I’m not quite a TV junkie. I don’t think I watch an excessive amount of television compared to the average Australian, but I am someone who usually watches television every day. Sometimes, this is fine. If there are programs I especially enjoy on and I have earned some rest time in the evening then this can be a relaxing and enjoyable routine to follow. Sometimes, though, I would be happier to break away from watching television programs. I used to watch Grey’s Anatomy every week and really enjoyed it. But then I missed two weeks and suddenly found that I could do quite well without it.
From this introduction, you would perhaps expect me to be dropping television in general this weekend instead of internet television. Only a few programs are currently tempting me to turn on the television, but I am succumbing to the lure of on-demand television programs online, especially programs that haven’t aired in Australia (at least, not on free-to-air TV). Of course, that means it’s often more tempting to watch a favourite TV shown online than to do something that would be more productive (study, exercise etc.), and I can use this form of procrastination on demand, unlike programs on actual TV. Unforunately, I’m also likely to get headaches and backaches if I’ve spent hours watching videos my laptop.
So, this weekend I am going to drop online TV. This will be one of the hardest challenges so far. I am in the middle of watching season 2 of Dollhouse, have just realised that the new version of Torchwood is available and have been keeping up with the latest season of America’s Next Top Model (I’m not really sure why I always get caught up in that one…). It would be extremely tempting to spend most of this weekend plonked in front my laptop watching hour after hour of television!
I was dithering over making a decision for what to add this weekend, so I took a leaf out of my own book and stopped thinking about it. I just allowed myself to imagine what my weekend would be like, ideally, and went with the thing I was most drawn to. So I am adding a simple thing this weekend, that I will call “mindful moments”. Over the course of this lifestyle experiment, I’ve found myself getting better and not just going through my day thoughtlessly (filling up the time, distracting myself, stressing, being entertained, finding suddenly that the day is over and feeling unsatisfied). It’s prompted me to meditate, to think positive thoughts, to focus on what I want to achieve and to generally notice what I am spending my time thinking and doing. Some of this has been purposeful and some has been incidental, but the moments I’ve liked the best are those where I just – pause – and allow myself to be. It’s not meditation, it’s just a moment where I look out the window and enjoy the view, a moment where I appreciate the moment, a moment where I allow myself to do nothing, a moment where I remember to be content or even happy.
Because isn’t it ridiculous that just stopping for a moment can bring me contentment or happiness, and yet I so rarely remember, let alone allow myself, to be happy for a moment.