You say, “I am allowed to do anything”–but not everything is good for you. You say, “I am allowed to do anything”–but not everything is beneficial. ~ I Corinthians 10:23
I got clobbered by the time vulture this week.
I was going along, just minding my own business, and WHAM. Suddenly all my free time was snatched away by the circling menace known to me as the time vulture.
What is this terror you ask? Well, for all of us it’s different. For me, it’s television.
You see, I’m not a super avid movie watcher. I enjoy going to movies and will occasionally watch them at home, but I’m not one of those people who can sit down and watch all three Lord of the Rings extended versions in a row. I would go crazy. I can, however, watch just as much television in one sitting (I cannot explain this – I realize that it’s completely counterintuitive, but that’s why it’s my time vulture and not yours).
What happens is, for the most part, I keep the tv watching to a minimum. I never watch television during the day, so it limits me to watching in the evening after my son has gone to bed. And since there are always lots of things clamoring for my attention at the end of the day, I usually only have time to watch one show. So I make sure it’s something I enjoy (thanks to my handy DVR) and then click it off and go read. But, as I said, tv is my time vulture, which means I don’t always have such a great handle on it.
A time vulture is something that can be okay in moderation, but hovers in wait for you to weaken, then swoops in and takes over all your free time. This week I found myself watching several hours of television every evening, which meant things that needed to get done, didn’t (like my pile of laundry, which has grown to massive proportions). Which means I got to yesterday, looked around my house, and wondered where my week went.
When I figured it out, I knew that something had to change. So starting tomorrow, I’m going cold turkey for the rest of the week, and not allowing myself to watch television at all. Now, this isn’t a permanent change, but it’s something that gives me a chance to rein in a habit that isn’t serving me well. I think television is great in moderation. It’s a pleasant distraction and I like watching shows with great writing. But if all my free time is being poured into it, then it is no longer healthy. I don’t like getting to the end of the week and having nothing to show for my free time.
With my experience with the time vulture that tv can be, it reminded me of today’s verse. I think things like movies, tv, and video games all fall into the category of “okay in moderation.” Enjoying a story or a game as a way to unwind at the end of a day isn’t a bad thing. But when it becomes the only thing you do, it’s time to reevaluate.
So look out for the time vultures in your own life. If they have snuck up on your free time and taken over, look for ways to get a hold of them and bring balance back to your life.