Day 3 into the television “fast” and I bit it. Here’s how it went down:
- I was feeling overwhelmingly sad about my estranged relationships with my alcoholic mother and my best friend.
- I attended a yoga class. I understand. What’s that got to do with the price of milk? Let me expound. I shattered my foot last August. Per the docs, “It’s one of the bones you don’t want to break.” No kidding. I’ve only been walking since the New Year, still five months out from “a year to full recovery”. Suffice it to say, the 20 year old yogi kicked my ass. She kicked my foot’s ass.
- As I’m floating in a stupor-bath of melancholy, physical discomfort and exhaustion my husband lays some financial realities on me about our much anticipated return to Laguna Beach, CA from Chicago. The kind of realities that spell out, “You’re staying for a while. An indefinite while.” Read. Laguna Beach (where we lived for nine years) vs Chicago. Surely no explanation is needed?
- I believe I was in some kind of weird media withdrawal. Yes, in other words I was sad and crying from not having watched television for two and a half days.
- My evening was resplendent with a four and a half year old daughter who is cultivating relentless whining to an art form. Her epic standoff’s and teenager ‘tude are matched only by her 7-1/2 year old brother’s determination to see how hysterical he can make her become.
I began to cry and feel sorry for myself (which makes me feel worse because I actually have NOTHING of REAL seriousness to feel sorry for myself about. Family: check. Healthy: check. Prosperous (food, clothing, shelter, clean water, ability to overspend at Target) : check. Lots of love in and all around us: check, check, check. So then I start feeling guilty for feeling sorry for myself. Aaaaack!).
The gratitude check list does not help. So I do what many of us do at such a time. I go off the wagon.
For some it’s a box of wine. Others a box of Trader Joe’s fudge covered peppermint Joe Joe’s smartly stored in the freezer from Christmas-time, for exactly such an emergency. For others like myself (since the TJ’s Christmas cookies have gone the way of an earlier breakdown), there’s that magical, mind and emotion numbing box: the television.
I don’t drink. I don’t drug. I don’t emotionally eat (usually…not much…rarely…sort of). I don’t smoke.
I also Lifetime (Project Runway). And last year I returned to a primetime channel (I’d long since defected beginning with The Sopranos and Six Feet Under) to revel in the bromances and genius of The Voice.
I Showtime (Nurse Jackie) and I AMC (MadMen).
T.V. is a slippery slope however. Over the years I spiraled down, from the seemingly innocuous TopChef to eventually becoming deeply invested in the Real Housewives franchise (except for Miami and New Jersey and I have no valid explanation for this). I dabbled here and there with Patti Stanger and her desperate millionaires. But then came the real bottom; when I knew I was in trouble. I followed Lisa Vanderpump (who I adore and dream of being her “Brandy” understudy) and her employees on her spinoff, Vanderpump Rules. I am not proud.
This blog was born because I want to write and I want to contribute. I want peace. I want to nest my home, finish the baby books, finish my photo projects and read a book again (at one time in another life I was a voracious reader…kids’ll do that to a person…for those of you childless-but-yearning, take heed). FINISH SOMETHING!
No more whining about “I don’t have the time!” or “I’m too spent at the end of my day!”. Tired? Then WRITE TIRED. Not enough time? Turn off the T.V.!
“What saves a man is to take a step. Then another step. – C.S. Lewis
So I say to myself, “Self. Let’s man up. I challenge myself to this media fast as a warm up to the other adventures lined up in the pipeline.”
What happens? I have a bad day and at my husband’s loving, mere suggestion of being gentle with myself, I have the remote and white cheddar Pirate Booty in hand before he can finish his sentence. I binged too. There was a fair amount on my DVR to choose from. I watched it all.
Good news? I’m back on the fast. 4 out of 5 days and counting.
I’m no quitter. I may be a stopper and a re-starter. But I’m no quitter.