Truth is, I’m not missing TV all that much this week. In fact, I struggled a bit to think of something to write about tonight. Save for the fact that I’m mourning my unholy addiction to Family Guy and yesterday’s brief run-in with pop-culture isolation, it’s really not all that different. I don’t really watch TV when I’m watching TV. I mentioned I’d had that disc of Persepolis for nearly two months, but I also had three other discs right along with it. It wasn’t just that Persepolis was subtitled, it was that I don’t really see the point in putting in a DVD I paid for when I won’t truly be watching it. And that tells you how often I actually stop to give my full attention to, well, anything.
I have a full-time day job, a new business that’s just as much work (if not more), a girlfriend in another country with an eight hour time difference, a loving social circle that I want to make time for, and about 438 things on my To-Do list in any given moment. This all adds up to a near-moral imperative to consistently be DOING SOMETHING – preferably multiple somethings. So if I’m watching TV, I’m also folding laundry, or paying bills, or typing away on my computer. And if I’m listening to music, I’m also limping along on the treadmill, or washing dishes, or typing away on my computer. And if I’m reading a book, well — I don’t really read many books because you can’t do that and also type away at your computer.
So here’s what made me decide that I actually had something to blog about tonight: Quiet.
Also, focus. And relaxation.
This week, given my only real options for visual media are DVDs or streaming video online, multi-tasking in the way that I’m used to is not possible. I can’t watch Southpark episodes on my computer and answer emails at the same time, and I’ll be damned if I’m going to virtually ignore a movie I, essentially, paid $14 to rent (by not sending it back to Netflix for two months.) This means I have to actually make a conscious choice between working and relaxing. There’s no more unproductive mishmash of the two — where there’s just enough relaxation to keep you from working effectively, and just enough work to keep you from benefiting from the relaxation. This week, I’m either working, or I’m not.
And I tell you what — I’m not getting a whole lot done this week. Turns out I’m tired. Who knew? I have been quite literally exhausted since I popped Persepolis into the DVD player on Sunday evening and laid down on my couch. With the white noise silenced and the focus narrowed, the realization that I’ve not stopped to grant myself true relaxation on anywhere near a regular level for, well, as long as I can remember — has crash-landed me right on my ass.
I watched the DVD of “An Inconvenient Truth” tonight, which I’ve been meaning to watch since, oh, 2005. It kind of made me want to stab myself in the face — but it also reminded me that I’m not paying attention. In trying to catch everything, I’m missing most of it.
It’s time to slow down. I can still do everything I need to get done — in fact, I can do it better, more effectively and with more focus — if I also grant myself permission to fully relax. No more white noise.
I really do like this week.