First we got a week of glorious, uninterrupted sunshine.
Then, over the weekend, we got two days of crazy strong easterly winds with a mix of sunshine, cloud, and sleet.
Today, and for rest of the week, we’re back to the normal British spring time weather of grey gloomy clouds.
The changeover reminded me of old TV sets. When we switched channels, there was a brief period of electronic noise before the new channel started playing. The weekend’s crazy weather was like that electronic noise while switching the weather channels.
I’m not watching videos—live, recorded, or in any other form—this January. Not on TV, not on mobile, not on the laptop.
Over the last year or so, I’ve disconnected myself from twitter, then newsletters and apps, then TV news channels, and eventually from email app on the phone. It’s been lovely. Each disconnection led to a few weeks of anxiety but, once they passed, I was calmer, less distracted, and less annoyed about things that don’t matter in the long term (if at all).
One of the big distractions that has remained is TV. I watch many series and movies on Prime video, BBC iPlayer, All4 and Netflix, mindless videos on YouTube, cycling and biathlon events on Eurosport player (while cursing Eurosport out loud), Big Bang Theory reruns on Channel 4, and Match of the day on the BBC. I may also watch occasional reruns of Die Hard on Film4 :)
On 31st, I watched a movie I’d wanted to watch—A marriage story—and then deleted all apps from my phone… YouTube, Prime Video, Netflix, BBC iPlayer, All4. I even deleted the TED app. To help me out, the old Sky box also conked out, so there’s no live TV feed either.
The only TV I can and may watch is whatever R has on when I’m sitting around the TV.
Continue reading Challenge for January 2020: No TV
There’s no trying new things without letting some things go.
There’s no new life, if there’s no death.
There’s no bandwidth to explore new books, genres, TV shows, people, if we’re not ready to abandon the ones that turn stale, or we grow out of, or finished.
Bandwidth is finite. Cognitivo capacity is finite. Time is finite.
A core constraint on growing, changing, exploring, is our reluctance to let go of some of what we have and are.
Create space by letting some mediocre stuff go. Then fill it with something new, untested, unusual. If it fits, great. If it doesn’t, chuck it and try again. Something new, untested, unusual.
R is away for a few days, and I’m itching to try some changes.
My preferred change is to get rid of the mobile phone. I left it at home for the Corsica vacation last year, and it turned out to be amazing. However, with R away, I need to be reachable, so can’t completely get rid of the phone.
Another thought was to stay off of watching TV (including videos on mobile/laptop). I did that, semi-successfully, for the last quarter of 2017, and quite enjoyed it. However, this is the season of my favourite cycling races, the spring classics, and I really don’t want to miss them. (I just bought a Eurosport player subscription so I can watch the spring classics!)
I could give up social media, but it wouldn’t count as much of a change. I’m not on Facebook. I’ve restricted Twitter to Tweetdeck on desktop, so only use for specific posts/responses, no reading. I do check Instagram a few times a day, but it isn’t a sink hole of links and debates. Strava barely counts as a social media.
So far I’ve only found one thing I can drop. It’s small, but it may help achieve some calm: give up on the 24 hour news cycle.
- I won’t be watching news channels on TV. BBC and CNN are bulk of my non-Eurosport TV diet.
- I won’t check news on mobile. I check techmeme and Google news probably half a dozen times a day, each.
- I will stay off (reading updates on) Twitter.
- I will continue to read the 2 daily newsletters I subscribe to – Quartz and Economist Espresso.
- I will continue to read the weekly issue of The Economist.
I have a feeling tomorrow will be hard, given my addiction to news TV, techmeme and Google news. I also have a feeling that, once I’m over the withdrawal symptoms, this may help me achieve a bit more calm.
Often I think back to my time at my two colleges – 4 years for the engineering undergrad, and, after a short break, 2 years at business school.
There are very few things, if any, that I’d change about my time in undergrad.
The list of things I’d do differently in my post grad is long. The list of things I’d do the same again wouldn’t last a hand.
Wonder what this says about me – me today, and me then – and those places (in time, people, and environment).
The world’s changed.
Some risks, nowadays, more dangerous not to take them.
– From Black Sails, S01E03
Guy comes out of Tesco. Lights up a cigarette. Balances the phone between his ear and shoulder. Opens the box of mini brownies, and happily chomps on them between drags on the cigarette, and phone conversation.
I’m judging him. And hating myself for judging him.
He’s exploding at the waist. I hate myself.
The cigarette is over, as is the call. So he opens a can of coke (regular) to help with the brownies. I HATE MYSELF.
Judging is easy. It’s almost addictive. Changing people is hard. Almost never starts with judging. I need to let it go. I need to try harder.
(As does he)
I have been thinking since the last few times we met; our time is in past. We have some excellent memories of times together, but share few, if any, interests any more, and are at very different stages in family life. Our view points about how to live life are now very different, as are our plans for the future.
It’s time to move on. Apart.
Let’s archive the fond memories, lest they be spoilt by more recent ones, and move on with our lives, away from each other.
Continue reading Farewell Note