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Wednesday, Apr. 16, 2014

I got behind!

Posted Thursday, August 18, 2011, at 3:39 PM

I'm the kind of person who enjoys television even though I can't find the hours during the week to view all that I want to watch. Thank goodness for cable television and DVR. For those not in the know, a DVR is a recording device, owned and controlled by the cable company, on which you can record hundreds of hours of programs.

This last year found me "living" near the 100% capacity of my DVR. This summer I'm catching up with programs seen during the fall and winter by most everyone else.

It's rather nice not having to wait a week to find out what will happen on next week's episode. I didn't have to patiently abide my time during the December Christmas specials and low ratings month of March when prime time shows went on "vacation."

One of my purposes in having a DVR is to avoid commercials. I'll bypass those annoyances without any guilt! I've discovered thirty minute episodes can actually be twenty-four minutes long and hour episodes can actually be forty-eight minutes in length.

Yet, I'm enjoying commercials on these recorded programs from long ago. I laugh watching the ones on snow removal products. Several stores appear to have had good sales on winter and spring clothes! And the commercials for Disneyland change season to season. There was very little clothing worn by Disneyland vacationers during our cold winter months.

Surprisingly enough, the thing I most enjoy about these viewing-delayed programs are the weather updates just seconds before a program returns from commercial breaks. I had forgotten what the weather was like around Thanksgiving and Christmas of last year. January was warmer than I had remembered. If only I had been watching and listening when the ice storm was predicted days and hours before it struck!

In some ways I'm a very disciplined guy. I limit myself to watching no more than fifteen hours of television a week which comes out to just a little over two hours a day. So, during the Fall and Winter months I'm watching the new shows at the same time everyone else is watching them. During the Summer months I'm watching the same amount of "new" episodes I watch the rest of the year. While vaguely remembered by others, these shows are new to me!

In some ways I got behind. I got behind in comparison to what others were watching, how others were shopping, and how others were spending the hours of their days. The way I see it, I really didn't get behind. I remained dedicated with my plan to limit the number of hours I view each week.

I'm just now catching up, so to speak. Or, I've remained steady and on track.

Are there areas where you feel somewhat out of control? I've heard that some watch television nine hours a day. Others drink, smoke, speed, overeat, gamble, etc. I believe that when you're out of control you are no longer able to enjoy what you are doing. Whatever "it" is, it has taken control over you. And that happens in the sneakiest of ways, usually!

But once you realize it ...

Thank goodness for cable television and DVR! Years ago I must have been watching five or seven hours (or more) of television a day. And then I realized what I was doing, what I was missing, how I had changed. The money I spend every month on a DVR is worth it, well spent!

And sometimes you have to give in and do those extra things in order to get back into control.

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Sunshine for the Soul
Rev. P.T. Wilson
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P.T. Wilson is the senior pastor at Gobin Memorial United Methodist Church, Greencastle, and is also the University Chaplain at DePauw University.
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