Why are you doing this to yourself

It was a hot, boring summer. I spent many nights alone in my apartment, without TV or the internet. My children lived far, far, away. I missed them. I drove for hours along empty interstates for my work. Then, it happened! A friend called, and said, “Sounds like you need to get away. Let’s get some people together for a weekend at a lake. We will also walk in the woods.”

We skimmed miles and miles of water in a rented boat, then anchored in a secluded cove and floated. Some of us fell asleep in the warm sun. Other pushed themselves to swim across the channel, dodging skiers and ski boats to pull out of the water onto a narrow slate ledge. We had lunch, beverages, snacks. That night we drove into a small Southern town and found a microbrewery where local musicians serenaded us with pounding blues and plaintive jazz. The next day, after eggs benedict and hot tea, we walked through the woods until we reached a rocky cliff overlooking the lake. We flopped down on sun-warmed rocks and chugged ice-cold water from our backpacks while we watched boats and skiers cut frothy lines into the clear blue water below. I call that walking live.

Are you bored yet? Thinking enough already, get to the point? Probably. You’ve tuned out because there’s no drama, no conflict, no excitement. I’m OK with that. I described this idyllic weekend as a tongue-in-cheek response to the gory movies and bizarre headlines that do grab our attention. I wrote this after a popular series shocked viewers with a violent opening episode. I don’t watch the show, but read in USA Today the director’s response to concerns about its violence:

“I would say that that means we have done something to affect these people in a way that they don’t necessarily know how to process.”

It is a sign of good work when the audience cares enough about characters to be upset when they die. Wonderful art. Congratulations!

However, I don’t know why anyone wants to learn to process seeing people beaten to death with a baseball bat. I don’t like the suggestion that if graphic violence disturbs you, it means just learn how to process it. What if the fans felt sick because their minds and souls recoiled against ugly violence? What if they don’t enjoy watching other beings suffer? Maybe that’s good. Maybe the answer is not greater processing skills, but more peace. More love. More empathy.

I wrote earlier about my unintended and unwanted media fast this summer. I’m starting to think three months with only nature, literature, and people for entertainment re-set my mind. Shows milder than the one I read about now seem full of ugly, miserable, boring people. I don’t care about them. I don’t want to be like them.

I worry about what I’ll do for entertainment from now on.

Last weekend my aunt and I took lawn chairs into a field of new-mown hay. We sat around a bonfire for over an hour and told stories…

What do you think? What entertains you?

©2016 Booktalk Lady LLC

5 thoughts on “Why are you doing this to yourself”

  1. Selected TV shows andor movies … a library of books, magazines … taking drives with my husband … challenge my husband to various games we enjoy … entertain with backyard BBQ’s ir folks over for a snack or meal … and listening to music!

    1. Deborah Rankin, RD

      Lynn, it sounds like you have a good variety of entertainments in your life. Glad to see you enjoy music and good food–I do too! Thank you for subscribing to the Booktalklady.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

More from the Blog

boost your mood with foods to help with depression

Foods To Help With Depression

We observed he first day of fall this week. For many, seasonal depression rears its ugly head in fall and winter, thus it’s a good time to boost your mood by eating foods to help with depression.   First, Seek Help From Your Physician Or A Credentialed Counselor   Depression can be serious and it’s

How to Sleep Better in Five Easy Steps

I seem to read a new study about the health risks of poor sleep every week. It’s so important I like to ask my clients this:  What if you embraced how to get a better sleep schedule as often as you start new diets or adopt a new exercise plan?  How Poor Sleep Affects Your

How to feel good and sleep well every day

It’s fall. As your schedule fills and the pace of life picks up, do you have a plan for when you’ll exercise for stress relief? I ask because if you don’t have a plan it may not get done, and next thing you know it will be January and you’ll be looking for a new

Radnor Lake burnout recovery in nature

Burnout Recovery In Nature

What is burnout: The World Health Organization says burnout is a health condition characterized by feelings of exhaustion, negativism and cynicism, and reduced productivity. While it’s likely either you or someone you love will suffer from burnout, the good news is that time spent outdoors is a way to achieve burnout recovery in nature. Watch


From Deborah Rankin, RD

Five Things to Start Now to Lose Belly Fat