Paul E. Anna: High Points | AspenTimes.com

Paul E. Anna: High Points

Paul E. Anna
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

So here we sit on the cusp of autumn 2008, and things are getting a little weird out there in the modern world.

Financial institutions that were once thought rock-solid are crumbling like Gibraltar to the sea. Al Qaeda seems to be alive and well, based on the news from Yemen. And regardless of whether you believe that global warming is generated by man or nature, you have to admit that the recent rash of catastrophic hurricanes is unsettling to say the least.

So what do we do?

Well, first thing, turn off your television. Fox News, CNN, MSNBC, etc., etc., all profit from scaring the bejesus out of folks. For the last 40 years the focus of news has evolved from the dissemination of information to the dissemination of disaster. Each day ” 24/7/365 ” the Barbie and Ken dolls on the airwaves spew the gospel of fear and unrest. The reality that they sell may look real, but it is so infused with the message of “be afraid, be very afraid” that it creates a false world unto itself ” a world that is as real as the digitized high-definition screen that delivers it.

I’m not saying that one should not be informed, but the way in which the missing babies, the mass evacuations, the investment-bank collapses, the terrorist bombings, and the train crashes are all packaged and then sold as truth ought to be ignored at all costs.

Let’s keep some perspective, as this too shall pass.

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Next, hunker down in the hills. The reasons most of us moved here are for the environment and the lifestyle. Enjoy both.

Fall may be the best time here in the Roaring Fork Valley ” warm Indian summer sun, cool leaf-changing nights, the crowds of summer and winter diminished. These days are truly the best. We get so wrapped up in the issues and the stories that we sometimes forget to simply walk outside, turn our faces to the sun and breath in the mountain air. Don’t let that happen to you.

And get some exercise. Not only is it time to start thinking about getting in shape for ski season (which is just nine weeks away), but all the experts say that daily exercise is the best way to relive the stress of modern living. A hike, a run, a ride, yoga, take your pick. They are the great elixirs that will help you best the constant beat about a world about to be downgraded.

So you there you have it. Turn off your television, take a good look at the reality of the world around you and break a sweat. You’ll feel better by Sunday.

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