On Posting More And Shrinking My TV Time

A New Year’s resolution that I wanted to make for 2010 was to make an attempt to step it up with my posting frequency here: to add fresh content that others would find readable and entertaining, and do it more than once or twice a month. Really…I had the best of intentions to do so.

But we all know about the stickiness of resolutions. They normally don’t take. They mostly crash and burn by the middle of February.  So, right now, more frequent posting can fall under the category of  “something I’d like to do”.

The issue involved that prevents me from posting more often is I have a life. With lots of stuff going on.

And my perception is that doesn’t leave a lot of time for blogging.

Sure, I could put up some cute photos, or a You Tube clip with a couple of sentences underneath and call that a “post”, but I’ll assume enough people are doing that already. I’d rather write something with a little bit of depth.  And perhaps the potential to make someone think.

I just don’t do it often enough for my taste.

But, back to the life. I have a job, one that requires several hours of focused attention. That’s how I make my money. A little old fashioned, I know, but it is what it is.

I have a family. A wife and two children who I like to devote most of my free time to. I’m aware that time itself is fleeting, and before it has a chance to run out, I’d like to spend as much of it with them as possible.

These two facets of my life are the most important—with family always coming first.

Lately, I’ve been thinking of ways to post more frequently, even though things have been busy. Trying to find the activities in my day that I could curb in the interest of getting better at, and doing more of, this writing thing.

Watching television is one of these activities.

To help me on the road to more frequent writing, I have a goal that many readers might think seems far fetched: with the exception of live Yankee baseball telecasts, to shut myself off from watching television.

And then use my previously spent “TV time” to live my life instead.

As a guy that likes to watch mostly sports on TV anyway, this sounds like a pretty simple proposition. However, it’s not that easy. There are some quality shows on television (albeit most are not), and like most other people, I sometimes find myself, after a day at the office, kicking my feet up in the recliner, ready to watch. Vegging out. Being lazy.

I’d rather not do that anymore.

I’ve been watching baseball games since I was a kid. I love them. This I cannot cut. Everything else: very negotiable. It’s negotiable because the one resource in our lives that we cannot renew is time. Time runs out every day, and before that time is gone, I would rather not waste it on an activity that does nothing to move my life forward. Going forward is the much better option.

Have you ever thought of what happens with less watching, more doing?

I can do the following:

  • talk and make plans with my wife
  • help my daughter with homework
  • play catch with my son
  • phone someone I haven’t spoken to in a while
  • take a walk or run with my dog
  • read something
  • cook something really good and tasty
  • make some sauce
  • and I can write. Post something worthwhile here. Offer something to the world, instead of playing with the TV remote.

This is just a partial list of worthwhile ways to spend a life, rather than being a spectator to the network and cable offerings.

But looking at it quickly, I think, what a great list. And how I should get started right now.

A Little Ironic

I found myself watching a football game last night that I had very little interest in, that had absolutely no influence on the won/loss record of my favorite team. I knew it was probably a waste of my time to watch. I also knew that judging from my level of comfort, it was going to be very difficult to get up and turn off the TV. A tremendous amount of effort was going to have to be expended, and it was just easier to lay there and watch, rather than do what I know needed to be done. After a good half hour of waffling, I got up, turned it off, and began to read a book.

I’m not an anti-TV guy.  I have shows I like to watch, and sporting events that I need to see to keep up with the teams I root for. I just think I tend to—like many other people—devote too much time to looking at a babbling screen when I could be doing something more important, such as:

  • spending time with my family
  • exercising
  • writing content for this blog

But, Yankee games tend to take three hours minimum, and then there is my couch. It acts too much like an old, comfortable friend to leave it.

I know the mindless watching of television is not going to get me where I want to be, blogging or otherwise.  This blog itself would be much further along if I could just pull myself off that couch from looking at one screen, and getting in front of the computer screen. In some ways, I find all that ironic. It’s funny that a guy who pledges old school values would go from one screen to another, write on-line, and publish in a medium where I may be read by other people who I might have very little in common with.

Aside from that, the old school is definitely where I’m from. I don’t “tweet”, I don’t have any plans to, and if I spend five to ten minutes a day on Facebook, that’s a lot. I’m more likely to make a call from a land line than a cell phone, and I’ve sent three text messages in my entire life. But I still think its amazing that I can write something, see it on my very own (sort of) website, and receive comments on that text. The blog is my new school communication tool of choice.

And, in staying with the ironic theme, this blog will be a spot where people can learn more about me—especially those who I have a “non-electronic” relationship with. My thoughts make more sense and are better organized when they are written down—and I can always edit the things I was going to say that won’t make sense to anyone.

I barely remember anything about the football game I watched last night. But I do know it will be easy to recall the process of writing this, and connecting with the readers who will be interested in what I have to say.  As I’m writing this now with a pen and yellow legal pad—so low tech—I’m finding it easy to ignore the television screen in the background. Will that be the case in the future? I know to get something done, all one has to think is just do it. Might be a cliche’, but its as simple as that. But can I do it, and make it happen continuosly?

Now I wonder…what channel are the Yankees on tonight?