Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Mixed Results

Now that Lent is over, along with my giving up spending so much time online and wasting vast amounts of breathing on watching mindless TV, I need to assess how I actually did with my "sacrifices." In the end, the result is mixed.

The internet wasn't difficult to limit. I allowed myself to write twice a week on the blog, visit MyFitnessPal to record my meals and exercise (which has been invaluable for helping me finally break the plateau of 148 pounds), and record my daily mileage on DailyMile. I checked in with Facebook here and there, posting after my sprint tri's and liking some of my friends' posts, but I found I wasn't really missing Facebook at all, so I'm thinking I might keep that particular site to a minimum all the way around. If I need to get in touch with any friends, I can call them or text them from my cell. Other than that, the internet wasn't a huge part of my life during Lent. I do admit I missed blogging. For me, blogging is more about recording my life so my kids have something to read in ten, twenty years. My life isn't at all exciting, and maybe my kids won't care to read about all of these things since they're part of these events, but who knows? Maybe they'll share it with their kids, giving them a picture of who their grandma was.

The TV was a totally different issue. I failed epically. Living with someone who spends most of his free time in front of a TV tends to influence my behavior. I've done a good job of not allowing his eating habits to influence me any longer. Believe me, a 23 pound gain since marrying him is a loud and insistent wake-up call. I now fix separate meals for me, sometimes for the kids, and because of this, I have more energy, my skin is clearer, and I've lost 13 of that 23 pounds. But the TV watching, which seems harmless on the surface, has been tough to let go of. Since we have a TV in almost every room of the house, getting away from it is nearly impossible. Sure, I could just not turn it on, and I didn't when I was in the office. When I'm in the office, I work. I can focus. Outside the office, the impulse to sink into the comfort of the couch or to lie back against the down pillows on the bed was difficult to resist. If it wasn't the NCAA basketball championships, it was Blackhawks hockey or "The Killing." My kids convinced me watching a movie with the family wasn't TV (see how weak I am?), so we watched quite a few movies, my favorite so far being Hereafter. Needless to say, I still have a lot of work to do to let go of the TV. Do they make a pill for this?

Overall, I did manage to get three books read, along with too many short stories to count, and I worked on several of my own pieces. One of the best books I read was the biography of Bernard Malamud by Philip Davis. Really good stuff. Fascinating. I'm now in the middle of another Malamud book, Talking Horse, and am loving it, too. With my own writings, I'm really struggling with one of my new short stories. Though I didn't keep track, I know there were way too many hours spent staring at the screen, pleading with the muses to show me the direction, to no avail. I'm now thinking a whole new approach may be the answer. I'm completely in love with the idea I have, like I was with my most recent short story publication about an older woman selling her cherished possessions in a garage sale, which kind of took the same route that my new idea is taking. I started the garage sale story about a year ago, got ten pages into it, and hated the direction it was going. I kept the main idea but came up with a completely different story. Maybe that's the answer, a whole new story.

So, some work to do to reduce the TV watching. I just have to dig deep and say no when the urge to sit and vegg strikes. I still wonder if they make a pill for this problem.

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