It’s now been a whole week of not watching daytime t.v. Here are some things I noticed:
- I’m sleeping much better! Watching 3-4 hours of mindless television was like taking a really long, boring nap without the rejuvenating or beautifying benefits. Of course I wouldn’t be tired by bedtime if I just took a nap with Conan.
- I’m getting outside more. I’ve actually bumped into three people I haven’t seen in a while. I used to complain that I never bump into people I know, but now I understand people are outside – not in my living room.
- On a continuation of #2, the reason I’m going outdoors more is because there’s no safe place in my apartment. I can’t hang out in my bedroom (the sleep clinic doctor told me to avoid the bedroom during the daytime), I can’t hang out on the couch (it’s too tempting), and I can’t hang out in the kitchen (I’ll just eat peanuts all day). My desk is a safe zone, but my sister warned me that mindless internet surfing can fill the void of t.v. if I’m not careful.
- I’m getting a whole lot more done. Yesterday, after 4 hours of business school (more to come on this!) I wanted nothing more than to plop down and watch some good old t.v. Instead I decided to apply the second coat of paint in the hallway. And then I went to the gym and ran two miles. All in the time it would have taken to watch 2 reruns of Friends – and maybe a little bit of Seinfeld.
The hardest challenge I’ve found is breakfast and lunch. Since I’m all by my lonesome during these mealtimes it gets…well…lonely. It was comforting to hear familiar voices in the background while eating my cereal. But now I just sit at the table facing the window – in silence. I’m trying to appreciate the quietude, and treat each meal like a mini meditation, but just between you and me, that’s when I feel the most like cheating. But I shan’t.
If you’ve ever been unemployed you know the dangerous lure of the television. At first you think, oh this is so naughty I’m watching t.v. while it’s still light out ohhhh. Pretty soon your day revolves around watching The View. You plan to go grocery shopping but you want to watch that new show called The Chew (which is just an annoying version of The View). All of a sudden your watching Rachel Ray, Dr. Phil, the Nate Show, and anything else Oprah ever spun off. And believe me, none of these shows are good.
You know it’s bad when you’re watch four episodes of King of Queens in a row. Before you know it prime-time starts and an entire day can go by and all you’ve done is sent an email, and heated up some old soup.
T.V. is a way to zone out; to forget about your responsibilities, your dreams, and anything else that takes time and energy. Being unemployed is scary. Thinking about your future and what you want from life is scary. Watching t.v. is a way to numb those fears. It’s a way to live a half life, a passive life. The days go by without you making any decisions beyond which channel to watch.
But I made a choice to leave my job so I can actively pursue a career that I love. I knew that it would be scary, so I just need to face that fear. I’m calling a moratorium on daytime t.v. It’s time to get shit done. If you are unemployed too, I ask that you join me.
P.S. Sorry, Barbara Walters. I really liked your show. You kept me informed on all the hot topics. I guess I’ll just need to pick up a newspaper from now on. It won’t be the same without all the bickering, but oh well.