Like many men I know, my husband has no problem with lying on the couch for hours on end watching television. He’s not watching shows that hold any interest for me, mind you. He watches the stuff that would put me to sleep within seconds.
He can’t wait to see what’s been contained in abandoned storage lockers. He watches in anticipation to find out how much a grandmother’s antique goblet might be worth. And he learns about things as random as how a decorative sombrero is made. If it weren’t for him, I wouldn’t even know television programs like this existed.
He’ll also watch just about any sporting event there is, including poker, curling and golf.
He’s what you would call a couch potato. He might argue that he’s no such thing since he works hard all day, then comes home and works hard here too. But from the time the kids are asleep until the time he goes to bed himself, he is, more often than not, a couch potato.
It might bother me, except that I have a label of my own that is even more accurate than his: I am a mouse potato.
I’m not able to watch TV for long periods of time, but I have no problem sitting still in front of a computer. I’m usually on and off to varying degrees from morning until night, so while he’s channel-surfing in the living room, I retire to my home office to work some more.
Okay, maybe everything I’m doing doesn’t look exactly like work and might even appear to look leisurely to the untrained eye. But the beauty of what I do is that I can easily explain away e-mail, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube as being a necessary part of my job.
“My mom fools around for a living,” my eight year old daughter has informed people. I’ve requested a rewording of this description, but it seems to work for her.
“Couldn’t you just say I’m a writer?” I asked.
“But you do silly videos too,” she replied. “And you have fun.”
She has a point. I do. And being a mouse potato is part of that fun. But too much time in front of the computer is like too much time in front of the TV. It’s just too much.
So I’ve started to set a timer and talk to myself.
Okay, from 9-10 am, I tell myself, I’m going to sit still and start writing my column. After that I’m going to get up and visit the fridge again. I mean, I’m going to go downstairs and work out for an hour.
If I don’t break up the day and schedule my time I can easily sit at the computer for hours on end, often getting less accomplished than if I had compartmentalized my time and alternated between stationary, physical and social activities.
As for TV, I’ve been trying to slate a little of that in too. It’s easy to justify the insanity of keeping up with the Kardashians if I’m running on a treadmill while I do it.
To watch the silly video that accompanies this column please visit LoriWelbourne.com