I own a T.V., but I don’t have cable. I’ve never had cable. I probably regretted it as a kid. You know, one of those things like wishing that you could have donuts or that marshmallow cereal or berry, berry cereal like your friends had when you stayed over at their houses.
But, as an adult, who appreciates not succumbing to diabetes or obesity at a young age, I’m grateful my parents fostered a love of reading and the outdoors that I may not have found as easily if we’d actually had more than 5 channels growing up.
Perhaps my lack of experience with TV is why I am so completely powerless when I’m around it. Switch on that TV, and I’m drawn to it like bees to a soda can. And I think I can actually FEEL it sucking any intelligent thought out of my head.
So, this weekend I somehow imagined that I was going to have some great peace and quiet, away from it all. I imagined catching up on my meditation, doing some blogging, finishing my book, etc.
But I forgot that every hotel room has a T.V. And not only, T.V, but cable. It’s amazing how much like clockwork it would go. We’d enter the room, and the T.V. switched on. The first day it was football. I was completely flabbergasted as my eardrums were immediately bombarded with the sounds of cheering crowds and squealing whistles. “Ah ha!” I thought. I will try the other room. Gathering up all of my creative materials (journal, pens, netbook, book, etc), I made my way to the next room.
“Football,” I sighed, “Can I hang in your room for a while?” “Sure!” said my family. “We’ll watch something else!” Inwardly I sighed again and hoped that I could just use the TV as background noise. But, it was not to be. They found reruns of Friends, one of my favorite shows, and though I didn’t watch, I heard every word and snuck a peek during some of the particularly interesting parts. Instead of fostering my creativity, I opted to get all of my grading done.
But it wouldn’t be fair to only blame just those around me. Back from vacation, cleaning up a bit in the kitchen, I surprised myself when asking Brian: “So, what do you wanna watch?” My plans of getting a week ahead in my blog posts quickly went out the window.
There is a place for T.V. It can be motivating background noise for things like grading and housework. And it can be a welcome treat, a social stimulus, a mood lifter, and its own source of creative inspiration. The important thing is to make watching it. a conscious decision, and not a habit.
And next time, maybe I’ll just camp outside. . .