I was sifting through my heart and shaking out my thoughts for something to write about—and decided to write about why I like to watch television.
Now this is something many of us do. But many of us know in so many ways why the proverbial “they” say it’s a waste of time: it’s passive, we don’t have to think much, it does not exercise body or mind much and well, it demands next to nothing.
We turn it on and stare.
But actually, I turn it on with my computer going at the same time. And I have some show or another on while I write anything from blogs to poems to posts on Facebook.[Yes, since joining elephant journal I use Facebook a lot. I chat. I connect. I market. And I have friends who I know but don’t see except we connect there. And it’s okay. And on a blue moon a close friend might read my rant and call. Yes. It happens.]
So why does a poet and yogi live beside her television?
I like white noise. Not when I am meditating nor doing yoga but when I am planted on my couch with my cats and coffee or tea I enjoy the distraction.
I am on my iPhone all the time.
I don’t get 300 emails a day like many of my friends in the corporate world. I get business and notes from friends.
Currently a Clint Eastwood movie is on. Of course I am not really watching it but I like the distraction and on occasion the background on the tube provides foreground to a poem.
Can I say television has virtues? No.
I grew up eating dinner with television.
I grew up with M.A.S.H. and All in the Family and The Brady Bunch. Now it is Criminal Minds, NCIS and Law and Order, and series like Game of Thrones and Downton Abbey.
For a long time my television did not work or better, we could not figure out how to get the sound to come on. I did just fine without it, as I do with it.
I know I could read more. I know I could meditate more. I know I could practice living a more engaged life.
But I teach most every day. And when I have the TV on I listen as much or as little as I want.
Television is company and keeps the angst of my alone-ness an arm’s length away. I bring that angst close to my heart sometimes but I don’t need it all the time.
After working and doing yoga and teaching, I like a good show. It helps me unwind. It distracts me from me. It takes my mind off my troubles. And it can be entertaining.
So poet and yogi, and one who enjoys television with the best and worst of them.
I am aware that there are better things to do with my time but I use my time well I think. And if it gives me some comfort, why not?
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Editor: Kate Bartolotta