Monday, May 24, 2010

Where do People Find the Time to Watch TV?

I feel like I'm a pretty 'together' chick with decent time-management skills. I can get shit done in a timely manner and I feel like I don't squander my time or dilly dally. However, I am at a loss: Where do people find the time to watch TV?

I am challenged to find time to use my neti pot on a daily basis (which takes five minutes), let alone sit down and do NOTHING for 2-4 hours, as apparently the average American does each day. Heck, I don't even have kids, which are a HUGE time suck! Come with me as I analyze my day; maybe we can scrounge up some time for TV watching.

During the week, I wake up at 6:00 am to either run or work out pretty much every day except Wednesday, when I get to 'sleep in' until 6:45 am and then read all the personal email I have disregarded for days. After running/working out/'sleeping in', I shower and get ready for work. I suppose most people do the 'get ready for work' part, but maybe they are sleeping when I am running/working out. Or are they watching TV?

Every weekday morning I drive about 30 minutes to work. I think this is probably a pretty normal commute time, so I don't think my TV deficit comes from this. I work until 5:00 pm or later, sometimes doing yoga or going for a bike ride at lunch to be more efficient with my time. After work, I drive the 30 minutes home, sometimes stopping for groceries. Home around 5:30 or 6:00 pm.

Upon scrutiny, it is clear I have no time for TV from the 6:00 am to 6:00 pm slot during the day on weekdays. Maybe evenings are the ticket.

On Monday evenings, I make a quick change into my yoga clothes and go to a wonderful 90 minute class with Jesper at a studio near our house. We get home around 8:20 - 8:30 pm and eat a late dinner, usually of leftovers. After a quick dip in the hot tub (15 minutes is about our max), it's time for bed at 9:45 or 10:00 pm. Maybe people stay up later and watch TV, but that would cut into my eight hours of sleep, the minimum I like to get each night.

Tuesday evenings are flexible. Sometimes I do a big mountain bike ride right after work that lasts until 10:30 pm or so; on those nights I go straight to bed after cleaning up. Or I do a road ride after work and then make a nice dinner and go to bed early. One Tuesday each month, I go to the Boulder Mountainbike Alliance Board meeting, have a late dinner and then go to bed. No time for TV on Tuesdays.

On Wednesday's, I have been going for a long-ish trail run with some girlfriends. I leave straight from work and we run from about 6:00 until 7:15 pm. Jesper often cooks dinner on Wednesday nights since I am not home until after 7:30 pm. We use the time while he cooks to get reacquainted and talk about how work was that day, plans we have for yard work, house work, upcoming vacations, etc.; whatever it is that's going on or should be going on in our lives. Or, we both get out in the yard and work on whatever project is pending. Then we hot tub it and go to bed around 9:30 or 10:00 pm. Hmmm... still no time for TV.

On Thursdays I go to the Boulder Mountainbike Alliance Gurlz Ridez. After riding and a quick dinner with my girlfriends, I am usually not home until after 9:00 pm. Putting my bike and gear away, showering and hot tub take my evening to about 10:00 pm. Time for bed. Maybe we could put a TV out near the hot tub, but we'd only get about 15 minutes to watch it, so that is clearly not the time for me to squeeze in American Idol or some other useless show.

Friday nights are reserved for Date Night with Jesper. We usually head out to a restaurant as soon as I get home from work, hot tub it and get to bed around 10:00 pm. I don't know about all of you, but I am pretty tired come Friday and not about to stay up after Date Night to watch TV.

On the rare weekday evening I have a few spare minutes, I try to read personal emails or maybe even read a BOOK.

So, I have failed to find time during the week to watch TV (heck - I have barely found time to read and reply to my personal email). Maybe I need to find the time on the weekend. Yeah right.....

In my view, weekends are for:
  1. Sleeping in (as much as my body will let me, which is usually no later than 7:30 am)
  2. Riding, Running
  3. Getting things done around the house and yard
  4. Cooking nice meals
  5. Getting reacquainted with my Honey
Clearly sleeping in takes away time from watching TV! That is not the solution.

I have been going for one really long trail run either on Saturday or Sunday, followed by an ice bath (brrrr...) When I say really long, I mean like 15 miles. The whole ordeal (getting ready, running first with the dog and then taking her home and heading back out to run the rest by myself, finally doing the gawdforesaken ice bath) takes over three hours. If Jesper and I don't have a big house or yard project going on, we try to get out on the day I don't do my big run for a bike ride. This can take up to four or five hours (or longer if we drive a ways to a cool biking trail). I realize many Americans do not dedicate this much time to exercise on their weekend days, although judging by how fat most are, maybe they should... Obviously, I am not able to watch TV while out trail running or riding my bike.

Before and after running or biking, there are always things to do around the house or yard; clean (vacuum, dust, mop, clean bathrooms, wash/fold clothes, on and on), pick up dog poop, weed. Then of course there are the Big Projects. We are into one right now, building a new back deck/patio/retaining wall/garden. When we are doing a Big Project, we spend every waking weekend minute (except for my run and for eating) working on the project, usually until dark. This past weekend, we were so busy (no ride, only my 3 hour run) we did not even make it into the hot tub in the evenings. Clearly no time for TV.

Somewhere in each busy weekend day Jesper and I like to cook a nice meal. Cooking takes some time, and I suppose I could put a TV in my kitchen. However I prefer to chit chat with my honey while listening to nice music. Besides, I am sure I would lose track of my recipe if I tried to cook while watching TV.

This is my warm weather schedule, but the winter schedule is jam packed with skiing.

So there is it. No time for TV. Clearly I am doing something most Americans are not that is sucking away my time. Hmmm... maybe I could find that elusive TV time if I gave up exercising, cooking healthy meals, sleeping, interacting with my significant other, or doing home improvement projects. But then I would be stressed out, overweight and out of shape, sleep-deprived and I'd have a crappy house and a poor relationship. No thanks - I don't think I need TV that much!