What’s Important?

Yesterday night I had one of those brief moments of existential thought. I’ll admit I had just consumed a very alcoholic beverage which may have helped me get there. Anyways, the thought that occurred to me was that I spend a lot of time doing things that truly don’t matter to me. I was having a really good evening and was wondering why I didn’t get that feeling more often. That thought lead to the two following questions:

What am I doing that I think is a waste of time?

Well that’s an easy one. I currently spend far too much time watching media – mainly Netflix. When I think about my day there are a few exciting bits that pop out and some satisfaction from a job well done. I have never thought back on my day and thought, boy am I glad I watched those three episodes (usually more) of whatever Netflix recommended I watch.

The problem isn’t really Netflix/TV/whatever but the frame of mind I’m in while consuming certain types of media. The fact that it’s completely passive is the part that kills me. The idea that I want to sit there at the end of the day and just be a vegetable makes me hate myself a little.¬†Visual media is a great thing (a picture being worth a thousand words and all that), but like most things only in moderation. So on that note, I’ve decided that I am going to avoid watching television of any kind for the next 3 months. I’m going to try to go cold turkey since if I try to set up arbitrary guidelines I’m certain I’ll cheat. The one exception I may make is that it’s possible I go to a movie or two, a relatively small concession time-wise.

I haven’t been able to find any solid statistics but based on various news sources – they don’t seem to provide very specific information on how their data was collected – suggest that the average Westerner watched around 3.5-4 hours of television per day in 2017. That seems like a lot at first glance, but when I think about my average day it doesn’t seem to be too far from reality.¬† Assuming I’m able to free up 3.5 to 4 hours of my time up per day, that leads us to the second and arguably more important question.

What should I be doing that I wouldn’t think is a waste of time?

There’s a few things I “should” be doing. Like eating better and going to the gym. And if I’m being completely honest, there’s really no excuse for not going to the gym (or doing some kind of physical activity) for 30 – 60 minutes per day. So lets be optimistic and say that I’m going to spend 60 minutes at the gym per day that leaves me around 2.5 hours.

I’ve just recently moved to Germany (approximately 6 months ago) and I’ve been fairly inconsistent with my German lessons. This can be partially blamed on my work, I’ve traveled quite a bit which effectively disallows for consistent courses. However, I’m also partially to blame in that I could easily put at least another 1 to 2 hours per night into my German with self-study. Starting next week, I’ll be starting a course that takes place twice a week. The remaining days of the week I’ll have to force myself to study.

Finally, I’ll be trying to bring this site back from the dead – and putting up content on a semi-regular basis. While writing on a blog that nobody reads is probably a waste of time, I find it a little therapeutic and at a bare minimum it’s some creative writing. Since finishing my Master’s degree at the end of 2014 the amount of structured writing I’ve done has been fairly minimal and it’s definitely something I could work on.

Until next time – hopefully soon,

Eric

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