My house is giving up television for Lent…yup, even the dogs and cats (who ADORE Animal Planet) are giving up television for 40 days.
Day actually came up with the idea, she felt TV was distracting her too much from things she needed to accomplish. I agree with her. Television can be a time and energy drain, and it takes very little of it to drain quite a lot. I liken TV to a bowl of my favorite candy. I eat one and the taste is great, so intense and lovely and I remember why it is my favorite. When I am done with that piece, I realize it has gone too soon and I need another, so I eat a second one. This one is almost as good as the first, but the newness of the experience has already paled. Still, it is so good that I pick up a third one, this one is specifically so I can slow down and enjoy the flavor. Do I? Not really. The flavor is expected this time, it is good, but it is not that burst of flavor the first one had. Next thing you know the bowl of candy…or your entire evening is gone and the only thing you have to show for it is, well, nothing. You’ve just spent an entire evening living vicariously though someone else, instead of actually living.
Don’t let me lie to you, I’m just as bad as the next guy. To be totally honest, when Day started discussing this I had such a violent “ABSOLUTELY NOT!” reaction to her proclamation that I shocked myself. I had to take a step or two back and think about my reaction, and examine its root. What had become so important about television that I HAD to have it for the next 40 days? What on television was so necessary to life that I couldn’t give it up for the sake of someone I loved very much, and for my own sake? I’m not sure when it happened, but I guess I’ve hung a little bit of my comfort and a lot of my entertainment space on this little square box…I’m not proud of it, especially since Day and I had weaned ourselves away from it successfully when I first moved up here (honestly, there was just too much to do to watch TV, and my commute to EVERYTHING was so long I needed that extra time to get there), but it happened. Now it is up to me to make it un-happen. The first step is to turn off the TV for the next 40 days. No, I won’t be recording it to watch later…I’m giving it up. I’m not saving it for later, I’m forgoing it for my betterment. I won’t be watching on Sundays either, because honestly it is too tempting. I could easily see myself ‘living for Sunday’ where I can lose myself in the television and I don’t want that to happen. I’ve still got the computer…blogging…games…knitting/crocheting…scrapbooking…a metro system that leads to our nation’s capital…I think I’m good. I hope I’m good. I’ve also set a “mini-goal” for myself during this time. I want most of my entertainment to come from books for the next 40 days. I want to read until I am sick of reading, and as I am doing that I want to teach myself that it is ok to not finish a book if I do not enjoy it. Oh, and I want to read one book on how to improve my writing.
So…Day 1 without television:
I’m hoping to finish up “Perfume: A story of a murderer” today. It is a German novel…and very German in its German-ness. There is always a strange undercurrent of decay and torment, under the obvious decay and torment. I am not enjoying it, although parts of it are enthralling…but I need to know how this ends. It’s one of those, “where is this going?” books that demands to be finished. Tonight is Panera…and writing. We will see what tomorrow brings.