are tired enough to fall asleep.
Lock devices in a secure location. Give the key to someone you trust, someone with self-control around the scrolling finger. Come up with a safe word in case of emergency, but don’t abuse it just to argue with your poor aunt in New Haven.
Wake up naturally to the sunlight. Adjust your long, woolen sleeping cap and take a big, juicy yawn. Get one cup of coffee, enough for energy, but not enough to keep you on the verge of systemic collapse for the next 12 hours. Walk outside. Look to the sky. Sing a little, if it feels right. You got this!
Don’t wake up at all. Just sleep through this next month. It is always an option, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
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