Friday, January 4, 2019

Back to old habits

The chains of habit are generally too small to be felt
 until they are too strong to be broken.
                                                 Samuel Johnson

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?



  1. It's easy to let ourself slip into watching movies. My problem isn't Netflix but I love to watch some short youtube videos on subjects that interest me. I feel like you, a few is ok now and then but too many waste my time.
    Your winter photos are beautiful. The daylight is starting to get longer, that makes me happy. I' so not a winter person because of icy conditions and the cold. I'm not a love of either.
    Hugs, Julia

  2. Yes. It's so easy to get caught up in our Netflix/Hulu/internet world that we forget what is so wonderful, right under our noses! I can learn a lot of lessons from you!!

  3. I never acquired the television/movie habit but have my own habits to address. I try and start the morning marvelling at the sky and the birds. And those precious moments can set me up for the day...

  4. Hello Dear B, you said it - 'balance' ... over the course of a usual day I do a little bit of everything that makes me happy.
    Sometimes its nice to binge though isn't it... to mull something around in the mind or, hibernate, if you will ;D)
    Sitting too long isn't kind to my muscles anymore, so I walk around the garden and then I have similar feelings to what you describe when you go outside in the bush. I love to do a little gentle tai chi out on the verandah - the birds look at me funny but I don't mind.
    Hugs to you xx

  5. As I read this, I started getting excited thinking...'is she heading to the bush??'
    It's one of my favorite places to blogvisit. If only that pond in Texas would reappear again.

  6. Great post and I totally relate to watching too much stuff, I watch you-tube mostly, some netflix. I have wasted so much time, and have many projects that need to be taken care of. I want to make my overgrown gardens into more of a sanctuary instead of a tropical jungle that you can't walk through some of the areas.

    Since my dear husband left this planet 6 years ago, I've lost some of my drive to do things. Life isn't the same, but I have the choice to live each day joyfully and thankfully, I am still alive.

    Your post has inspired me and I thank you for that sweet friend.
    May you and your dear husband have a wonderful 2019.


  7. I almost couldn't pay attention to what you were writing about Grace .. BECAUSE ... I am in love with your photos .. they are BEAUTIFUL ! .. especially that last one, I would have it framed if I were you ! But I "hear" what you are saying .. TV was my escape as a child (only at times) I was so fortunate to become a lover of nature from an early age, but there was that flicker of fascination for TV when I wasn't wandering in the woods .. even in black & white it was so entertaining .. and today I am caught in it's trap (waiting for the final season of Game of Thrones? LOL) there are shows that I can't let go of .. but balance is the essence of a better life experience right ? .. so I am trying for that.
    Thank you for this post .. it has been a thoughtful one .. and these pictures are gorgeous ! .. I remember that feeling of snow on my tongue too ;-)
    All the best for 2019 ! may we all have a few wishes granted !

  8. TV is a monster that controls us. I don't watch one minute of TV a year. Yes, I enjoy the outdoors. There are a few other things that can take the place of TV.

  9. For me each year is pretty much the same as the year before, except that each year my health seems to be on a downward slide

  10. Wow..good for you. TV can be a cruel master. I didn't realize how much TV I watched until we moved. About four days before the move the TV we had upstairs went in the sale. When we moved we turned one end of the hubs bedroom (he has the big room) into a TV lounge with recliners. Amazingly I have spent a total of 1/2 hour in my comfy recliner watching a TV show since the move. It is out of sight and out of mind. So...if you are really serious about not watching so much TV my suggestion is to move it to an area where it is 'out of sight and out of mind' ... somewhere where you have to make an effort and a conscious effort to go and watch it. Good luck.

  11. hi buttons, chuck and i work from home, we probably have close to 100 tenants that we look after. when i started working from home, i set some guidelines for myself. one was no television until it got dark out. it's been probably 10 years of working from home and i don't think i have ever broken the rule. when i do watch t.v., i always have a project in front of me, mostly knitting, i can't watch t.v. unless i am doing something else.

    we don't have netflix, and i keep hearing about this "binge" watching shows but i have never done that. make choices b, good choices, that will change your life. no one wants to get to the finish line with regrets. the snow is beautiful, we have not gotten any yet!!!

  12. Hi Buttons. I love this post. My relatives were here from the big |CI|T|Y to the south. My brother in law was amazed that he could sleep without his ear plugs. The young adults were mesmerized by the silence and the cold clean air. We didn't watch TV at all while they were visiting! I see lifestyle changes in the works for all of us.

  13. I have always admired you having to go out in that snow - it's beyond me even thinking of going in the snow which we don't have - to imagine going in it would be enough to keep me inside - but when you have animals to take care of and such and used to snow it's certainly a totally different thing and life..Hugs M xoxox

  14. Well, you asked for suggestions at the right time, ha ha. I was just writing an announcement for a Positive Psychology class I'm teaching and included a Ted Talk for them. I don't like to put links in comments, but you can pull it up on YouTube if you do a search for Gabrielle Kelly and building a state of wellbeing. It's all about living a good life, from the positive psychology standpoint. You might find it relevant (or you might be bored, ha ha - I've realized not everyone geeks out on this stuff as much as I do).

  15. I think you have found the solution. 'My' forest next door is calling me, has been calling me for weeks. But I had tendinitis in my hip and the physio said no walking up hills. So my friends and I walk along the concrete walkway through another park without hills but not as good as "my" forest.Just as my hip gets better I break my ankle so no walking at all for a while and my forest walks are getting even further away.


Thank you for your comments. I appreciate them so much.