I actually did finish the artist’s way the first time I tried it back in 2008. It wasn’t in 12 weeks, either, and this won’t be, either, but the effort was there. I did successfully complete the media fast. Factors that helped: summer, moving, crazy semi-professional drama. This time, low drama, dead of winter, fighting seasonal affective disorder, and a much smaller social pool than I had at that time. This time…
So, I failed at the media fast. Twice. But I also learned something important about myself as a result of that failure:
I live in a home with a lot of media. A LOT of media. Mike and I have set up a system where we are connoisseurs of fine at-home entertainment, the way other couples might boast wine cellars, small children or decor. Our friends come over simply to see what we have on our television queue this week. I actually have no problem turning off a show and walking away; I only watch TV after I’ve done morning pages, meditated and completed my writing minimums for the day. It actually does not stand between my work and myself anymore and has not for a year now.
I was actually doing fine with said media fast, and then a)I went to an art gallery night. The exhibition was ten billion kinds of cool – and oh so very crowded. The friends I went with also had some minor drama and stress around it; poor communication about timing, our ride was unable to show so I had to pick it up and so I had to step in as the official ride since my car is zippy and small, and then after dropping my friends off parking in an unfamiliar neighborhood. I then wound up working the room – and finding that while I still know the formula for “working a room” which is quite simply pick a person, ask a question – I also find interacting with strangers in a non-depth way actually quite draining. I immediately went home and after fighting to direct my attention elsewhere, I flipped on the TV. I needed to check out, and badly.
I also realized that with the Doctor Who meetup coming on Saturday I absolutely could not avoid said media. Not and successfully run that group. It was also crowded, and draining. Sunday involved an aggravating long-winded tour guide at the Titian exhibit, and yesterday a round of depression I didn’t see coming. I did all of my “supposed tos” and could not even find the wherewithal to play with my new tumblr blog, let alone write beyond my minimum. I meditated, I prayed, I freaked out, I pulled up Gossip Girl.
In this round of failure, I did learn something about how I use television: yes, I consider it art, and I do use it as a sedative. But I really don’t overuse it that often. In fact, I was behind on my TV “viewing schedule” already, and I’ve been allowing shows I enjoy to pile up as I do do other creative and constructive things. I use it when I need to check out after stress, when I need to calm my vibrations after exposure to too many people that I don’t have much emotional connection to.
A tarot reader I went to commented to me that You don’t do shallow.
That’s true in both relationships and television. Even the shallow fluff I watch serves a purpose.