Ignorance is defined as a having a lack of knowledge or information. I never thought I would say this, but lately, I am happier being somewhat ignorant. These days I find that watching the news causes me tremendous angst. And yet, I can’t look away. Social media has become a source of information on my college son’s goings on, so despite myself I stay tuned in.
With the exception of being able to wish friends happy birthday, scrolling through my newsfeed is super-stressful and that’s upsetting to me because I have always been genuinely curious and hungry for knowledge. I love to listen, learn and grow as a person. I have always worked and engaged with the world. I started my own business and am a seeker of all things creative.
But, now I yearn for nothing more than blissful ignorance.
My daughter was held hostage in the Parkland shooting.
Some background on me may help. Eighteen months after moving with my kids and husband to another state, far away from everything familiar, we found ourselves in the middle of one of the most tragic shootings on American soil at my kids’ high school in Parkland, Florida.
My middle daughter was held hostage for 3 hours on the campus while my younger daughter and I waited outside for her. Those were three of the longest, most horrific hours and no one should ever have to experience a wait like that. And yet, I know, I am one of the lucky ones. She came home to us. She is still here. My beds are full at night. Trust me, I have perspective. Nothing ruffles my feathers much these days.
With helicopters flying overhead for days, news reporters appearing as lawn accessories, and a heavy police presence everywhere, I found myself needing to escape my daily routines. Reading newspaper headlines was a trigger, sounds were triggers, smells were triggers. It was all very real.
Life goes on, but sometimes I crave purposeful and blissful ignorance.
Yet life goes on. Thankfully, life goes on and we had to move forward. But for some, life stood still. Frozen in the moments that were stolen from them. And that’s where I find myself sometimes wanting to bubble wrap my kids, turn off the TV, lower the radio, delete apps, throw away the darn phones and disengage.
I crave blissful ignorance.
I want Mr. Rogers back. I want Sesame Street songs playing in the background. I’ll even take Dora the Explorer and Kids Bop music (which in full disclosure used to make my neck hair stand at attention when I heard it). I want to be ignorantly happy; not stressfully informed.
When my texts from friends end in, “next time we hang, let’s grab a Xanax and wine” because that’s what we need to relax…I believe we have a problem. I have always thought of myself as someone who could handle whatever life throws at me. I grew up where kids did drugs, went to summer school for being delinquent and worked damn hard for a dollar. I’ve always worked; babysitter, local stationary store, candy striper, waitress (not a very good one), substitute teacher, anything until I found a career after college.
I’m a hustler, not a wallflower. But these days, I’m becoming more and more desperate for quiet time. Board games. Show tunes. I Love Lucy episodes and the smell of a home cooked meal. Real life has just become terrifyingly stressful.
When I say, I want to hide under the covers and make it all go away, don’t misunderstand me, I don’t suffer from depression. But, I can’t stand that our teens don’t know what it is to feel safe. they don’t know a world in which they don’t have to worry about their right to go to school and come home safely.
My son, who’s away at college, left our new community willingly and happily to avoid driving by the school-shooting locale every day. Now he is on a college campus where classes were shut down, the FBI presence was everywhere and it was rumored that a forty-seven page manifesto had been distributed to students. I say, again…I can’t take the news.
Of course, I want to be informed. I want to know what’s going on so I can lean in at the table and have an intelligent conversation. I want to be an active member of my community and help those who are less fortunate. But, these days, I find that my tank is less full of energy and I’m working on more self-love and self-care to be a better parent and fill my tank before its on “E” again. Even the grey hairs seem to be coming in quicker.
Does every generation go through this? I know they do. Every generation has their version of the new awful and scary thing. But I have to say, with information overload these days and social media as the new norm, I’m not sure it can get more difficult.
So, when you see me and I want to talk about the winner of The Voice or a rerun of Friends, please just humor me…and don’t judge. Consider that by supporting my need for blissful ignorance, you may be helping me to refill my tank.
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Dana (rhymes with Banana) is the mama of three beautiful souls trying to figure out their way in this world. As they wander, she observes and finds herself drawn to the computer to share her stories. Her hope is that you find comfort, relatability, tears and maybe some humor in her words. She relies heavily on her friend squad to get her through the days. If you need someone to get you through yours, she’d be happy to be that gal.
When she’s not writing, parenting, wifing, daughtering and friending, you can find her decorating peoples homes. That brings her huge pleasure as well. Lets connect. Connection is everything: firstname.lastname@example.org or Instagram