Sunday, January 9, 2011

Girls Just Wanna Have None

There's something about January that begs for abstemiousness.  You've just eaten thirty-five fruitcakes and a life-sized candy elf, for instance, or you've blown your life savings on 1,357 posters of Jar Jar Binks.  Whatever your particular brand of overindulgence, you're likely to wake up one day in the new year bloated, achy, and with that particular feeling in the pit of your stomach that means it's time to retrench.

Retrench!  I kind of enjoy it.  I'm a cycles person- I like to work really hard and then loll, or run really far and then inhale food.  Oscillating back and forth between two extremes helps us savor every cranny of our lives, and also ensures that we don't get really boared and try to figure out how to get to Timbuktu and what the heck is going on there.  (Probably much the same kind of human stuff that's going on here.)   At this point, we've pretty much whittled the abstemious part of our year down to January (come Valentine's Day, it's back on the chocolate horse), so I try to take full advantage of our collective self-disgust while I can.

Retrench!  I've focused on TV this year, because I streamed an awful lot of online episodes of vaguely soothing junk over the holiday break.  Plus the NYT just came out with an article stating that average TV viewing time in the USA has just edged up to 34 hours per person per week.  34 hours a week, people!  That's very nearly a full-time job!  I find this stupefying: even at my lolling winter break worst, I got up to maybe 12.   An average week was more like 5.   Which still seems like A LOT, if you think about what I could have done with that time (more practicing, more writing, or, let's be honest, more staring into space).   And remember, 34 hours is the average, meaning there are folks out there who are counterweighting what I've discovered to be my relatively anemic TV viewing habits.  Red-blooded American I am not.

Retrench!  For this, the first week of 2011, I am watching no TV.  Zero-zippo-zilch.  I am also decreasing the number of times I pour entire spoonfuls of salt onto my food, the amount of chocolate I eat, the minutes I waste depressing the "refresh" button on my email browser like an unfortunate lab rat, and the number of blogs I read about other people's food.  TV's the only thing I'm going cold turkey on, but I'm savoring a general philosophy of contraction.

Of course, where we contract, we must also expand.  Up so far this week: novel reading, scribbling, crossword puzzle-doing, radio listening, tidying.  Unfortunately not practicing or thinking great thoughts.

1 comment:

Pam said...

34 hours!! Are you sure that wasn't a typo? How can that be! Oh, and thanks for leaving a comment at my blog, especially since reading other people's blogs is on your no-no list.