She asked me how I was doing, and I told her the truth. Overwhelmed.
As the new season (my favorite, don’t get me wrong!) has settled into a routine, my days have done the opposite. It’s like my to-do lists (yes, multiple) and my calendars (yes, multiple…yes, it’s a problem) have been tossed into the air, and I’m left scrambling to pick up the pieces and figure out how they fit together – and how they fit into the same 24 hours everyone has.
I’ve been a little stressed. I’ve got a lot to do. I’m overwhelmed, I told her.
A good friend, she listened sympathetically and then brainstormed a few ways that might make it a little better. We debated how much massaging my budget could handle to pay for some stress relief in the form of a housecleaner or babysitter, even as I knew neither was a real option right now. It was nice to dream for a moment, though.
My friend had one more question, though. “I have to ask…” she began. “How do you have time to watch SO MUCH TELEVISION?”
I laughed. She’d read my blog post about all the TV shows I am watching this fall, and after the conversation we’d just had, it was a valid question. And to be honest, it’s a question I’ve heard before, from other focused, productive, disciplined friends [WHO I LOVE] who “just don’t have time to watch TV.”
I told my friend that I’d realized how ridiculous my blog post sounded after hitting “publish,” and I knew I hadn’t been clear. See, I do watch a lot of TV shows, but I do it while I’m working on the computer or folding towels or paying bills. I don’t JUST watch TV. So in the evenings, when I’m alone and the house is quiet and a little lonely (because the kids are in bed and Mark is at work), I turn on the TV. Then, with the TV playing my shows, I go about my evening business.
That’s not to say I wouldn’t be more productive or efficient without the background distraction of the television. I’m sure I would. And if I ever need to write something deep or difficult or complicated, I turn it off. And when I have an editing project to work on, I turn it off.
But I can research and draft and tweet and pin and design while I watch TV. I can fold those towels or pay bills or answer emails while I watch TV. In theory, I could do dishes or iron shirts or dust shelves while I watch TV. (I don’t. But I COULD.)
So, I’m not sorry for keeping up with a lot of TV shows. It doesn’t really suck up as much time as it seems. And you know what else? I LIKE TV.
Ohhhh, there it is. My explanation about my TV-watching habits really is an attempt at clarity. But you know what else it is? An apology.
By explaining (or over-explaining, as some might call it and as I tend to do), I’m basically saying that you’re right and I do watch too much TV and I shouldn’t and I don’t, really, but kind of and I’m sorry.
Except that’s not true! I’m not sorry for watching television!
I love stories. Stories about broken people and growing people and loving people and, yes, beautiful people. I love stories about mysteries and their answers, about underdogs and heroes, about love and loss and laughter.
And while I love reading those kinds of stories most of all, I can’t read and multitask.
Shoot. There I go again, making sure you know that I don’t sit on my butt 15 hours a week and stare at the boob tube. There I go again, apologizing!
Okay, let’s try this again: I’m not sorry I like to watch TV.
I love stories and watching them unfold on-screen is one of my favorite ways to relax. Not every minute of our lives must be productive, and even if someone else’s “me time” looks like running three miles, I’m not ashamed to say mine looks like reading a good book or watching a smart or funny (or, ideally, smart AND funny) TV show.
So last night as I paid bills and wrote everything on my family’s October calendar, I watched the pilot of Limitless. And as I scheduled tweets and Facebook posts for today, I watched that last episode of Hollywood Game Night that was taking up space on my DVR. And then? Then I closed my laptop, grabbed a chocolate chip pumpkin muffin, and watched every second of Once Upon a Time.
Because some shows shouldn’t be multitasked. And I’m not sorry about any part of that.
Do you like watching TV? Do you ever feel like you should apologize for that?
This post is part of the 31 Days Writing Challenge. To read all the posts in this series, click here. And to learn more about this challenge or to find more series to read, visit Write31Days.com. Apple photos courtesy of my brother, James.
Well just so you know – I was so relieved when you wrote that post about your favourite TV shows starting up because I love people being real and true to themselves. We are all so different and love different things but it’s especially refreshing to have someone admit to something not so politically correct. Somehow it gave me permission to relax a bit and not be busy all the time, I’ve let myself sit on the lounge and read and watch TV with the kids and hire some movies so I’m thanking you and fessing up – I love me some good TV shows too – I love peoples stories, I love good acting and I love that its helps me understand myself sometimes. I love this already as well – your 31days of no apologising – its doing me some good. God Bless and keep them coming.
Oh Tracey, thank you so much for sharing this! I am so grateful my “confession” can give you a big more freedom in your own choices. Seriously, the world is not going to end if we plop down and watch a TV show! ;) But also, I really love what you said about how a TV show can help you understand yourself. This is SO true and something I would really love to dig into soon.
People like to get on bandwagons….and television being an evil mind rotter and time waster is one of them. I say what is bad for one person is not necessarily bad for the next. I like television. I learn something new everyday that I watch it. I’m like you and multitask while I watch much of the time. Is television a priority over my family? Absolutely not! I don’t neglect real life for television, but if I start to do that or if I were prone to that, I would give it up in an instant.
I agree, Peggy. One person’s hobby can be another person’s addiction, so we must stay alert to what’s truly in our own hearts. Then we can make choices that work for us without worrying about what other people think about it. At least this is what I remind myself when I feel insecure about a choice! :)
I just decided to stop fighting with my hubby about the TV (because down, not so deep, I agree with him). Up to now, I have felt like the last outpost of civilization, trying to keep my family from being sucked into the black hole that is the TV. But this has been a lonely job…like a hall monitor who wants to run up and down the halls too, but really feels trapped by the hall monitor title.
We eat dinner in front of the TV almost every night. Every night this is a family event – what we should watch, how to coordinate without spilling, how to remember to do the dishes…I am ashamed to admit, but we have abandoned the table. In addition, we (this means me) have officially admitted that TV is one of the few hobbies we have. Yes, TV is a hobby at our house. Like other “good” hobbies (reading, sewing, quilting, running), TV is a hobby for our family. I am coming to grips with this and the first step toward “not sorry” is not feeling guilty about it. I totally have “TV shame”. But, if everyone else can come out of the closet…why can’t we? But if we had a support group, we would get together and talk about our shows and set up times to watch them together…so what’s the point? LOL!
Heh. I’m totally for a “TV fan” support group… ;)
Good for you Mary! I, too, like tv. It helps me to wind down or distracts me on those bad pain days when I cannot do other things. I am a big fan of binge watching on those days as a matter of fact. I cannot be efficient all the time, I just wasn’t made that way…. We just gotta stick together!
Absolutely! TV fans unite!
Yay for TV!!! Love you so.
Amen and back atcha! ;)
We don’t have a TV and I didn’t really grow up with one, I love this though, Mary! I love to watch clips of the Jimmy Fallon show on youtube to unwind or to watch movie trailers online (we live overseas and often don’t get movies on the same schedule as in the US).
Ooooh, I love watching trailers, too! I actually even like watching trailers of movies I’ll never watch because then I can at least know what other people – who do see the movie – are talking about. :)
Oh my goodness, I’m so glad I found your series (via Emily Freeman’s weekend post)!! I also like to watch TV, mostly just Netflix shows, but I don’t do it while multi-tasking. No apologies necessary, right? Just subscribed and looking forward to reading your series!
No apologies necessary at all, Lauren. Welcome! I’m so glad you’re here!
This is funny to me on so many levels. 1- I have thought before, “How does she watch so much TV?” From curiosity, not judgment. I promise! 2- people say that to me if I mention I’ve read a few books lately. They say something like, “I haven’t read a whole book since I had kids.” I usually reply, “Well, I don’t iron or mop or exercise…so that frees up time.” And then a light laugh. But something in that is a bit apologetic- like I have to justify my love of books. Hmmm…. 3) Love this topic. Love this blog. Hoping that the love of all things YA pops up- I’m not sorry about that, either!
Hey Becky! 1. Now you know. ;) 2. YES. Why on earth someone would be PROUD of not having time to read is beyond me. Also, why they’d choose ironing or mopping over a good book… 3. Oh yeah, you bet I’ll cover my love of YA! Stay tuned!!
Haha YES I love this! I laughed out loud when you said you theoretically COULD dust and do other cleaning tasks while watching TV. I’m right there with you ;) I love watching relationships and stories unfold in TV dramas, especially when I’m doing blogging or household tasks that are more mindless. Thanks for a little laugh on my Sunday night!
Well, I don’t want to make it sound like I’m Martha Stewart-ing it up over here. ;)
That’s totally it, Mary—the stories! I love stories and need them (is that a thing? needing stories??)…anyway, I totally get this and love it.
(Ps: YOu are a hero for doing 31 days. Seriously.)
It’s totally a thing. And…yeah…no, I’m not a hero. I’m probably foolish. But maybe it’ll work out all right anyway…?! ;)
I love this! I love TV too and sometimes I’m a little ashamed to admit how much. :)
I’m also doing the 31-day challenge and that’s how I found your blog. I’m really glad I did and I look forward to keeping up with your I’m Not Sorry posts.
Thanks, Jenny! I’m glad you’re here! :)
Yes to this!!! I often think how much I could probably get done if I didn’t watch TV with my husband at night… But I’m SO with you on loving stories and people and all that. So does my husband. And I too feel like I should apologize to people sometimes for watching TV. When people say, “Oh, I don’t really watch TV,” it feels like the same thing as, “Oh, I’m not a dessert person.” Maybe this is more about my personal insecurity lol… but it can feel like a sort of holier-than-thou comment, can’t it? Gosh. Grace for me, grace for those people. Meanwhile, we can watch our stories…
Haha! “Not a dessert person” – psh. I don’t believe in that. ;)
I just found your series and now want to binge-read it the same way I’m prone to binge-watch Switched at Birth. I reallyreallyreally have to go to bed… but I have to say that I like you already. I don’t admit to watching as much TV as I actually do, but helloooooooooo multitasking is truly awesome and yes, I love that sometimes I find a real-life solution (or maybe just comfort) in a favorite show. Anyway. I’ll be back to visit you tomorrow. P.S. “Not a dessert person” is one of those comments that makes me feel just a bit sorry for a person. Because that’s clearly wrong.
I can’t believe I forgot to reply to this comment. It made my day when I read it! Welcome, and I hope you do binge-read a bit! ;)
Love this!! I rock Netflix like nobody’s business. We’re a family of 6, with no dishwasher. All 9 seasons of the Office are the only reason the dishes got done this whole year. Because I can easily watch while washing. And when I’m far behind on folding laundry, putting a show on motivates me to sit on my butt and fold. Otherwise I get distracted and end up scrubbing crud off the tops of my cabinets before I’ll fold the 8 loads of clean clothes. Lol. And it’s also a stress reliever. And I watch it when I have newborns who are up in the wee hours nursing, then 3 am doesn’t seem so harsh and cruel. Go TV.