I used to watch the news – every day at 6pm. Just for a while, catch the latest headlines. If I was at home during the day, I would have Sky News on in the background. I would look at the Sky News app on my phone around three or four times a day.
I read The Guardian, maybe once a week at the weekend – usually a Saturday. I enjoyed reading comment and opinion.
I admit I also read gossip magazines. Drove my partner mad by leaving half open magazines strewn across the living room floor, with garish images of Katie Price staring out at him as he tried to eat his dinner.
One afternoon, recently, colleagues at work were discussing Syria. I suddenly realised that I didn't have much clue what was going on. Apparently something had happened in Kenya, Egypt, too.
Panic set in. I don't read or watch the news any more!
I go out for my lunch, glance at the newsstands. Katie Price is pregnant again – wait – and she's had the baby! How could I not know?
So I make the effort again. I've been attempting to keep up, at least with 'real' news. And each time, I have to switch it off again – I can't stand it.
Today I opened my Sky News app – what did I see? A massacre in a Kenyan Mall, a man set himself on fire in Washington DC, a British schoolboy has been abducted, a missing teenager's body has been identified. Madonna has disclosed she was raped at knifepoint during her early career.
Was it always like this? Or is it my emotional response to news stories that has changed? I suspect the latter.
One of the main reasons I write my blog is that, as a mum of two, my brain is so FULL of things to do, demands, hopes and fears for my children and family that I crave mental space. Writing gives me some of that – renews and restores some of the synapses that have been stuck on 'prepare, do and tidy up' mode.
Watching the news today requires an energy that I'd rather channel elsewhere. I'd rather let my mind wander on the needs of my family than on imagining fearful negative scenarios brought on by current news stories.
Ok, I'll find a middle-ground, set up some Google alerts on issues I care about – parenting, education, health and wellbeing.
But at least for now, the news is out.
Liz is a working mum of two very lively daughters, aged three and one. She blogs about her experiences of life through the lens of parenting - a life which often leaves her tearing her hair out and craving some mental space!
Blogs at: Expression and Confession