August 07, 2006

Life Without Television

I often think I should give a serious try to live without television. Yesterday, my DVD player stopped working. I was in the middle of a movie, too. So what did I do instead of finding something productive? I watched bad television most of the day, then popped in some VHS tapes I've watched a half-dozen times before. (Although, I don't really consider Paint Your Wagon and True Grit to be bad television, but I've seen them both before as well.)

When I go up to the mountain center, I don't miss television. I do really look forward to movie nights. Part of that enjoyment is in the community aspect, but the other part is that I honestly enjoy movies. I enjoy stories. I also really love documentaries. I drove my roommates crazy (when I had roommates) with all the documentaries I would watch. I like to learn by seeing and hearing and I think I would seriously miss PBS. Many PBS shows are available on the internet, but I don't have internet at home.

Despite those positive aspects, television seems to suck out my soul. I'll spend hours watching things which I really don't care about and avoiding things I should be doing. Things I even tell myself I want to do. Yesterday afternoon I successfully avoided finishing the plans for Tony's house addition, going for a walk in the rain, reading my book, reading my new Architectural Record magazine, framing the new landscape photographs I just got, along with a number of household chores.

Despite all those things I procrastinated into oblivion in order to watch television, it was still a productive day. I got out in the morning, had coffee and read my book, called Marilyn to chat, went grocery shopping, folded and hung up all my clean laundry, sorted and moved my scarf collection, unbound the book of landscape photographs, and sketched out plans to remodel my apartment. For a Sunday, that is more than I usually get accomplished, and yet it is so little. This is what is so discouraging. More than average is so much less than what is possible.

Television is my greatest addiction.

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