Yesterday was day five of my self-imposed television liberation– and I’m not gonna lie, it was tough. I did have thoughts of just turning on the damn tv. But I restrained myself. I fought through the temptation to wither and collapse at the feet of my mighty electronic master. I emerged at the end of the day victorious and with some new perspective.
I had the majority of the day to myself free from responsibility. The house was empty save myself and my cats. It was the perfect curl-up-and-mindlessly-distract-myself kind of day. However, my self-imposed liberation did not allow said mindless distraction to occur. My first observation while sitting on the couch knitting was “wow, I am insanely tired.” When I engage in my habit of distraction via television screen I fail to connect to the state I’m in. I slip into a zombie-like engagement failing to give myself what I really need: REST.
So I began my afternoon by myself with a NAP. What a radical idea! I allowed myself to rest and recuperate as opposed to just numbing out and disconnecting from myself. Good job, Mandy. When I awoke from my 30 minute slumber I felt much better prepared to face the emptiness of my home. I cleaned my kitchen. I did some more knitting. I had long overdue conversations on the phone with both my brother and my father. I took care of tasks that have been ominously hanging over my head for the last several weeks. When my husband arrived home from work I was busy downstairs in my apothecary making magic. It felt incredible.
We headed out to grab dinner with the weight of what we were going to do with our evening hanging over our head. His long day of work weighed heavily on him– and our pattern is to put something mindless on the television and play a game of scrabble sharing space and a moderate intellectual engagement until we can’t stay conscious any longer.
Scrabble is a noble pursuit. As we sat eating our dinner on the front porch I suggested we play scrabble and talk. What? Conversation? Absurd. But, agreed. We did it.
And he had the SCRABBLE GAME OF HIS LIFE!!! I have never seen the man bring it like he brought it last night. He beat me by more than 100 points courtesy of an insane four word play with a scrabble. It was truly epic. I on the other hand had a special talent last night for picking all of the letters valued at one point. Sometimes that’s just how it goes. We sat there sharing each other’s company, unpacking our day, talking about the novel that he’s writing, our upcoming trip to Costa Rica, our kids, without any noise or distraction in the background. We settled into each others familiar company consciously. And we laughed. A LOT.
There is a fabric of our own that we forget to weave– because we’ve woven ourselves into someone else’s. We involve ourselves so much in the stories that are created and presented to us– we forget about the act of creation that our own lives afford us. We are consumed by culture and celebrity and sensation– forgetting our own immense imagination.
To cultivate ourselves we must first remember that we need nourishment. Rest. Nutrition. Love. Engagement. Laughter. I am actively remembering what I require to be nourished. I am actively rekindling my own immense imagination.