addiction · avoidance · health

Bridge and Tunnel


Game of Thrones has eaten my imagination.  You’re probably as tired of hearing about it as I am of reading it.  It’s 5,000 pages of binge.  Even a weekend spent devouring Stranger Things is a shorter time suck!

I bring it up because I notice that my blog post from yesterday was half-assed and scant, but it was also all I had.  I didn’t have much to reflect, relate, or realize because all of my brain cells have been consumed by dragons.

I listen to the audio-book on the way to work; I listen to it on the way home; I listen while I’m organizing my classroom and read the book between classes.  I read it at the breakfast table on weekends.  I read it for 3 hours on the couch every afternoon.

This means that there’s no room or time or breadth for any other thoughts.  Nothing of my own imagination or realization, no time to reflect on anything, no room to plan or make progress on anything… The series has eaten my life.

Before I began these obliviating books, I had a structure for my commute:  Listen to The Success Principles on Hoopla on my drive in and Anna Karenina on my way home.  (I’d tired of NPR, even delightful Kai Ryssdal, and music can be too noisy after a day of children.)

But Karenina grew burdensome and I was enjoying GoT, so I paid for the audiobook and began listening on the way home… then on the way in.  Then during my breaks, moments of pause, moments of zen… now unzenlike.

I reflect on this today because the new meditation challenge from Oprah and Deepak is about “Shedding the Weight,” about using food to drown our feelings or thoughts.  While I don’t generally suffer from overeating, I can assure you that having spent the previous month on the couch after work for 3 hours every day has done nothing for my level of physical energy or esteem around my body.  I am drowning in words.

Sometimes, it’s important for me to “dig to the bottom” of my self-harming behaviors, to really get to the root and suss out what’s going on.  I don’t think this is one of them.  Whether I’m using words to drown out feelings from my self-inquiry work, shame around delayed work-work (e.g. grading papers), mourning my relationship, discomfort from my living situation as my ex- still lives here, or simple avoidance of any number of projects I have in the pipeline…

It does not matter!  It is likely all of those, and a host of other sh*t.  But the point for me, the action, the antidote remains the same: Get back to my positive habits!  GET SOME NEW INPUT.

Listen to The Success Principles.  Use my commute home to start recording songs, as I’d promised my Goals Group.  Use my gym membership.  WALK in the afternoons now that it’s light out.  Listen to The Year of Yes.

Find more nourishing input.

GoT is fine; it is.  (It’s pretty brilliant world-building…and clearly engaging!)  But it’s also junk food for me.  I’ve been binging and drowning and crowding out all other awareness.  And it’s time to chain it up between the hours of 8pm and 830pm as I tuck into bed, like a normal, literate person.  (Please dear god amen.)

(Yes, I go to bed at 830; I wake up at 445 to do all this!);)


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