Wednesday, March 9, 2011

For the Next 40 Days

My favorite book store in town is going out of business. Unfortunate to say the least, but I was able to walk out today with an armful of good reads that cost me next to nothing. Paul Theroux's newest A Dead Hand, Joyce Carol Oates' In Rough Country and two other books along with two magazines are now piled on my desk, just begging me to lose myself in them. I've read the first chapter in three of the books, and am now thinking I'll save Oates for bedtime. Buying these books does add to a problem I already have, though: too many books to read and not nearly enough time to read them all.

Well . . . truthfully I think there is time to read them all. I'm just not efficient with how I manage my time. Too much wandering through the labyrinth called the Internet. Too much time watching "Law and Order" on TV. Too much time tinkering with my short stories, two of which I polished up yesterday and sent off, hopefully to have accepted for publication, thus available to those two individuals who make up my admiring public. So, really, there is enough time to read every single book that I have. I simply have to cut out the dead weight caused by those things that interfere with reading.

And that's why I am now declaring my Lenten pledge to give up TV watching and Internet wandering. For the past five or six years, rather than giving up something, I worked to do something, something positive, such as volunteer time as my kids' school or work on my own spirituality. I can still do these things, and if I turn off the mindless, brain-numbing TV programs, if I limit my Internet time to twice-a-week blogging and once-a-day email check (gotta keep up with work email), a huge amount of time is going to open up. I'm horrible about going to that social networking site everyone is a member of. I'm constantly checking up on my athlete friends on another social networking site where I track my daily mileage (which I'll still do, but just long enough to input the information, which is about 1 minute worth of time). Other than that, no Internet. I'll still work on my own writing as being a writer is what I want for myself when I grow up. With the time that's going to be freed up, I should be able to finish this collection of short stories I'm making progress on by the end of the semester.

No doubt this is going to be tough to pull off, especially the TV watching since the Big Ten men's basketball tourney starts tomorrow. Already, just thinking about not watching the Purdue Boilermakers play, the tug to give in, to say it's a sports show not some LMN sappy romance, is pulling at me. But I won't justify. I won't give in. I can read the paper the next day to get the low-down on the games.

So here's to rejecting TV and most of the Internet. Salud!


John Romeo Alpha said...

It sounds like a great idea, and I'm sure the noisy diversions will still be waiting for you when you come back... :)

J said...

Salud! I gave up knitting. :)

JK said...

So far, after only two days, I'm finding out just how much I was wasting time with TV and the Internet. It's been a real eye-opener for me.