This week, I had the chance to spend a few nights at home. Now, you may look at that sentence again, scratch your head, and wonder if you read it wrong, but I assure you, it is correct. My schedule is very busy. I have a night job, Bible studies, coffee dates, and other such commitments which fill up my calender. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed and start canceling events and shutting off my phone so people can’t call me. I never used to be like this. In college, I couldn’t do enough to get out of the house. Then again, back then I had a very bad relationship with my father. But I digress, hakuna matata.
It was refreshing to go home after my day job and sit on the couch. The television was off, the Internet was off, and the house was quiet. It took awhile to decompress, but eventually I was able to find my creative place again. I pulled out my next writing project, a book series about a girl who finds a magical locket and gets transported to an entirely different world. I wrote these stories in high school. Now I’m rewriting them because what I wrote in high school was crap. I say that with the best of authority on the matter.
Today I step back into twelve hour shifts, but I notice the difference. I don’t think about my schedule with the same loathing as before. I’m calmer, more relaxed. I know it won’t last forever and it won’t kill me in the meantime. I’ve had the chance to refocus on my dreams and get back to the Plan. I can breathe again.
Europeans are doing something right. They don’t work from morning to night. They are guaranteed a month of vacation time. They take time to garden, or sip coffee on the porch, or travel. Most grocery stores close at 9pm. 9pm, people! Think how much more writing we would get done if we couldn’t run to Walmart at midnight for munchies! But in America, our employers make us feel guilty for taking a sick day. We lose pay. We’re terrified of we use our vacation time, we might lose our jobs. We put our heads down and trudge on, never looking up, never looking back at what we hoped the world would be like.
We forget to breathe.
We trap ourselves in this lifestyle of materialism. We have to work more to make more money to support our electronics and toys. Listen, I don’t have cable or Internet or memberships for anything and I DON’T HAVE A CREDIT CARD PAYMENT. I pay for my electric and water bills. I pay my rent. And I feed myself. I budget for whatever else I might want. But if the money isn’t there, I don’t need it.
Since when did TV become a necessity?