A few months ago I had a moment (god, I am rusty, it took me three tries to begin this sentence) where I thought, self, you are rotting where you sit.
I have alluded to some business ups and downs and I’m formulating some loose notions about what I might do next (and yes, I STILL have to finish telling you about how my head exploded, which is entirely relevant to the development of said loose notions) and as always, chipping away at the life long task of change.
(In a side note, I must have made some progress because I was at the chiropractors last night talking about something while he adjusted my neck and he quite suddenly said, but you’ve changed SO much. I wish I could remember what we were talking about – my mother’s hip surgery? The holidays? It felt more like something he needed to say than it seemed directly related to the conversation. It’s nice though, when people feel moved to notice what you've worked hard on)
Over the last few months I’ve had a string of things – house guests, sprained wrist, sprained ankle, weeks of flu things, sinus things, cold things, holidays – that all add up to my house assuming titanic mess status. Even for me, things are too lax. And I’ve been looking around going, why do I never – make this, read this, clean this, sleep enough? It’s a long list of nevers, that all seemed tied to the fact that I've been coming home at the end of each day and disappearing into the old couch and the remote.
I've been feeling like I was shutting down mentally every day. In a way that reminded me of the bad old days. Before Therapy. When things were Not Good. And also, Very Bad.
Then Steph said something about Barbara Walker. At Sock Summit, someone asked Barbara Walker how she got so much done and she said her tv broke and she didn’t fix it for five years. I heard this and a chime rang in the way back of my head.
I ignored it.
I ignored it fully and with dedication.
The degree to which I was resisting this idea impressed me a little though, so I made up my mind last fall I would break up with my TV (except for Mad Men). And I did a little. I practiced turning it off after a show. I started a couple of good books. I subscribed to the NY Times and convinced myself this was good progress, even though I somehow never had time to read it.
Then I got the flu (or something), and somehow spent the better part of two weeks watching On Demand police programs I don’t even like, and getting re-addicted to Gray’s Anatomy and Criminal Minds and yes, I was sick and yes, I had a headache that kept me from reading and yes, all I wanted to do was be horizontal. But somehow I do not think staring at the screen all those hours was helping.
By the time I was well TV and I were SO back together.
And I was not all that impressed with myself, to be frank. I still kept hearing that little chime that went Ding! You should get rid of your TV
Around this time I saw videos of dogs greeting their owners after overseas deployment – it was making the rounds a few months ago and will reduce even the most hardened cynic to goo – and I noticed that in nearly every video there was a TV running in the background. Possibly because I had already been thinking all this that I have described, it stood out a mile and it looked wrong to me, a distraction from emotion, from the moment. It looked like static in the home.
It takes me a while to get used to ideas, but this one marinated. I mentioned it to a few people. I took it for mental test drives. And one day last week I bitched on Twitter that I wanted to get rid of it and I found a taker and the half-ignored yet fully-formed notion went from resistance to completion in a moment.
I called Verizon to arrange to turn off my service – which was hilarious (You gave away WHAT?). I deleted all my recording instructions from the DVR, I closed the cabinet doors for the first time in 7 years and I mentally rearranged the room. It’s still in my house, as delivery to its new home must still be arranged, but knowing it will soon be gone has changed something that I could not manage without formally cutting the cord.
I get the urge to open the doors, but I can’t think of a reason to follow through, and until I do they’re staying closed. I’ve been spending a lot more time on-line – which is not dissimilar, of course, but it's been more directed and livelier on-line time, not just aimless browsing while I half-watched the TV.
And I’ve been trying to figure out what to DO with myself. I’ve been beginning to clean bits of my house in 10 minute here and there. I picked up a book. I watched a movie that’s been sitting on my TV for months. I was surprised when I came downstairs Sunday and the room was arranged the old way, not the way it now looks in my head. These are all good, but not what I want. I want to make, and think and create. To be a mightier version of myself. To not look back in 10 years and wonder why I never did.....x. Or y. Or z. I feel like I’m a baby step closer.
Anybody want to buy a TV cabinet?