Saturday, July 23, 2016

Somewhere, in between. . .

Every once in a while I decide I am going to pull away a bit from things. Things. Things like the TV, the internet, chasing after people who don't want to have the kind of relationship I want, accumulating art supplies for that future (translation: maybe never) project that has been rolling around in my head. Those things.

As I think about the process,  it comes to mind that there will be fallout. Fallout. Fallout that I will have to deal with in order to continue pulling away from things. For example, TV. Pulling away from TV means I will spend less time sitting, which is a good thing. Yet, it also means that I will spend less time with my husband, who loves watching movies on TV and with ME. In addition to the movies he records to watch by himself, he also records movies that he knows I will like or because they are one of his favorites that he wants to share with me. Thanks to DVR technology,  he can record hours and hours of movies on our TV, which he does!

It is enjoyable watching movies with my husband. Much more than enjoyable, it is an event....akin to a three-ring circus. Let me explain. While he saves little tasks that he can do on his TV tray for movie watching, such as purging the day's mail of junk mail, gluing broken stuff back together, writing out checks or greeting cards, and editing his To Do list, movie watching for me is not so much a multi-tasking event. I try to knit,  but can't count my stitches.  After a few rows, I put the knitting away. I decide I would like a snack, so I ask him to pause the movie while I make a quick run out to the kitchen. Five minutes later, when I return, the movie is not on the screen. He has switched over to something else during my absence! He does that channel surfing thing with ease. But, he quickly, and without comment, cues up the movie to where we left off for my kitchen run. I try to eat,  but my food falls off my fork if I don't look at my plate! So, I opt to look at my plate instead of the TV. I might move on to sewing or sketching, which means another pause while I run to my studio for my sewing box or sketch pad and pencils. Same thing. They don't really work for me for movie watching. I miss the good parts! My very patient husband will ask me, "Did you see that?". I mumble back a "No, but I heard it". Maybe I did. Maybe I didn't. So, he rewinds the movie back to the good part that I truthfully DID miss, so I can see it. Nice husband.

Google plays a major role in our movie watching. For instance, if we are watching a historical movie, we will often pause the movie to ask Google for event dates, maps, customs, or anything else that we are curious about. In doing that together, we learn new things and have a conversation that we would otherwise never have had. We do silly things too. We might see a particular dance in an old movie and try to do it. Or we might hear a song that we like, so we pause the movie and switch over to Pandora in order to find the song and add it to our extensive list of stations.

Another thing that causes us to hit the pause button during a movie is for discussions about the characters and their motivations, actions, the results of such, and how they relate to either our lives or those of people we have known. For both of us, movies are a source of entertainment, edification and insight.

I think you can now understand why I say watching movies with my husband is akin to a three-ring circus. There are many simultaneous activities occurring under the big top of our living room. Not to go unmentioned is the time it takes us to watch a two-hour movie. With the pauses, rewinds, Google searches, and discussions, and other breakaways, a two-hour movie becomes a four hour event!
That leads me to another benefit to movie watching, most likely due, in part, to all of the extraneous energy-consuming activities that occur whilst viewing. Naps. Movie watching, for us, usually includes naps, which means more rewinding! But naps are good for us; therefore,  movie watching is an obvious healthy choice for an activity!

So, will I end up choosing to pull away from TV viewing? Probably not! I just need to accept it for what it is and all it has to offer in the way of enriching my life. I believe I would miss the conversations and closeness to my husband that it provides. And, it would be selfish of me to take that sharing experience away from him. For now, I will keep the movie watching. I will try to pull away from the other things I mentioned . . . the internet, one-sided relationships, and accumulating art supplies. Time will tell if those efforts will be successful. There might even be a blog post or two in the future about them. Who knows?

In the meantime, watching TV will fit in just fine; and somewhere in between pulling away from other things and deciding how to spend my time, I will be watching movies with the person I love.
We've learned so much about railroad history by watching the AMC TV series "Hell On Wheels". 
A actual photograph of a railroad trestle built for the transcontinental railroad.