Don’t Panic

After about 2 weeks of listening to NPR news in the morning, I have come to a number of conclusions.

First, I don’t have time to panic, as much as the US government is encouraging me to do so. I don’t have room for 3 weeks of bottled water, or whatever it was, and I don’t have money to spend on Duct Tape. I have way too much going on, on a daily basis, to devote a single moment to panicing, which is actually quite time consuming once you get started. The web site put up by the Department of Homeland Security succeeded in making me afraid. It contains all of the security tips that you learned in kindergarden, and makes you think that all of those situations will happen to you tomorrow. Do yourself a favor. Give your kids a big hug. Tell your loved ones how much you love them. Have a glass of your favorite wine. Sing your favorite songs in public, loud enough that people give you strange looks. Wear silly hats. Enjoy life. Let that be your preparation for dark times. I’m not suggesting that being completely unprepared is a sensible thing. I’m suggesting that spending your time worrying will not make you any more prepared than following my simple recommendations. Life is too short to waste it in planning for it to end. If we get nuked, all the duct tape in the world is not going to make up for the angry words you said to your daughter, or the rude remark you made to your coworker, or for the fact that you spent your money on plastic sheeting rather than on a good Mourvèdre.

Secondly, there is nothing going on in the world that I need to hear about on my drive to work. That time can be spent listening to books on tape, and when I arrive at work, I will be more relaxed, happier, and in general better off. Listening to the news on the way to work makes me stressed out, afraid, angry, sad, and generally unhappy. Besides which, I am exposed to the news on the web all day long, and on IRC when something happens that I really need to know about. That’s already too much.

So, I got more books on tape, and I won’t be listening to NPR any more. There are too many good books in the world to waste good drive time listening to Corey Flintoff tell me that I should be in a panic about … whatever it was.