For those of you who have been keeping up with my rantings, you know that I am trying to not watch television. I have gone two days strong, and it has gone pretty well. Last night was a true test. On Tuesdays, I head to my exercise class after work, come home and eat dinner with DH and the twins, and then DHtakes the twins back to their mom’s house. That hour+ that he is gone generally is me-time. I plop on the couch, eat sugar-free popcicles, and watch Gilmore Girl reruns. I like that time, like the checking-out bit of it. And as soon as DH closed the door and left with the twins yesterday, I could almost hear the couch and Rory and Lorelai and bomb pops calling my name. But I resisted. I stood there for a few seconds, paralyzed as to what to do. Then I went outside to look at the yardwork DH had done and got motivated to plant some flowers and put a little bit of mulch down. (1) I got two beds weeded and planted – one bed with impatiens and another bed with herbs, dianthus, salvia, and begonias. Reminding me of playing outside when I was a kid, I willed the sun to stay up long enough for me to finish my work. It was much more satisfying then watching television. I know I will be a faithful television servant as soon as this month is up, but I love trying to do this – seeing what sort of person I am and what I do when I don’t allow myself access to that old stand-by.

In the spirit of the experiment, I have a new list (to the right – list 29) of things I am doing instead of watching television. I will update it, as appropriate.

The thing about not watching television is that everything is so quiet. There is room for thinking in my brain. And DH and I share a lot more from our days. We now have a two-day tradition of drinking champagne cocktails on the porch (2,3,4) and discussing everything and nothing from that day. It is very pleasant – and feels more like living than popcicles on the couch.

And I need to be more quiet. I really think that is my next big life lesson. There is this woman at work, who I don’t get to see much, but every time I have a meeting with her, I want to be her. She is so kind – she remembers details about my life and asks me about things and seems to really care. And she listens to my answers and always says the kindest things. (6) It truly is remarkable. And during meetings she asks thoughtful questions and listens to the answers. Really listens. I want to perfect that. I am usually trying so hard to impress a point or be funny that I too often talk over people or don’t really listen. (5) Bad Ginger. Part of getting quiet will be shutting up and listening. I bet I will learn a lot more and become a better friend, wife, stepmother, daughter, coworker.

(list 30) Addendums to this post

Here are some additional thoughts related to this post.

1. One of the things I love about being married is the division of yardwork labor. I bought a house with a huge, overgrown yard that I never could even hope to control. With his manliness, chainsaw, and persistence, DH has created space for me to “play” in the yard, including little flower gardens that I can putz in. That is a lot better than pushing the mower around and hacking at brush.

2. Here is the recipe for Fellinis – the champagne cocktail that DH and I have been imbibing in.

Fellinis (makes 2) – serve in champagne flute

1 oz Triple Sec
1 oz Limoncello (lemon-flavored, Italian liquer that we keep in the freezer)
Juice of two clementines, one orange, or one tangelo

Mix the juice, triple sec, and limoncello with ice. Strain into flute. Top with champagne.

3. Last year we got stuck on Mojitos as our summer cocktail. DH planted some mint in a pot (it is invasive) so that we can make some this year with mint from our own garden.

4. I am very lucky to have a husband who goes along with my schemes. From 5 am 3-mile walks to art galleries to avoiding television, I have a willing partner. I couldn’t have married a more perfect match.

5. When I was single and looking, a more important attribute than finding somebody who was funny was finding someone who would find me funny. Yea, I have issues.

6. Waltz (Better Than Fine) by Fiona Apple came up on my iPod today while I was thinking many of the thoughts contained in this post – and the lyrics seem relatedish. I wasn’t a big fan of Fiona when she first hit the scene. I don’t really like musicians who show their underwear in their videos, regardless of how arty it is. (I really am quite a prude.) But I LOVE her Extraordinary Machine album that came out a couple years ago. It has great music and better than great lyrics. (Incidentally, I think Extraordinary Machine would make an excellent song for a burlesque dancer.) Ok, so here are the lyrics for Waltz (Better Than Fine). The bolded line reminds me of the woman at work I admire so much.

If you don’t have a song
To sing you’re okay
You know how to get along

If you don’t have a date
Go out and sit on the lawn
And do nothing’Cause it’s just what you must do
Nobody does it anymore

No I don’t believe in the wasting of time,
But I don’t believe that I’m wasting mine

If you don’t have a point to make
Don’t sweat it
You’ll make a sharp one being so kind
And I’d sure appreciate it
Everyone else’s goal’s to get big headed
Why should I follow that beat being that I’m
Better than fine


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