Now back to regularly scheduled programming – and reality

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Just when I thought it was safe to turn the television on again, there was Donald Trump, front and center on Tuesday, telling us we need to make America great again by electing him president.

That probably means Joe Biden will run again.

We just can’t catch a break from this constant, predictable and divisive political rhetoric. It’s two years from the next election and it’s already started. And in the process, the country continues to become more divided than ever. Let the insults begin.

That’s why I’m stepping away from the national news cycle. If it’s not an episode of “Yellowstone,” “Stranger Things,” “Glitch,” “Ted Lasso” or reruns of old sitcoms like “Monk,” “Psych,” “Two and a Half Men” or “Mom,” the television will stay off.

Without the noise, I suddenly realized my utility shed needs to be rearranged. I moved into my new house on Valentine’s Day, and I just found about 10 boxes I’ve been ignoring that need to be emptied.

And why is the inside of my car so dirty? Bigger yet, why haven’t I noticed it during the past year?

How have I gone this long and not been amazed by the beauty of Spring Park? How did I allow myself to become so mesmerized by the political banter that I didn’t notice I had a bottle of salad dressing from Food Lion? I believe the grocery store chain left Florida in 2012.

Like too many other people, I allowed myself to become punch-drunk by watching election stories during the past year. One network promises a red wave. Another predicts the opposite. Meanwhile, I still had boxes that needed to be unpacked. And a car that needs to be cleaned. And a shed that’s cluttered.

I have a golf bag sitting in the corner of my office and it occurred to me that I haven’t hit a golf ball in 20 months. I used to play three times a week. How did I become so distracted?

I am choosing to be in control of my own thoughts. That means looking for flights to Albuquerque, New Mexico, to see my grandson. That means exploring the trails and caverns at Mike Roess Gold Head Branch State Park. That means getting back on the golf course again. Just wondering, but do golf balls go stale?

Maybe I will read a book. Maybe not.

It’s hard to believe it’s been more than 20 years since I’ve gone fishing. We’re in one of the fishing capitals of the world and I elected to spend more time watching 24-hour cable news than wetting a line. I wish somebody would have put some stinkbait under my nose a year ago to bring me back to my senses.

I want to get back to debating who has the best college football team, not the economy. The answer is, of course, UCF.

I want to talk about the storylines from “Yellowstone,” not social media Tweets. Is Beth really that mean? Who will Rip take to the Train Station next? How the heck did Carter get so tall in one year?

I don’t want to see “Let’s Go Brandon” or “Democracy Matters” bumper stickers again.

One national outlet’s slogan is, “We report, you decide.” I decide to turn the channel. I decide to be in charge of my thoughts, opinions and priorities. If I’m going to let my emotions get the best of me, it will be when UCF loses or when I get to McDonald’s too late for the breakfast menu.

So if you’ll excuse me, my shed isn’t going to organize itself.

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