I think I can safely refer to ages 27 to 33 as my own personal current-event dark ages. Every so often I find myself looking at the actual “News” section of a newspaper and puzzling over India's economic decline and the upcoming elections in some tentative new democracy for one, maximum two, minutes before my eyes start to glaze over and I start thinking about what to cook for dinner instead.
If it isn't Dooce divorce gossip or a Ryan Gosling meme, pretty much, I haven't heard about it. Every second conversation I have with husband begins with, “Did you hear what happened today?” Nope. Still not paying attention.
But I should! And I did. I read the New Yorker for kicks when I was a teenager and I lived and breathed politics and philosophy as an undergrad. Reading the newspaper cover to cover was one of my greatest weekend pleasures. I was informed.
But then I had kids and aside from the occasional job that requires me to read Gawker and watch The Daily Show I am completely out of touch. It is laughably pathetic, in fact, that I find it so hard to digest news if it isn't seasoned with snark and satire. (And we're not even going to touch on my attention span for actual literature today!)
I don't want to blame the kids, though — even if it is entirely their fault, those ceaselessly demanding little buggers. My youngest kid is only nine months old, after all. It'd be a long time before I picked up a paper again if I waited until my kids were all old enough to just leave me alone for a solid hour or so. And that's just too depressing.
But also. I know it's really my fault. I do have time to read the real headlines at the very least. I might not have the intellectual and emotional capacity to process all the news on any given day, but I can always find ten minutes here and there to touch base with the broader world. I should be able to at least say, “Yes, I did hear that happened! Tell me more about it.”
So I'm going to try.
Has parenthood made you out of touch? What is it about procreation that turns our brain to mush, exactly? And will it get better?
Photo credit: NS Newsflash on Flickr.