I went four days without television. Monday through Thursday. (Recall the goal was no televesion Monday through Friday.) Okay, I did turn it on, but only to play a yoga DVD. That doesn’t break my resolution.
On Monday, as with the early moments of kicking any addiction, I felt free. Buoyant. I embraced the possibilities. I went for a long walk after work, followed by a bubble bath.
Tuesday night I kept feeling a pull to turn the teevee on. (I like referring to it as “teevee.” It feels irreverent.) The pull was almost unconscious. “Turn on the teevee.” “What? No. No teevee. I’m not doing that any more.” A few minutes later: “Turn on the teevee, dammit. You need the white noise. The distraction.”
Interesting. The teevee was a distraction. Whatever I was distracting myself from needs to be dealt with. So I wrote an uncharacteristic Tuesday night blog post.
Wednesday night I turned on the yoga DVD. It felt like cheating; like smoking a cigar when you’re trying to give up cigarettes. (Yes, I did this. In all fairness, it was during the cigar craze of the late ’90s. And it worked.) I turned off the DVD (and the teevee) as soon as I finished shavasana.
Thursday night. More yoga. Shavasana done. What about the news? Don’t I need to watch the news now and then? No news. Turn the fucker off. Now. Teevee off.
Friday night I caved. Friday was a bad day. Lots of work stress. And I’m getting a new fence. You wouldn’t think that would be stressful, but it was. My jasmine, which I’ve grown from a tiny pot, had spread itself across the fence over the last eight years. I had left work early to quickly cut it away from the fence so the workers could remove the old fence. In the midst of that, with the workers fast approaching my unit, my boss was blowing up my Blackberry with numerous emails about a non-emergency emergency. I hacked at the jasmine, stopped, wrote back, accidentally hitting reply all. The client received an email meant only for my boss: “I agree with your approach. We’ve given them every courtesy. Fuck ’em.” At least the “fuck ’em” was referring to our opponents, and not the client.
But I fretted over it for the rest of the jasmine hacking, and for hours after. I ordered bad takeout. I turned on the teevee. Two ways to check out. Food and teevee. And a couple of glasses of wine.
It could have been worse. I could have watched network. Instead I watched North By Northwest. You know the movie: Alfred Hitchcock, where Cary Grant appears in a towel.
I have got to stop using the F word. But first let me get through my fucking teevee withdrawals.