Television is taking over the world. It’s been very subtle about it, though. I hadn’t even suspected anything until the last couple of weeks – until then, I’d thought of it as rather benign and good at providing entertainment to accompany my knitting.
But now I’m convinced: television will not be happy until we’re planted in front of it at all hours of day, forsaking all others.
It starts so simply. Maybe there are a couple of shows you love to watch. Perhaps you feel you need to catch up on the news. It’s always good to throw a couple of intriguing documentaries into the mix, of course. Then there are the old favourites that you don’t mind picking up from time to time, taking you back to your childhood or those times when you could quote entire scenes. Before you know it, your entire evening is scheduled around television, along with significant portions of your weekend.
Just the other day, I happened to be watching a preview for Wayward Pines when I caught myself lamenting the difficulty of finding the time to watch it. All of a sudden, it seemed ridiculous to me: when it comes to making time for things, surely there are more important activities to prioritise than television? Is television starting to manipulate my thoughts now?
And just like that, I’m sick of it, although I still find myself conflicted. I enjoy watching television series because they give my imagination opportunities for springboarding and finding inspiration; on the other hand, the watching of the aforementioned leaves me little time for implementing these wonderful ideas. Actually, there’s an idea: perhaps we should do a quick list of the things I can and can’t do while watching television.
Things I Can Do While Watching TV
- Spend time with the Chef
- Pat kitties
Things I Can’t Do While Watching TV
- Play games with the Chef
- Go for walks (preferably with the Chef)
- Practise my instruments
- Improve my photography
Even that quick list shows you just how much television is stealing in the way of productivity and fun.
Now some of you may recall a post from March where I declared Tuesdays to be off-limits to television. Surely that would have set me on the right path? In theory, yes. In practice, no. We did, indeed, experience at least one No TV Tuesday, but the next one was scheduled for a different night and then I accidentally watched TV one Tuesday and that seemed to be the end of that.
But habits take a while to break, don’t they? And television is one serious habit that is going to do its best to stick around for as long as it can. That doesn’t mean I should let it win, so it seems like it’s time to take another stab at it.
One of the main reasons I watch TV is because I don’t want to miss out on something good. And that’s where it gets you. While you’re watching something good, you’re assaulted by a whole bunch of promotions for other good things that you simply cannot miss. There’s always something new to watch. Something shinier. Something you’ve never seen the likes of before. I need to sit myself down and have a stern talk wherein I ask: Would I rather watch a shiny new TV show or start making a new skirt?
Because when you get right down to it, that skirt is going to be a more useful addition to my life than a flimsy memory of a television show.
So perhaps I’ll shift No TV Tuesdays to Fridays instead. I’ll lose the sweet alliteration of the title, but there are several reasons why I think it might work better on Friday. Firstly, the Chef is out on Friday nights, so I wouldn’t be able to watch TV with him anyway. Secondly, it’s not squeezed in between two nights when we’re frequently off doing other things that don’t involve television. Thirdly, Friday night is pretty much the start of the weekend, so it would give me plenty of opportunities to make a start on various weekend projects.
I think it will help to make some preparations, too. For example, knitting seems to have been designed for focussing your mind on listening, so I have a plan to find some interesting audiobooks or podcasts to listen to as I knit. Or sew, in fact! I’d also like to sort out my sewing area so it’s a little less crowded with towers of old patterns and books. If I have an appealing place to be, then I’ll be less tempted to plonk myself down on the couch and fall back into old habits.
So that’s my new plan for breaking television’s domination over this little house, at least. Here’s hoping this plan of attack will be somewhat more successful than the last!