I need you TV

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Two days. Or was it three?

We cancelled our satellite TV this week, just a few days ago, and last night I caved, called Bell, and hooked it right back up again. Pretty pathetic, I realize.

Here’s what I was thinking when I hatched the idea of cancelling television: there are so many cool projects out there to do, or things I’ve done in the past and want to devote more time to, that aren’t happening. Instead, I take my couple of hours of free time each day and waste it flaked on the couch.

I could be playing more board games, doing pottery, learning a new language, working on a novel, snowshoeing in the woods, joining a club or starting a new hobby.

They’re all terrific ideas, of course, and I should make time for them. But they all share one problematic characteristic: They all take energy, focus and drive, none of which are traits I have by the time I finish a day of work, have dinner, help get a child to bed and contemplate how to spend the final two hours of my day before crashing.

This epiphany struck me hard last night. The previous couple of nights it was lurking in the background. But I was feeling a little tired yesterday, due to staying up a bit too late the night before. That was all it took. As I looked at the evening ahead of me, with TV-free time for reading, learning, thinking and doing, I realized I didn’t want to do any of those things. I wanted to watch Mr. D.

Is TV terrible? I don’t think it is. I dunno. I guess I’d be a better person if I spent all my free time doing those other, constructive things I mentioned. I know there are superheroes out there who do, and more power to them. But by the time I’ve done my writing at work, completed my phone calls, taken my photos, and spent at least four hours pontificating to colleagues and generally acting like a loudmouthed boor, my brain is shot.

I do need a better balance, though, and I need to push myself to create that. Pottery and fiction writing are important to me, and I should make an effort to crack out a game once a week, too. And on weekends, TV should be replaced with a movie rental or two, and a short jaunt through the woods for fresh air.

But dammit, tonight I’ll watch Parks and Recreation and I won’t apologize for it. There are enough fluent French speakers in the world – they don’t need my pathetic attempts at learning to conjugate verbs or cobble together sentences.

J’ai, nous sommes, vous…faites…La frites dans la fenetre avec stylo?

Good enough. Pass the remote.

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