Tube or Not Tube, That is the Question

It’s Monday and my weekend has vanished. My place isn’t a complete disaster, but I won’t be inviting any company over just yet.

I’m all right with that, though, because I enjoyed my downtime. I caught up on some TiVo and accomplished a few little things. Most importantly, I met cool new people and had some fun in the sun.

It was such a contrast to the holing-up and hiding I’ve been doing so much of for so long. Oh, sure, call it “me time” and it seems so deliberate and purposeful. Most of the time, though, it was really just hiding. Not because I was scared of anything, but just because it was easier.

But I want more. I deserve more. I have wasted too much life for too many years because of taking body blows in my existential battles. I have come, saw, been inflicted, and overcame, though, baby. Life’s still a struggle, but I’m doing well. I can handle this shit. I’m all grown up, Ma.

Now I want to have my social cake and eat it, too. But I’ve figured out, if this weekend is any example, that I can’t have a life each night, run basic errands during the day, work during the week, enjoy my television, and keep a tidy home. I’m just not built that way.

To have the friends and a boyfriend and fun and sex, games and life, a beautiful home, and prolific writing, and my fill of both variety and opportunity, it will require a social Steff.

It means I have to start getting the “balance” of life right. I need time for me. Time for them. Time for work. Time for cleaning. Time for writing. Time for working out.

I’m seriously thinking of cutting my cablevision off. Sigh. Honestly. How else will I achieve everything I need to achieve, while staying sane too? Soon. It’s on the list. This means it’ll likely happen.

I’m a television addict these days, but I’ve probably lived about 5 years without it in my 20s, including in the bleak, dark Yukon winter. Me and CBC radio, baby, and a big-ass shelf of books.

It kind of all keeps coming back to that David Mamet quote for me, from one of my favourite movies of all time, State and Main. “Well, everybody makes their own fun. If you don’t make it yourself, it’s not fun, it’s entertainment.”

And I think I’m getting tired of being entertained. I think I’ll never be a reader while I have television in my house. I don’t DO restraint. I’m not a moderation girl. I go there. I go.

I think it’s a surrender thing, sometimes. Television. I give up. I have nothing to offer the world, nothing to do, nothing I want. So I’ll sit. And watch. And get a little lost in it. It’ll engage me aurally, visually, intellectually, and chronologically. Which seems like a good idea at the time, but really?

I’m torn. I’m a fan of television because I am a writer and I get how incredibly difficult it must be to write to a timed format in a way that develops individual arcs while sustaining an over-the-season/series arc of growth an continuity — that fits 13-24 perfect 44-minute chunks. For shows like Damages, The Wire, The West Wing, Pushing Daisies, Breaking Bad, etc, I just don’t think I could ever manage to write like that. It’s admirable. They deserve MY audience.

But my life deserves my attention.

And I think I’m coming to that point where I’m going to need to choose. Once I was a girl who was a librarian and a bookstore chick. Now I barely read. It seems so contrary to who I am that I find it very hard to reconcile. I want to get back to being that chick with five books on the go at any given point in time. I was her, you know. When Bill Clinton was elected and everyone was gasping, “He reads five books at a time!” I got to shrug and brag that I did too.

Cancelling cable, though. That’s a serious commitment. A girl needs to work up to such a thing. I mean, pfft! Plugging back into life? Who does that? Girl’s got to at least see her fave shows’ seasonal conclusions.

Here’s looking at you, May. I got eight weeks and counting. Quick… I better get a supplementary drive for my TiVo and save all the movies I can! I’m nothing if not forward-thinking, people.