Phil: I’m glad this one fell on one of my days off, so I could really put it to the test. I suppose one of my normal after-work activities is watching TV, since I get home at 11:30 p.m. or later usually, but being off made me really face it instead of only for a brief moment. I realized that on my days off, when I have nothing going on, I often use TV as an easy out. “Oh, I have nothing to do, why don’t I just veg out and relax for it a bit? You’ve earned it, after all.” But what ends up happening is I sit there, barely watching TV, addicted to my phone, not relaxing, and next thing I know, I’ve wasted hours. It became very clear today. What did I do instead? I woke up, walked to get coffee, took my time reading the paper, came back, took a REAL nap without the TV buffer, and then spent a long time cleaning my apartment, doing yoga, meditating, and going for a walk. All the good stuff. TV didn’t get in the way. Now, I still let the internet and computer and phone suck up some time, but it just showed me how TV just added one more thing that I’ve allowed to suck up my free time on days off. Without the fail safe of TV or movies, I was more forced to keep moving, or not. When my body felt it needed a rest, I let it happen. I didn’t use TV as an excuse or a companion to see me through that rest. All in all, I’d say this was one of those challenges that I’ll really remember for the next year ahead. It is now 1 a.m. on June 7. So there is one place I am drawing a line, though, even though I know I shouldn’t. I’ve been falling asleep to The Office since like 2013. I’m not stopping now. I’m firing up the Sling TV before bed to get me my Michael Scott fix. Sorry, Challenging Days. Lesson learned, nevertheless, but hey. It’s my Saturday night. I’m going to kick back now. Thanks.
Bruce: This one wasn’t all that difficult for me at least for the way my recent mood about shows and how my schedule has been working. Raised a bookworm. grew up pretty disengaged from television and with an aversion to movies. In my early 20s though, with the advent of streaming and one of my influential best friends being a cinema buff I started watching much more on-screen contract. There was a nice moment when that very same friend and I were eating dinner with his wife tonight and they suggested casually “why don’t we put something on”. Then I, like a cliche overbearing quirky activist friend ruining the moment everyone is excited about going to an aquarium, said “ well why don’t we not watch something and just talk instead? Or silently stare at each other while we enjoy this food?!“ we laughed as I explained the challenging days’ decree. They thought it was a good idea and we enjoyed our time talking. I was helpless but to think about how many people ate perpetually inclined to have a screen going in their house as a backdrop to their activities. More importantly I reflected how the focal point of conversation and thoughts in a home is very much dictated by whatever is happening on the commanding television or computer in the room that dominates everyone’s attention even if subconsciously. I got a lot more reading of the book that I picked up yesterday done as well as a few articles online, this was a very welcome reminder of healthier ways to direct my attention and use my brain and senses