03: Four Walls

Reading the paper on Sunday, the constant headlines of death, destruction, inflation, leadership change, gloom, doom, and advertisements for spoons, the ink wears on you. Sometimes the news is enough to pitch the rolled up print straight to the recycle bin.

The television news cycle is not better. Everything is “breaking” news and in the end, they do succeed. They break you and suddenly you are Eeyore. You remember him in “Whinny-the-Pooh” as the pessimistic, gloomy, depressed donkey, He’ll knock the stuffing out of a positive perspective. You’ll pray, he’ll bray.

There is something you can do. I’ve found the only things I can control are within the four walls of home. I try my best to do that. Leaving work and the place is in my rearview mirror, I immediately feel better. Not that work is a bad place; I do enjoy my day job. I keep the work problems there. The couple of times I have brought work issues home, I lost control of the four walls and let that ruin my surroundings. That affects everyone, from my joyful wife to our two pooches. That will ruin the time I strive for.

To regain control I will excuse myself and take a long walk. Often it is solo, yet a couple of times, Jack the dog, joins me. In those times, he reminds me it’s OK to be a dog. Smell the smells and sniff the sniffs. For me, it’s taking time to slow down and realize that despite what happens outside the home, doesn’t control the home.

What amazes me is before my marriage in 2015, I had the radio tuned to a talk station. Blah-blah this and that. Angry presenters upset at the world. News breaks that fed us become natural paranoia. It’s enough to make you become a braying Eeyore!

With a loving suggestion, I stopped the negative input and focused on my surroundings. The mode shifted to a happy home, happy partner, cheerful pooches. We continue to get the Sunday paper delivered. Our first focus is the travel section. Bad news continues and in the big scheme of things, it can have an impact on us. We opt not to let the items get to us.

We don’t let the outside activities cause havoc in our four walls.


Christopher Carmichael is a writer, radio producer, and notices things. Thank you for reading!