Brian Williams

Bye bye, Brian. Hope you don’t miss me too much.

Admit it; you thought this was about skiing.

Not that I blame you, especially this time of year when all us ski addicts are beside ourselves from lack of time on the snow.

No, this is about another addiction I have. It’s about time I admitted it (Deep breath here).

I’m a bit of a news junkie.

There. I said it. I know, shameful.

I watch and/or listen or read the news multiple times a day. I start my day with the local TV news and The Today Show. Through the morning and afternoon, I check the news websites multiple times (The NY Times, MSNBC, CNN, etc.). And when I’m driving, it’s NPR. Then at 6:30, it’s the NBC news with Brian Williams, and at 10, New England Cable News. Plus there’s always TIME magazine. I’ve been a subscriber for eons.

Right. It’s a bit much.

I know it’s important to stay informed. But lately the news has been dismal. The debt ceiling debacle, continuing unemployment, plummeting stocks, violence in Syria and London, starvation in Somalia, the beginning of the long, painful campaign for presidency, and so on. It’s all starting to get to me.

Those who know me know I’m not a depressive person. In fact, I’ve always considered myself pretty happy, no matter what the news landscape. But lately, I’ve found myself feeling actual despair. And I have to think that constant exposure to bad news has got to be a part of it. So even I know it doesn’t help to be ignorant of what’s going on in the world, I have to do what I can to save myself. For me, that means taking a vacation off to the news — at least for a week. If I still feel lousy, I’ll tack on another. And we’ll take it from there.

This isn’t going to be easy. Like any addict, the news is a habit. This morning, instead of The Today Show, I started out with the Blues Music channel. Not a bad way to get things going. And when I got in my car, I tuned in the classical station instead of NPR. Maybe I’ll use this week to learn to appreciate the finer things.

Something like Facebook is going to be a challenge. Many of my friends post comments about the news, along with links. I’m going to avoid those as best as I can, but you can’t win ’em all.

So even though Brian Williams signs off with, “Hope to see you right back here tomorrow evening,” I’m afraid I’m going to have to pass. At least for a little while. ¬†Hope he doesn’t miss me too much.