Like many busy parents, when I’m permitted a moment or two alone in my regular life, I’ll catch up on an episode of TV that I enjoy through a streaming service like Netflix or Hulu. Since I rarely have more than 30-60 minutes of “alone time” (such as when H is napping and Min has taken J to soccer practice), this indulgence is not particularly harmful. However, I’ve often thought that there is a part of me that would rather NOT watch TV during these times; if I actively chose a leisure activity, I would rather read a book, write, exercise, cook, or even clean/organize. And while I do enjoy some shows for entertainment, I’m too easily sucked into addiction and feel like I’m watching a lot of shows just because I’ve already invested in the characters and “should” continue to watch. It’s very dangerous for me to start a show after the kids go to bed because it so often turns into a “one-more-episode” bingefest until dawn. For me, television is not a “hobby”–it’s a habit. But it’s not one that enhances my life and connects me to my core values.
I’m reading Gretchin Rubin‘s Better Than Before: What I Learned About Making and Breaking Habits–to Sleep More, Quit Sugar, Procrastinate Less, and Generally Build a Happier Life on audiobook. I enjoy her style of writing and the meticulous way she analyzes so many aspects of habit formation. When I was reading her passage about convenience, I realized that Netflix simply makes television watching too convenient for me. I know that if I didn’t have access to television, I wouldn’t miss it, but the access makes it impossible to cut back or quit. During my 21 Day Challenge, I have canceled internet service to my house to save money (we will reconnect it when we return from Korea), so it is the perfect time to say goodbye to the $7.99/month subscription to Netflix.
I feel like I’ve been freed from an obligation–which is ridiculous–but there it is! I’ve been blaming the kids wanting to watch some kid shows for why I haven’t canceled before, but really, they don’t need to watch those particular shows. Lesson learned: if something is a healthy choice for me, do it! My family will learn to adjust.
Other accomplishments today:
- Extra gym classes (yes–plural!)
- Homemade salsa (yum!)
- Day two of resuming a food journal
- No caffeine after 3 p.m.
- Deep clean upstairs bathroom
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