Monday, January 10, 2011

Screen Time

We have seen so many movies since we cancelled the internet. It is the season we are most likely to watch movies, but it still seems suspicious. This past week, I have felt fed up with all this movie watching, and I think we’re done with it for the time being. I don’t mean we’ll quit movies, just that we might switch back to one or two per month instead of one or two per week.

What I’m realizing is how screen time sucks us in; we do not even seem to know what we’re not doing as we gaze at the flickering light. We need to talk about money or getting the cow inseminated or how to handle some discipline problem or Jason’s latest brilliant idea or what to do with the greenhouse, and it seems like we just can’t get around to it. It seems like we don’t have time in the evening to do a touch of painting or shelf building or trim work. Heck, we’re tired; why should we keep working in the evening? Why have those big discussions at the end of the day when everyone is fagged out?

Well, when ARE we going to do it?

The nice thing about a lack of screen diversions is that “work” can look more like a hobby. It’s funny how much more appealing a little bit of painting while we chat and listen to music can seem when we don’t have a movie sitting on the counter, waiting for us. Before, when Jason was gone on trips or worked lots of hours in winter, I did quite a bit of painting and knitting and kitchen experimentation. It was really pleasant to do this “work” with no children around, with the dark pressing against the windows, and a bit of music I save for adult ears.

Also, when I’m working side by side with Jason, we have lots if time to talk. Sometimes, we talk about the movie we saw or about why “Horehound” is better than “Sea of Cowards”. We get a chance to be friends working together, and that camaraderie makes our relationship stronger. We also get a relaxed time to have the big talks, the rhythm of the work giving us more time to consider our words or the impact of a decision.

Sometimes, the truth is, we’re just too tired to do another darn thing in the evening. Sometimes, I cannot read a page of a really great book without dozing off. What that means is that we need to go to bed. I know that if we turned on a movie, or if the internet were available, I could and would stay awake, but why? If I am really too tired to do things I love like painting, knitting or reading, then I should probably be asleep anyway, not handing my consciousness over to some mindless “entertainment”.

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