Finding that the news had become a real downer, Nate Driscoll of Nashville, Tennessee, decided to distract himself from world issues by focusing on frivolous things - and, to his great delight, found distraction a remarkably achievable state.
"Who knew how little it really takes to divert my attention?" said Driscoll with an awed shake of his tousled head. "I mean, I had a feeling it wasn't a lot, but it's practically nothing."
Driscoll explained that in his mission toward distraction, television was the obvious choice, but that would have been the easy route. Instead, he opted to seek out solely non-electronic means of diversion. As a start, he decided to try making dinner for himself instead of relying on his standard takeout burrito - and his preparatory trip to the grocery store, all but astounded him.
"I didn't realize how much stuff they have in there," he said. "And like a zillion kinds of peanut butter. Not to mention the bread! I spent like two hours just trying to orient myself."
He came home and headed straight to the kitchen, to dive into his food prep.
"I didn't do anything fancy, just a peanut-butter-and-banana sandwich," said Driscoll. "But it was rewarding."
According to Driscoll, it wasn't until much later, long after he'd finished his simple but nourishing meal, that he realized that not once during his time at the supermarket or during the meal preparation process had he once contemplated the state of the nation, politics, or the climate crisis.
"I'm starting to get why people go to the supermarket on a regular basis," he said. "It really does the trick."
Heartened by his early success at distraction, Driscoll proceeded to find that, in addition to buying and preparing food, other trivial activities, like watching squirrels chase each other in his yard, figuring out how sudokus work, and hashing over with a friend whether turquoise was a primary color, were also highly effective in keeping his mind off world matters.
"Again, it doesn't take much," he said. "And I've barely scratched the surface. This is just the tip of the distraction iceberg."
His face immediately darkened. "Fuck! Sorry, that stupid climate stuff again."
He shook his head and said, "Okay, apparently, if I'm serious about distraction, constant vigilance is what it's going to take. Lesson learned."