Life is full of lessons.
Sometimes we learn by experience. Like the time I poured an extra cap-full of bubble-bath into my parent’s jetted tub and then subsequently nearly drowned in lavender-scented foam.
We learn by our mistakes. Taking a nap on a water tube, just as the ocean’s high tide is coming in, isn’t such a great idea. Trust me.
We learn by observing others. Never make a cake without completely reading the instructions first. (Thanks, Sarah!).
Sometimes, you even receive advise and learn lessons from others who have gone before. Lessons they learned so that you can maybe avoid the experience and just walk away with the wisdom. I’ve found that marriage and relationship advise seems to be the favorite topic of the wise. Tips ranging from, “Don’t go to bed angry” or, “Communicate, communicate, communicate.”
And we’re given the tips that will benefit our marriage. Things like, “Nicole, you’ll be annoyed with Nate when you first get married, because he’ll forget to put his socks in the hamper. Don’t worry, you’ll train him.” And warnings such as, “Nate, when Nicole gets a glazed look in her eyes and starts to stuff her face with chocolate, just make any excuse necessary and get out of the house as quickly as possible. Either that or don’t come home without roses.”
You know, the important lessons.
But I’m surprised that no one took the time to warn us about one thing in particular. The one thing that begins so innocent yet soon takes over. The one thing that Nate and I are realizing we let take over. The one-eyed, flashing monster. Television.
Television isn’t in and of itself bad. Let me start off by saying that. I don’t have to be Dr. Phil or Oprah to say that with confidence. It’s down-time. Relaxation. A moment to cuddle with someone special or to laugh with a friend. It’s entertainment – same as reading, going to see a play, or listening to an orchestra. It might not always broaden our horizons or challenge our intellect; but after a hectic-paced week, it’s often ‘just what the doctor ordered’.
The thing is, it’s so convenient. Too convenient. Or at least it was for me and Nate… Then we decided to give it up for 21 days.
(…to be continued tomorrow).