May 14th – “Sunday is a 24-hour period best described as magical. You radiate a sense of possibility and power.”

This is the first Sunday in months that I haven’t watched any television. I usually like to wind down on Sundays with a show or two to ease back into Monday.

Just as I was going to going to turn on the television, a friend I hadn’t spoken to in two years called me. One hour and forty-five minutes later, it was almost dinner time!

The great thing that came out of our conversation (aside from catching up with her) was that I had new inspirations for stories. Earlier in the day, I came up with one new story idea while walking back from brunch. I already thought I was lucky then!

That night, I didn’t turn on the television and turned on my writing lamp instead. I stayed up later than I wanted to, but didn’t feel guilty about it. I think I am on the road to kicking my tv habit!

Thanks for the magical day!

April 7th – “Kick some bad habits, whether it’s smoking, fast food or repeated defeatist thoughts.”

Oh, I have so many bad habits, I don’t know which one to pick! As I’m writing this, I am having a giant slice of cake AND have buns baking in the oven.

I’m addicted to TV. I started watching a lot of reality TV a three years ago when I was at the second “worst job ever.” I recognized the pattern immediately because I behaved the same when I was at the first worst job ever. It was my way to cope with spending 40 hours a week with people I didn’t like. I learned that it just takes one jerk to make an entire office miserable.

One of my favorite shows to watch is the Real Housewives franchise. Unfortunately, unlike other programs where there are breaks in between seasons, this franchise doesn’t have any downtime. When one show ends, another one starts. To be more accurate, there are usually 2 shows running at the same time, and when those ends, 2 more start. There’s rarely a week when there isn’t a new Real Housewives show on!

This bad habit of mine is very strange. On one hand, I am repulsed by the extravagant lifestyles and overt materialism that this shows displays (not to mention all the plastic surgery). It’s everything I wish the world wasn’t. But I can’t help watching. Isn’t there usually an element of disgust in oneself for participating in addictive behavior?

On the other hand, what’s got me hooked on these shows are the range of personalities. I learn a lot about human behavior without having to directly engage in it. I also learn a lot about myself by observing my own reactions to different scenarios.

If you are so inclined, it’s a good way to practice listening to other people’s perspective that are very different from your own and stretch those empathy muscles. Okay, some of you may think that’s a big leap, but it’s possible if you can keep an open mind. If you’re not, these shows might have the opposite effect and encourage you to become more narcissistic. Beware!

I don’t think I’m ready to completely kick this bad habit yet, but I do have an idea of how I can make the habit more beneficial. I’ve been trying to reward myself for hours spent on writing. I am going to add to this. For every hour of television, I will do 2 hours of writing. I don’t know how the math will work on all of this, so we’ll see what happens.