How to break the news

Published April 1, 2023

A close up of an empty crossword puzzle with the clues blurred out in the background

My challenge for March was to read the front page of the Financial Times website every day, and see what interested me, read through some of the articles and generally get a bit smarter. I’ve talked already about how surprised I was at the variety of content for what is originally a newspaper about financials and economies, and that continued as a pleasant surprise as the month went on.

I even tried a cryptic crossword and the only thing I can say to that is: What? What are those things? Even when there’s a section explaining how the clues work, which I read and think I understood, I still didn’t manage to get a single clue right. So that was fun!

I have to admit, this has been a challenge that is only half successful. I read more, I found interesting stories, I got my ego bruised by a crossword, and lots of things grabbed my attention that I wasn’t expecting. But on the flip side, forcing myself to read the news every day wasn’t that great for my mental health. I should have probably predicted that given my relationship with the news leading up to this point. The FT is, at least, a respectable source, a pretty balanced reporter and a reliable outlet in terms of facts and figures. But that doesn’t make the news any more palatable.

Sure, there are articles reviewing TV and film, and recipes and brilliant interviews with Courtney Cox. But there’s also war and climate change and politicians and budgets and so many other things that just fill me with dread. For every great article about a village working on a project to share renewable energy sources, there are at least two about how we’re going to miss our climate targets and the world is doomed.

That’s right and it’s good that this message is getting out there, it’s just not one I can deal with on a daily basis. So! What I have learned is I want to check in with reputable news outlets more, for sure, but at specific moments when I’m ready and prepared. I think we should all do a bit more of that kind of self-care.

And on that topic, I’m pausing the monthly challenges for a bit as I’ve been super tired recently and it turns out you can’t just keep layering on hobby after hobby without also expanding the number of hours in a day. Who knew?

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