Friends in the blogosphere may have noticed that I have reduced my blog reading, subscribing and commenting drastically of late. Unsubscribing from a blog tends to be an Event in the Blogosphere (I would know). So I would hasten to explain that this means nothing – I still love you, I still read your blog when I can but I can’t have it light up with unread posts in bloglines or I’ll be forced to read it – it just means a reorg of my priorities.
It’s been over a year since I had Raihana, who wreaked havoc with the progress of my academic work-rhythm. Academic work is something I get done in snatches now – until she returns to fulltime daycare – like a fish coming up for air. I always have a running list of academic tasks in addition to domestic tasks, and very limited time to do it all. I also need to find a job.
Blogging had to be dropped from the top middle of my list, so that other income-generating activities could take its place – until I can charge a fee for any foolhardy blog readers I can swindle.
The reorg of my priorities was a hard struggle. But in July, I found a window of opportunity to effect a quick heartless reorganization.
When I returned from my trip to Pakistan, I found myself looking at jetlag, an adjusted circardian rhythm, a changed diet, – in short, I found myself looking at myself and seeing a VOID. A creative void.
In Pakistan, I’d had terrible dial-up. I couldn’t surf the internet, blog endlessly, or write emails to long-forgotten acquaintances. I could just barely send emails that were terribly urgent and important – and missed a deadline or two in the process. Sometimes, I spent days without being online [yes, I know, shudder-shudder].
For TV, I had either my mother’s cooking programmes, my father’s RAW (wrestling), or my nephew and niece’s dreadful American teen sit-coms. No “Law and Order,” no “The Closer,” no “Monk.” In short, I had no TV I wanted to watch. This lasted for a full 6 weeks. It was the equivalent of a “chillaa,” a spiritual retreat usually lasting 40 days.
On most days, since I was in charge of the baby, (Svend didn’t accompany us on the trip), I couldn’t sleep in either. This, coupled with severe jetlag for the 3 weeks of the trip, made me feel like a woman who could pretty much handle anything because she had annihilated all her need for sleep.
When I returned to the US, I found myself purged. I felt like I was staring into the face of a potential new world of new habits. This is my chance, I thought to myself.
In this pursuit, I changed Raihana’s and my schedule. We no longer wake up very, very late in the morning. (We’ll continue to call that “morning”). I slashed my bloglines links with the fury of love, and I kicked my TV addiction.
Yes, I dropped TV.
I hesitated to brag about this early on, wondering how long it would REALLY last. But now that I’ve been TV-free since early July, I feel that I can at last plant my triumphant flag of freedom. I have dumped TV.
No more mindless commercials that stick in my head and play in my head constantly in the middle of the night, and play as soon as I open my eyes in the morning.
No more Law & Order, sadly, but no more Orientalist portrayals of weeping Muslim women and furious Muslim men with dark-lined eyes.
No more watching the SAME episode of “Will & Grace” 54 times just because it’s there.
No more Dora the Explorer and those horrid Wonder Pets either. And no offensive automobile commercials in the middle of kids’ programming.
No more disjointed images of female body parts being used to sell alcohol, shoes, cars, soap, coffee and burgers.
No, I’m no over-achiever. I have netflix.