For Christmas, my family got Netflix. I’m still really excited about it, because now I can watch some of my favorite shows, anytime I want to. I can even watch some shows I wouldn’t see on cable TV. The only problem with Netflix was how much I wanted to watch these shows. I began to watch them all the time. It got a little ridiculous. Eventually, I had to figure out how to balance what I wanted to do, and what I knew that I needed to get done.
One of the shows I started watching was called “Supernatural”. Each of the episodes were 45 minutes long, and each season was about 22 episodes long. Somehow, I managed to get through five seasons in a little under a month. I’m not sure whether to call that an accomplishment or not. I still watch the show, because it is really good, but now I’m trying to moderate watching that show with the things I need to get done. I have since figured out that watching shows and doing other things for enjoyment should be a relaxing and fun thing to do. However, that’s not what it became.
I thought I was happy when I was watching these shows obsessively. However, I really wasn’t all that happy at all. I kept having this feeling like I wasn’t doing anything productive. It wasn’t a nice feeling to have. I also noticed that I was shaping everything in my life around watching these shows. Instead of thinking “I have a few minutes of downtime right now, maybe I could watch part of a Supernatural episode.”, I was thinking “Okay, if I get up at 5:00 and get ready in a half hour, I can watch two Supernatural episodes before I have to go to school. When I get home from school, I can watch four before I have to go to my piano practice. After that, when I get home from piano practice, I can watch Supernatural for the rest of the night.” I turned watching Supernatural into a mandatory activity, instead of something I did to unwind and relax every once in a while. It wasn’t fun and only increased my stress level.
We all want things to be perfect, and easy. We want to be happy, all the time. It would be nice if life could be like that, but it can’t. I don’t think life would be that great if everything was perfect, either. Part of balance is recognizing the necessity of having good and bad experiences. If nothing in our lives was ever bad, we wouldn’t be able to recognize the good times. We would take the fun, easy, good times in our lives for granted. The bad parts of life are not my favorite, but because of them, I know that there are good times in life, and I appreciate them more.
Balance is a difficult aspect of life. To manage it, you have to walk that fine line of “too much”, and “too little”. You might think you are content when you are going overboard, but to really appreciate the thing you like to do, you have to exercise balance. See you next week!
“Reprinted from Hagel Publications, Inc. dba as Courier Newspapers”