The chains of habit are generally too small to be felt
until they are too strong to be broken.
The days before the start of the new year I considered if I wanted to change things in my life. How could I improve? After all, if I remember correctly, I always tried to do something positive to look back at.
For two days I thought about it, as I lay on the couch, wrapped in a world of other people’s drama which continued to unfold on the television. That time, even though comforting and needed felt like it was a total waste of my time. The guilt of nothing accomplished seem to grip me as I moved through those episodes and movies. By New Year’s Day, I realized that I was not going to accomplish anything. My year once again had started to be consumed by that TV, exactly like it had started last year.
Netflix sent a notice that it would be increasing its prices by almost four dollars. This had me wonder if it was truly worth it. I must tell you that I really enjoy Netflix, especially during those cold dark winter days and nights. I still think that it is wonderful entertainment and it really does have a lot of interesting shows. I realized something as I flipped through the millions of choices which seemed to take more of my time than any series that I would have binged on. Netflix was not the problem. I do believe I am the problem.
After two more days of bingeing on something that I knew was not good for me I walked outside and felt the cold air on my face. The trees off in the distance beckoned me. I walked down the lane and headed into the wilderness. A place that I had forgotten used to be extremely important to me. A place where my entertainment was not remotely accessed. It had to be physically accessed.
It came to me that if I wanted to change what I was watching, I had to walk in a different direction. If I needed a laugh and forget the stuff in my head, I had to direct my thoughts to those silly things in my life that had always had me laugh. More action required walking faster, and when you slowed down you could experience the feel of the cold.
The simple act of scooping up freshly fallen snow and placing on your tongue was as satisfying as my cup of tea. The stillness and calmness of the air were like my couch blanket. The huge maple tree branch was my new couch. It was all right there. I could enjoy every emotion that I sought to fill a void by watching the television, by getting outside in the bush.
That was real, it was reachable and achievable. There were choices, maybe not a million but the search was not nearly as exhausting and frustrating to find something new to stimulate my imagination.
Mother Nature had rekindled a love that I had thought I had lost. She had replaced that world that consumed my feelings and time. My healing mind started to invent its own stories once again. My pen started to move on paper. I had taken the first step toward a habit that needed to be kicked.
So; as far as a total disconnect from the television, that will probably never happen. After all the first time I saw a movie on the black and white television in the fifties, I was indeed hooked. I will do my best to balance both worlds and to not let that inside and easy to access one, control me.
Instead of picking up the remote first, I will look outside and then slip on my boots and head out to experience my real world.
How hard can it be? Any suggestions?