I’ve been sick most of the week (recovered now, thank you) and on the couch yesterday because of oral surgery (it went fine, thank you again). On top of that, my spouse and I watched three straight hours of The Wire the other night; this, after having spent the better part of the previous week watching the entire fifth season of Weeds. And it occurs to me: I am a worthless sack of shit.
I usually get this way during periods of down-time (vacations, especially): I bemoan the wide gap between what I want to get done and what I’ve actually accomplished. My solution often is a new schedule: figuring out my goals and how much time I should set aside to meet them. I’ll be doing that again, of course. But I think it’s time for a new approach. I need to excise the time I waste doing things that are pretty much worthless.
Television, naturally, is the most obvious culprit. I’m pretty deliberate about what I watch: X-Files, The Wire, Weeds, Community, Parks & Rec, The Office, 30 Rock. But I’m still burning up a lot of time for a few laughs and a little drama, but not much in the way of intellectual or emotional development, lasting memories, or even relaxation–I just feel lazy. I’ve noticed this especially with The Wire and Weeds. I mean, I enjoy those shows, but for only a fleeting moment; it’s not like they somehow make me a better person. More and more, I’m angry at how much time I spend with so little pay-off. There are other things, too, I’m sure–the Internet is an awesome time-suck.
In the past, I’ve chalked these sorts of activities up to, “Well, I need to give my brain a rest so I can be more productive.” Bullshit. Time for a perspective change. Time to ask whether whatever I am about to do will actively contribute to my levels of pride, happiness, or excitement. If it can’t meet one of those three criteria (which I think encompass both professional and personal satisfaction), then I can’t see the use of it.
And now: back to watching the first round of March Madness. You just be quiet.