It's Day 11 of my 17 days in Nor Cal, and I'm starting to feel pretty settled in. I'm grateful that my sister E was able to join me initially, and I've gotten over the loneliness hump that swept over me after she left. I just wrapped up a chill weekend with my friends W+D who came down from San Francisco to visit me. I, in turn, popped back up to SF to spend a night in the city at their place, and to meet one of my clients in person for dinner. I'm now back here in Santa Cruz for a few days, eagerly anticipating B's upcoming visit. I'm feeling pretty upbeat, and not at all lonely this time around on my own.
I know part of that reason I'm not so lonely is that I broke my TV fast. Tonight I watched last week's Bachelorette episode. Don't judge the swift conclusion of my detox; I lasted a week! And I wasn't sure I'd even hit that milestone, so yeah, GO ME! I committed and I stuck with it, and I am going to continue to work to cut back my overall viewing. And, I KNOW you're not judging my consumption selection! Bachelorette Rachel and her suitors made for excellent company this evening. AND we're even hanging out again tomorrow night (minus a few suitors) when I catch up on tonight's episode. I do what I want!
It's obvious that I still love TV. And tonight, I appreciated having TV companionship. However, I recognize that, too often, I use it as a way to avoid my 'real life' And, I recognize that when watched in excess, TV makes me feel sluggish and unproductive. Yes, earth shaking revelation, I know. What did I tell you about not judging? And, in the absence of TV, my brain starts seeking out other time sucking, low productivity activities that may or may not rhyme with browsing mocial sedia . Ugh. Gross.
But, brain, I get it too, and now I'm sorry for yelling at you and shaming you for your TV coping mechanism, the one you've been trained to seek out. Because I know it's scary to face the real shit in life, and how overwhelming it can be. I know what it's like to fear failure so much that you seek any distraction to keep from entering into the game at all. We'll work on this together, brain, and we'll forge a new neural pathway.
In related news, this past Thursday, July 13, I hit a very big milestone.
A little backstory: Just over 3 years ago, I wrote about my cold turkey breakup with my favorite caffeinated beverage, the unbeatable sweet, jolty fizz of fireworks in a can, Diet Coke. My goal was to kick the habit for a month, and I ended up abstaining from that sweet nectar of the global corporate branded gods for 240 days. At that time, I consciously chose to lightly step off the wagon, and scamper along behind the wagon for a while.
And then a year ago, I decided to jump back on the wagon. I've now been diet coke free for a 365 straight days (370 days actually!) and I'm still going strong. In fact, I haven't had any soda pop in the past year. Unless you count the delicious nectar that is San Pellegrino. Which I don't. And I rarely drink anyway. So - diet coke and soda sober for over a year!
So, hey! That's kind of a big deal!
And, along with quitting TV for a week, achieving my 1-year diet coke sobriety milestone is kind of a big confidence booster for me, too. I was beginning to think that I had lost my capability to self-motivate, to set challenging personal goals and commit to the hard work that it takes to achieve them. That I was falling back into my familiar pattern of being so concerned about failure, that I wouldn't even put in the effort. Write a blog entry? Work proactively on building my business? Immerse in becoming a yoga teacher? Practice Spanish and learn a new language? Well, just one more episode. Procrastinate a little longer.
If you don't play, you can't fail. And...you can't succeed either.
And these goals, giving up TV for a week and cutting diet coke out of my diet, as silly and inconsequential as they may be, have helped me to get back on track, to rejoin the part of myself that desires striving for success, even if it means stumbling and risking failure.
I have a renewed oomph to keep recommitting to myself and what matters to me. To keep my head out of the sand (where it's watching all that dang TV) and live above ground. Most of the time anyway. Someone's got to watch the Bachelorette, and I think that someone should still be me!