MITCHELL’S MUSINGS: Tuning into other things

One of my resolutions for this still new year was to watch less television.

One of my resolutions for this still new year was to watch less television. I think it was Edward Young who once said ‘procrastination is the thief of time.”

And, boy, was he right. But TV is certainly an accomplice to the crime in these modern times. Something that wasn’t around when Young was doing his thing, or I’m sure he would  have incorporated it in his musings, you know something like, “procrastination is the thief of time, but television is driving the getaway car,” ahem.

Once I get settled in the easy chair, remote in hand, a couple hundred channels to choose from, a snack and drink within reach, the minutes turn to hours and the hours turn to, well, there goes that weeknight evening or Sunday afternoon.

Certainly you’ve been entertained somewhat, depending on what’s on that particular night, and I have to admit sports is on that list and the typical game is three hours long and there’s a lot of sports on the tube these dreary days of January.

And that’s another impediment to getting your butt off the couch, it’s kind of grey out there, however, I’d like to proclaim I’ve had some success in turning off the tube. And, funnily enough, although it sounds so simple, just turning it off or not even turning it on in the first place is the first baby step towards a successful intervention.

It’s amazing how habits become routines, which become a way of life, which become a night of the news, followed by ET, followed by Jeopardy, followed by……

Anyway I’ve turned it off enough recently to almost finish a rather large book I got for Christmas, get mostly caught up on the stacks of newspapers by my bed, and almost even keep up to the Maclean’s and Sports Illustrated magazine subscriptions that show up weekly in my mailbox. Luckily, sort of, one’s running out and the other one’s manageable with all the extra time I have in my life now that TV is restricted to, well, a less dominant portion of my existence.

I’ve even got outside a few times, which is another baby step towards that other resolution about getting in better shape in 2016,

Enjoyed a hike with my wife in Ellison Park last weekend, and a trudge through knee-high snow in our white Sorels down to the lake from the gate is more of a workout than you might think (at least for this soft body), and a nice little communal time with nature pretty close to town is a bonus as well.

The week before that we enjoyed a trek to Gardom Lake, and we even shamed the youngest son to come along, where we cross country skied down to the lake (after several falls on the part of the males in the family, it’s a lot harder without tracks just so you know) and out onto the frozen beyond, which was very cool in every sense of the word.

And, during my time off recently I even got up to Sovereign Lake with a pair of 80 somethings, also known as my parents, for some more traditional cross country skiing. My wife and I used to do this activity a lot but along came kids and hockey and, well, you know, a busy life, but I’d forgotten how exhilarating it can be just to get out there amongst the snow-covered trees and that oh-so-fresh air, and it wasn’t even that nice a day weatherwise.

And it’s not just for seniors and Scandinavians, although watch out for elderly Norsemen cause they will pass you on the trails, so get out there and enjoy winter while you can.

Or there’s the snowshoe phenomenon to check out, or the best downhill conditions in recent memory, or shinny hockey, or….let’s face it, the possibilities are endless once you start to turn off the tube. Who knew there was such a big world outside my living room?