So thankful for your newsletter! What uplifts and keeps me sane? Walking in the park is a good one -- we moved to this city home 8 years ago because it’s close to a huge park and two arboretums. Yesterday, hubby and I walked around one of the arboretums and enjoyed Fall colors while also picking up trash as part of our co-op’s volunteer program.

And that brings up the second thing that helps when I feel overwhelmed by the intensity of the times: civic engagement. In addition to trash patrol, we dropped off our ballots at the local dropbox on our way home. Voting in the “off” years is critical to democracy. A good part of the guardrails you mentioned is local and state officials. For us it includes a state Supreme Court justice! All volunteering is civic engagement in one way or another, connecting with others helps the guardrails too.

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Oct 30, 2023Liked by Margaret Sullivan

Thanks for holding up Cassidy Hutchinson — a terrific example of courage and the value of reading history.

What keeps me sane?

Like Kathy, volunteering and civic engagement. In our social media swamp oozing with so much negativity, we all need paths that give us hope for improving the world.

Thanks again for your valuable contributions.

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Oct 28, 2023Liked by Margaret Sullivan

Taking time to stop and just listen, really listen. That keeps me sane.

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Thanks for your service to the ideals of a free democracy. You are one of the best exports from my hometown!

I will admit that I was a former news junkie, but during the Trump years I needed to cut back in order to preserve my own mental health. I found myself getting to angry about things I couldn't (directly) control. That being said, I do stay informed.

A question I have been pondering, but haven't seen it directly addressed: Is there any silver lining to Johnson's election to Speaker? Namely, the political future of the diminishing number of moderate House Republicans who live in swing districts. How do their consistents feel about their representatives voting to bring in one of the most extreme members of the GOP as Speaker? Will they be punished at the polls next November?

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As a late-comer to being a news junkie i regret not reading the Washington Post when you worked there (as a subscriber I do go back and read your columns). And who knew you were at the helm of the Buffalo News (a city that my wife and family are from and a paper still subscribed to by all of them). Thankfully, you write here, produce your podcast and share via The Guardian. I think it’s so valuable that you continue to share your perspective and experience. The new news happens so fast and is more “information” than news. The old news seemed to be a bit propagated. Either way we are left with the responsibility of learning and making informed decisions. We do need to expand our current field of view but listening to and benefiting from those who know is valuable. So, keep this great content coming - I’m happy to pay - as i love the reminders to walk in the park and discovering new poetry (as an American whose family is from Poland i especially loved today’s poem). Finally, Cassidy Hutchinson is an American hero. I’m inspired by this young woman’s integrity.

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You help keep me sane and have for years as most of the media makes me crazy. Stephanie Miller keeps me sane, my cats, nature around me, counting my blessings, family and friends. Also, less news.

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There is so much awful going on all over the world. The news can be hard to take in. I feel better knowing there are journalists like you who give context to the facts. What uplifts me and keeps me sane? I'm a librarian. One of my librarian friends and I share with each other pictures of beautiful luxury bags, shoes and dresses. Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Oscar de la Renta, Chanel, etc. We follow them on IG and sometimes, we send the same pics to each other at the same time. We have become quite proficient in identifying their product lines, like the LV Neverfull bag. We give our analysis and if we would wear it or not. "I would have worn this dress 30 years and 30 pounds ago." We are librarians, remember. We joke about if we could afford this stuff and had some place to wear these things, we probably wouldn't want to go there. We wonder why we aren't influencers. IT CRACKS US UP. We think we are hysterical. The products are truly beautiful, so we really do admire them. We know how ridiculous it is and it just sends us into laughter.

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