Why Turning Off the Television is So Hard to Do

I don’t know how this happened, but we’ve been on a movie binge this last week.  It’s funny because I hardly ever watch television or movies, but once I start watching something, it’s easier to watch the next night, and within a few days, I feel that I need to watch something every night.

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Ricky and his cousins started played a simple game in the streets of Strasbourg, France. I was grateful that I took this moment to watch.  (It helped that my phone was not getting reception.)

It’s harder for me to get to bed on time and get up early, and it just throws everything off.  The saddest things is when Deborah asks at 9:15, “Are you going to read Heidi to us?” and I have to tell her that it’s too late.

I am just always stunned at how quickly our mind form habits.  When I’ve read to my children three or four nights in a row, I just can’t wait to read to them that night.  I look forward to it all day.  And when I’ve watched television three or four nights in a row, the same things happens.  I can’t wait to watch whatever show I want to watch that night.

I am always astounded at what amazing beauty we have in this world–the easy access we have to great literature, art, music, architecture, theater, and film, but I often sell myself short, watching or reading whatever is easiest, looking at pictures of George Clooney’s wedding or Robert Pattinson’s new girl friend, wasting time on whatever throws itself in front of me instead of seeking from the best books.

When I read the Bible or listen to Bach or watch a Shakespeare play, my soul expands.  I feel stronger.  I feel more connected with humanity, more understanding of those I might be inclined to judge, and more awestruck that I live in a world that has such beauty.

I need to be more proactive in seeking these things, setting goals to learn and teach my children.  I also want to observe my children more.  For many of us, children are our muses, inspiring us to write, paint, take pictures.  They have helped us live more abundantly.  Truly they are the most beautiful things in our lives, and they teach us what it means to feel joy in the moment, if only we will look.

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I am curious.  What have you done to bring more art in your life?  More beauty?  How do you make time to really connect with your friends and family?  How do you discipline yourselves to spend less time on empty things that don’t matter?  I would love your suggestions:)

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