When the news overwhelms me, which has been happening more often lately, I go in search of distractions. Here’s my distraction plan. Your mileage may differ. (More)

Midday Matinee is our people watching, people doing and people being feature. Join the Woodland Creatures for an afternoon break.

First … make sure I have sent my emails to my Congress critters or called them so I can feel like at least I tried to be heard. I do feel very lucky that Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken are my Senators. Unfortunately I live in MN06 and that makes Michele Bachmann my Representative. At least since she ran for President, she has been responding to my emails. I hope it isn’t a sign of her future intentions that she is still responding. Ugh.

Option two … try and lose myself in a good book. Normally I prefer thrillers but given the times, I have opted for more romances because I am guaranteed a happy ending. Fortunately I am staying with friends who have a house full of books I haven’t read yet. Even at one a day I can make it through the debt ceiling without repeating any books. For me shelves of yet to be read books are the equivalent of having more money than month.

Option three … take a walk or some sort of exercise. Fresh air and movement can cause me to stop and notice the sand hill cranes or the other wildlife. I can check on the wild turkey who still has a pretty bad limp. Having a cat sit close and purr gives me the same pleasure without any exertion.

Option four … indulge in chocolate. I prefer chocolate fudge with no nuts or marshmallows. Just plain chocolate fudge. I am trying to ration my chocolate to one or two pieces per day. I’d hate for congress to finally deal with the fiscal cliff only to find myself diabetic from too much fudge. Ghirardelli also make a dark chocolate bar with caramel and sea salt that rocks.

Option five … take a nap. Rip Van Winkle might have been onto something. A nice midday nap is a great way to leave my cares behind me. It can’t be so long as to disrupt my night’s sleep but retirement does leave room for some scheduling flexibility.

Talking with like minded friends is perhaps the best thing I do. I am reassured that I am not going crazy. Doing something kind for someone else also works. The worst thing I can do is read the unmoderated comments on some ‘news’ sites. Trust me, the ugliness is not confined to Washington D.C. This list is obviously incomplete. It is also pathetic. The news is just weighing on me. Democrats had a great 2012 and I should probably replay President Obama’s election night speech to recapture some of the magic. Additions and suggestions would be most welcome. I hope you are surviving the news.

P.S. I even watched football yesterday.