This might be a little hard to believe—and even comes as quite a shock to me—but I’ve arrived at the conclusion that I simple watch Too. Much. Television.
That’s not, of course, to say that I really watch a significant amount of TV programming—I think I might average an hour or something every night. My DVR happily collects the handful of shows I’ve ordered it to record, unaware that I’m probably just going to peruse the list of available recordings and mutter “meh” to myself rather than actually watch them.
Now, you have to remember that I tend to run short in what most people would refer to as leisure time. Well, honestly, I run short in a lot of things, wisdom, charm, and patience among them, but today I’ll stick to the the leisure time thing. The fact is that ever since I stopped saying I wanted to be a writer and actually started being a writer—which necessarily includes making the time for the writing of words—I haven’t had an over-abundance of minutes available for daily viewing purposes.
I assume this is already common knowledge, but I work, a lot, really, and have no shortage of responsibilities to attend to if I want to keep my kids from feeding disposable spoons to the garbage disposal in hopes of witnessing a thousand pieces of spoon-shrapnel flying throughout the kitchen.
For the record: no, this has never happened. See? I’m doing my parental duty.
So I can’t make writing time out of the parenting, and work projects have to get done regardless of my daily word count requirements. So, then, what got cut when it was time to make words?
Well, since I frequently complain that there’s little worth watching on today’s modern collection of train-wreck-glorifying networks, TV seemed the obvious choice. I therefore limited my viewing to only the minimum stuff I thought I really wanted to see.
Which is all fine and good, but after the kids are in the bed, the work is done, and the word count has been chopped down like a daisy before a John Deere, the fact is that my brain is about done and I’m usually pretty tuckered out.
Perhaps you’ll recall that I frequently snork myself awake in my recliner to find something like the end credits from a 1986 episode of the Golden Girls running?
For the record, II: everyone loves Bea Arthur and Betty White. But I don’t recommend they be the first thing you see in blocky standard definition on a 56″ TV screen in the dark at 3:00 am. Just saying.
The fact is that just about every night, I unwind with an hour or so of something on TV, but to be honest, when I wake up, I usually can’t even remember what it was. And when my unwinding time rolls around, I don’t usually feel like investing myself in whatever one or two shows I do kind of want to watch, especially considering that 7 times out of 10, I’ll be snoring before the the 30-minute mark.
Which, you know, is what’s supposed to happen when my brain becomes unwound.
Just maybe not in the family room all the time.
None of which is really a big deal, except, there are things I could be doing with that time. Constructive, enriching things. Well, or at least things I’d be happy to admit I was doing—and might remember—as opposed to having to live with the shame of watching an episode of Bitchin’ Kitchen just because it was, you know, on. *nudge, nudge, wink, wink*
There are books I need to read. And, believe it or not, I realized yesterday that a year and a half after admitting to myself that I don’t play video games much any more, I think there are, actually, a handful of games I’d like to spend an hour or so playing every night as part of The Unwinding.
All of which is to say, I think I’m done with TV for a while. I mean, I’m sure I’ll still watch one or two shows without fail; everyone needs more Game of Thrones and the Puddinette and I will always have Top Chef Time. But I’m not turning the thing on anymore just to “see what’s on”.
Screw that, I’ll make my own fun.