Friday, January 15, 2016

Marking Time

I lift my head from my pillow of drool. There is Alicia on the TV screen, looking smashing in a vibrant fitted suit.

She has been with me through 3 months of morning sickness, the week my back went out after I  dared go on a power walk with a friend, a sprained ankle, insomnia, and now two days of a virulent stomach bug. I wasn't sure if I was on the same episode I'd been watching when I drifted off to sleep, but it didn't really matter. There would be an unsavory client, or a deserving client. Perhaps two law firms would merge, again. We'd have sexual tension, and a glimpse into the underbelly of the political world. The Good Wife has been my binge watch for the past 6 months, season after season coming to me on Amazon Prime. Tim and Margaret are now used to seeing me propped up in bed, dealing with whatever my most recent ailment is, with Alicia and Peter in the background. We'll watch something together on TV and I'll say, "Did you know that he/she guest starred on The Good Wife?"

A few days ago, feeling gross from an illness that ripped through the three of us, I pondered whether I'd ever be able to eat again. Whether I'd ever feel normal, or take a shower. And if my bedroom and TV exile were indicative of how life would be for the next year of birthing and breastfeeding and sleeplessness. Could my numerous ailments and TV binge-watching foreshadow what was to come?

Although not necessarily sick of The Good Wife, I was getting sick of feeling sick and stuck, so as a way to wallow even more, I of course decided to add up how many hours I'd invested in this show.

Goodness Gracious.

120 hours. Granted, during some of these I was asleep, having finally drifted off, but still.

What else could I have done during those 120 hours?

Taken several college classes
Started writing the novel that is bouncing around in my head
Written articles for magazines and websites
Outlined and pitched my next non-fiction book
Read a good portion of the Bible
Read! Read! Read!
Finished a baby registry
Set up a speaking schedule for next year
Learned a language online
Cultivated relationships
Painted furniture
KonMari'd the heck out of the house

Okay, some of these things are harder to do from a bed than others, but I definitely could have accomplished SOMETHING during those many hours of TV watching.

One thing I'm learning from this pregnancy, however, is to let go, and part of that is going easy on myself as far as the changes my body is undergoing, surrendering to the differences between this pregnancy and my others.

Part of that may also be letting go of expectations of accomplishment during this time, which is difficult, because I realize that I have much more time NOW than I will for the foreseeable future. It's easy to feel as if I'm wasting time, or doing time, and forget that this is just one season in a long, complicated, beautiful life.

I'm certainly not proud of my binge-watching, but I am glad to have had Alicia, Will, Peter, Diane, and Cary with me during these months.

Hmmm....potential baby names?

p.s. This quick article by Jon Acuff about binge watching struck a chord with me today.

p.p.s. I failed the glucose test and will go in for the 3 hour version on Monday. Yuck.


Pam Priester said...

Or grow a baby.....oh right! You were doing that. 😜💕💕💕

Anne said...

When I was in the hospital on bed rest for 6 weeks during my first pregnancy, I spent a majority of my time watching Grey's Anatomy. I am usually a huge reader (and should have at least been writing thank you notes) but the good folks at Grey's became my best friends (i.e. my escape from a rough reality) during that time. I eventually went back to my regularaly scheduled life...with the exception of 9 pm on Thursdays, when I may be the only person left in America who still cares what is going on in Mere's world. A good escape from reality does us all some good every once in a while.

Unknown said...

Hope u get out this weekend�� We all feel like we could be doing something more productive, atleast you have a valid excuse!

Suburban Correspondent said...

The best thing about pregnancy is that you CAN lie around and do "nothing," because the entire time you are growing another human being. I miss that. Also, pregnancy (and raising tiny tots in general) reminds us that our "being productive" is not necessarily what God might view as "being productive."

Good luck on the glucose test - I had to do the 3-hour one a number of times and always passed it. So there's hope!

Anonymous said...

There's a big fat difference between time and energy.

I totally agree that many, many people could and probably should "reclaim" part of their life back from TV (or other brainless time-occupying things, like Candy Crush) so that they can put some of that time to use in accomplishing long-term goals... but no, repeating the conjugations of an irregular verb in another language is not going to work as well for distracting you from the misery of the flu.

It's definitely something to be aware of, and it's good to choose consciously from your "menu" of options of things to do (and, potentially, to set up bite-sized chunks for your "eventual goal" sorts of things so that you can choose them more easily) instead of defaulting to the easy-but-pointless all the time... but sometimes we're not really up for anything more than mental fluff. And when that's the case, it seems counterproductive to beat yourself up for it. :-)

Hope the three-hour test goes better!

Unknown said...

I'm reluctantly proud to say that during my recuperation from two surgeries this fall, I have just finished re-watching all SEVEN seasons of The West Wing. Just as good as I remembered. Now... on to Breaking Bad!

Keep on growing that baby. What else you do during this time isn't nearly as important.

Anonymous said...

I've always loved this passage from The Little Prince:

“Good morning," said the little prince.

Good morning," said the merchant.

This was a merchant who sold pills that had been invented to quench thirst. You need only swallow one pill a week, and you would feel no need for anything to drink.

Why are you selling those?" asked the little prince.

Because they save a tremendous amount of time," said the merchant. "Computations have been made by experts. With these pills, you save fifty-three minutes in every week."

"And what do I do with those fifty-three minutes?"

"Anything you like..."

"As for me," said the little prince to himself, "if I had fifty-three minutes to spend as I liked, I should walk at my leisure toward a spring of fresh water.”

If I had 120 minutes to spend as I liked, I should probably rewatch all seven seasons of The Good Wife. What a great show. :)


Andrea said...

I can't believe it! I'm bingeing on Alicia too. The clothing... I love the clothing. said...

I'm so sorry you're stuck into staying put. Relaxing and going easy on oneself are the hardest things to get used to. It makes me antsy just contemplating this. So I'm wishing you some gentle excitement and sunny contentment in this time. Like ice cream. Like foot rubs. Like the thought of holding your sweet little one in your arms at the end of all this. Cheers!

LISA A said...

Isn't it funny how we feel guilty for just doing nothing. I get mad at myself at times, because I cannot even allow myself to feel good about doing nothing, relaxing. All of our bodies need distressing at times. Now the trick is how to not stress about distressing. I had my third child at 39, she has been such a blessing to us. Having a baby later in life was definitely a lot hard on my body than in my 20's. Take care.

Anonymous said...

Taking care of you and baby is more important. I hope you are feeling much, much better soon.

Japolina said...

I've been trying to konmari my house since June and let me tell you, the Good wife is way more satisfying. By the way, I'm a lawyer and I think the good wife is almost as educational as law school is

Anonymous said...

I pray you are on the mend soon. Go easy on yourself. While I have never seen The Good Wife, I hear it's very good. Maybe I should start some binge watching!

Suzanne said...

You are growing a baby! That is enough.

Unknown said...

I was going to say that too, about growing a baby. I remember how hard I was on myself, but it is incredibly hard to grow a human being, and there is nothing more important to do than that! :-)

PS. You're beautiful, and lovely, and worthy, and strong, and treasured, and a great mom, a fantastic writer, a beloved soul. (Just in case you had forgotten that recently).

Shellie said...

How are you feeling Anna?
Its been a week and we have not heard from you. Just coming to check on you and say hi.
I feel like you are a friend I don't know in person, but a friend none the less. Please let us know how you are all doing ok.
It is snowing, and wintery here in Winston Salem and wondering if you are experiencing the same?

Unknown said...

Sorry about the glucose test. UGH.

I have been binging on "Revenge" on Netflix. Sad but true. Sorry you were sick, I hope everyone is better!!


Unknown said...

Hoping all is well.