I admit it, I'm a television addict. And not a good television addict either: I watch junk on TLC, The Real Housewives of wherever, Top Chef, Project Runway, reruns, the food network, HGTV.
It was only the other evening that it hit me: the only time I relax without doing something is when I watch TV. I find it very hard to sit outside without something in my hands, or leaping up every few minutes to do...whatever.
When I was in high school, I rarely watched TV. I was (and still am) a self-proclaimed bookworm, I always have a book or two (or three) going. When I got to college, reading was no longer something to wind down with, after reading all evening for classes, the last thing I wanted to do was read some more, so I began to depend on television. Also, for the first time in my life, at school we had cable.
Since college, I have led a full life, and when it comes to relaxing, I turn to television. I still read, but usually with the TV on.
This leads me to the other night, when I had my revelation. We were in the backyard, enjoying the solstice. My fiance had out his guitar, but rather than sit and just listen, I had to water the plants, empty some waste into the compost, hula hoop, take photos of random stuff, and then sit down with my book. But as soon as it got to dark to read, I went inside.
Merely sitting does not hold my attention. My mind has always been busy busy. Not worry, exactly, but more always thinking of the next thing, or looking at stuff, or wondering what time it is, or whatever. I putter around the house, picking up small things, making a snack, dusting, etc. And that's why I watch TV. Because sitting in the backyard without a book or something is, well, a bit tedious. Because its the only thing that I do where I allow myself to relax fully and veg out.
This summer, I will learn to quiet my mind to sit in the backyard without a book and just be. I will learn to absorb nature without having to interact with it. I will learn to quiet my mind and relax, television-free.