I fell into a trap, that I created, and proceeded to have my time go down a sinkhole to nowhere.
I became concerned about where this country (the USA) was going, its declining values, its increasing entitlement mentality, its move away from facts and rationality. I even spent several months understanding and looking at the economy and politics - and formulated two sites with extensive and pretty good material. My brother and an old friend remarked how the main site was the only site that really dealt with in-depth rational conclusions. So it "kindled" some hope, imagining the difference I could make.
But, alas, that was an illusion. The people who are in politics and commentary have worked hard to get to where they are and I'm not sure I would be willing to put in all of the work needed to do so. Plus I was probably fooling myself about how good I could get and how much of a difference I could make.
My conclusion is that I cannot make a difference and therefore that I should not be involved no matter the passion and/or concern. So I stopped all email notices, stopped watching any more than minimum tv, stopped reading all of the books - and stopped putting any energy into it, for it would be a waste to hold onto it.
The big thing that was necessary to let it go, besides, of course, that it was not productive at all, is the reconciliation that I needed to accept the outcomes.
We are very possibly not going to elect a good president and that the country will continue in a "drift" of ineffectuality and political pleasing. Humans are only so far along and I can't expect more than that from them. But they always do respond at some point, often when it is painfully unavoidable. As Churchill once said "Americans can always be counted on to do the right thing...after they have exhausted all other possibilities."
And I need to be able to see that we (and I) will be pretty well off anyway, though I still hate to see the unnecessary suffering that is being created now and will be created.
I cannot influence the outcome. The outcome will be what it is. And it'll all be ok. I now let go of it - and live my life based on what I can influence, which is plenty. Life is and will be good!
TO BE AN 80/20 PERSON
Part of what drove this is that I realized that if I am to truly be an 80/20 Person, I needed to drop all low payoff items so that I could mine all the high payoff (top 20%) items in my life. See 80/20 Living.
USELESS DOPAMINE SOURCE
It's interesting how I was also using it as a form of stimulation. The intellectual thought, the finishing of an article with some satisfaction, the possibility people would respond... All imaginary, bound to go nowhere.
I now release it, now and forever. And that's just fine, there is no need for concern.
I VIOLATED THE CONTROL PRINCIPLE
I engaged in something that had the same effect as trying to push something with a wet noodle.
I forgot to control what I can control (but only that which is important enough) and stop trying to control what I can't control or have very little effect on. Kind of like the Serenity Prayer (grant me The Serenity to accept the things I cannot change....) but read Serenity for the whole picture.
I needed to just accept the lack of control of the outcome and just move forward with my life.
Learning what to try to control and what not to try to control is one of the main lessons in life. See Control.
Added note: I notice, when I saw some outrageous lies with continued use after the press even proved them to be lies, I let myself get righteous or angry about it or a "it shouldn't be, it isn't right". I see that is a stupid way of creating an illusion of control. No matter how I puff up about it, it makes no difference in the world - and it just has a negative effect on me (and/or those around me). I have no influence. I produce no result. Therefore, it is an unintelligent way to spend any of my time. I shouldn't even watch a TV program on it (or pretend that it is just out of interest, as there is no reason for interest unless it is in my interest to know about those things!). I shall give up TV on politics and on the wars and stupid things some people do - for they do not affect my life. I need to stay strictly to the 80/20 way of living!!!!!!