Every night, Jeremy and I get the kids to bed and then sit our butts on the couch and watch TV. And most nights I feel guilty about this. When I force my butt to get out of its cozy warm nest that it has created on the couch, I think to myself, “I should have spent this time being productive.”
“Productive” to me could mean many things.
- Writing notes to friends
- Paying bills
- Reading books
- Reading blogs
- Playing a game with Jeremy
- Conversing with Jeremy (the deep stuff!)
Some of those things sound appealing to me, but others don’t. Can you guess which ones are which?
- Exercising – Sometimes appealing, but I’m just not a nighttime exerciser.
- Blogging – It depends on if I’m moved to blog or not. Usually I’m too tired at night to be “moved.”
- Writing notes to friends – I definitely want to do more of this.
- Paying bills – Unappealing!
- Reading books – Mostly unappealing (reasoning to come later)
- Reading blogs – I actually can do this while watching TV. Yes, I’m a multi-tasker!
- Playing a game with Jeremy – Unappealing because he always wins!
- Conversing with Jeremy – No offense to the hubs, but my brain is mush at night. The deep stuff is better saved for long car rides.
- Cleaning – Umm… Yeah, definitely unappealing!
So why do I feel guilty, you ask? I feel guilty lately because of the whole control issue I’ve been having. If I’m so overwhelmed and feel out of control, shouldn’t I be using the time at night to catch up and take control? In my mind, yes! But I don’t want to. And I need some down time.
I also feel guilty because of what I know some of my friends do at night. They exercise and read books. It sounds lovely. I hear about it on Facebook and think, “Good for them. I should be doing that.”
I’m trying to change my guilt, though. I’m currently reading “The Happiness Project.” And while I am still only on Chapter 6, and it has taken me months to get to this point, I am thoroughly enjoying it. Not enough to read it instead of TV, though!
One of the things the author wrote about stuck with me. Basically she discovered that we often take on hobbies because we see other people enjoy them and be happy and therefore we do them thinking they’ll make us happy. But the reality is that we’re not doing it truly for ourselves and therefore can’t get full happiness out of it. Reading at night is the perfect example. I know many people who would rather read than watch TV. They go through endless books. I saw that hobby as intellectual and better for the mind – much more so than watching lame TV – so I felt I should be doing it too. I tried. I fell asleep. I didn’t like it. I’d rather be watching TV.
So after getting through this chapter in “The Happiness Project,” I realized that I need to do what I WANT to do at night. Not what others do. Not what I think would portray myself in a better light. Not what I think is better for me. It’s MY time. And I realize I love TV, and there is nothing wrong about that. I’m just a TV person. I watch all types of things. Travel Channel, HD Theater, HGTV, sitcoms, reality shows, sports… It’s what I do. It’s my hobby. And I don’t want to feel guilty about it anymore.