Jackie Unplugged

One more week until Ash Wednesday. One more week until Lent begins.

I have decided to do something brash this year. I am going to really, actually, whole-heartedly give something up for Lent. In years past, I have half-heartedly given something up for Lent, in full awareness that I probably wouldn't make it for the entire 40 days. And when I gave in, I didn't feel in the least guilty. (I have not yet decided if this is a good thing or a bad thing.) But this time, I am so excited about what I am giving up for Lent that I am starting today -- a week early.

I am giving up television.

Not films, mind you -- a good film during the weekend is one of my favorite unwinding activities. But I'm giving up TV. No more eating dinner while watching Dharma and Greg, no more late-night TV after one of my evening meetings comes to a close. I'm simply not going to turn that machine on. (This morning I unplugged it, removed it from its shelf, shoved it in a corner, and covered it with a pretty piece of fabric. Maybe I'll buy it a plant so it won't get lonely.)

I am doing this not because I believe that television is evil. My intention is not to cause the rest of you TV-watchers to feel guilty about your practice of TV-watching; nor is my intention to give my TV away for good. Rather, I am doing this for a limited time in order to consciously change my life rhythms. Television is a diversion, a form of entertainment, a way to relax. Watching television is fun, but I do not believe that it improves my quality of life. Whether or not watching television detracts from my quality of life is a question to which I do not yet have an answer ... but maybe I will by Easter.

P.S. Oh yeah -- I'm back! It's been a while! Sorry for the six weeks of silence.