A Challenge

Here is another instance of me typing an entire blog, then changing my mind drastically from when I started it, to when I got to the end, and thus delete it and start fresh. That has happened not once but twice now. This is my third time writing this blog, and I’m still not entirely sure what I want to say.

I’ve always struggled with the hobbies and passions I enjoy. I don’t know if it’s mild depression or bi-polar (it runs in the family but I’ve never been diagnosed and maybe hasn’t even held me back much if I am, but I’m no psychiatrist), but I will very strongly obsess over something for a couple months, and then almost overnight the desire to do that thing vanishes, the passion goes away, and it becomes more of a chore than anything else.

The only constant has been binge-watching TV shows ever since streaming Netflix came onto the scene. It has always been so easy to just plop onto the couch or bed and waste away the hours watching episode after episode.

Now here is the part I struggle with. I would say “that isn’t how I want to spend my life” but the logical among you would respond “well it obviously is if that’s what you’re doing.”

If I have to literally force myself, or take drastic measures such as cancelling my streaming subscriptions, to stop myself from binge watching TV shows and make myself sculpt or write, then how much do I really want to be doing those things?  I may whine that I don’t want to waste my life watching Netflix, and yet I am, so clearly I do. And what is wrong with that if it’s what I enjoy, some might say?

This I struggle with, because part of me recognizes their logical argument. Part of me admits that they must be right. But part of me struggles against it, screaming that NO I don’t WANT to waste my life in front of the TV, I want to WRITE, I want to SCULPT, I want to DRAW! But then the little doubting voice in my mind nags at me, asking the question that turns my stomach, that makes me want to cry “do you really want to do those things, or do you just want the aesthetic of being someone who does those things?” Because they are right. How much do I really want to do these things if I’m not doing them?

So I’ve decided to try a little experiment, and now is the perfect time. This week most shows have had their mid-season finale, so we are looking at several weeks before new episodes of my favorite shows return. It is the ideal time to try this little experiment and see what comes of it…

Here are the rules of my experiment:

  1. I cannot turn on my desktop PC for any reason. I am going so far as to unplug it and my TV from the wall. They can’t even be turned on. This means no ESO.
  2. I am removing Hulu and Amazon video apps from my ipad. I’m not cancelling them, but I won’t be using them at all.
  3. I cannot use my iPad for anything where my entire focus is on my iPad. In other words I can’t sit there and just watch youtube videos or browse the web. I can ONLY use it for a reference (tutorials, finding reference pictures, etc).
  4. The ONLY exceptions to rule 3 are using it to read, or using it to write. So the only Apps that I can use and grant them 100% of my attention is my Kindle app for reading and my Doc or WordPress apps for writing.  I’m even going to hide all the icons but those, and Safari so I can look up sculpting/drawing tutorials.

Basically I am removing the option of just sitting there streaming videos/shows or browsing the web or playing ESO completely from my options for the next month. Instead my free time will be spend reading, writing, sculpting, drawing or preparing for my D&D games.

At the end of the month I will evaluate how I feel. If after a month I desperately want these things back in my life, then I will turn off these restrictions I’ve given myself and go back to watching shows and playing ESO.

If, however, I have found that I can survive and be perfectly happy and productive without these things, and that I do not miss them, then I will cancel Hulu, ESO and maybe even Amazon Prime (the only reason I hesitate on that one is free shipping, but at the same time perhaps cancelling would help with my bad spending habits).

I will also blog regularly, possibly daily, to say how it’s going, but perhaps just weekly.  The biggest challenge will be the weekends.

Wish me luck.





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