365 Days of Random

Random musings about nothing at all

Vices

Yesterday I talked a bit about how addictive HGTV is for me. While I think that’s definitely true, in that I have a very hard time turning it off once I get sucked into it, I wouldn’t say that it’s one of my vices. I see vices as something that you simply can’t resist and that you regularly seek out. If I don’t turn on HGTV I don’t have any huge compulsion to watch it. I just get sucked into it when there isn’t anything else catching my attention and I happen to select that channel. There are lots of things like that. I think we all have at least one ‘vice’ in our lives – most of us probably more than one. My biggest – chocolate. It’s the one thing that I just have to have. I keep mini chocolate bars or chocolate pieces in my freezer all the time. It’s a very rare day when I don’t have any chocolate at all. I’ve tried to break my chocolate addiction more than once. I’ve given it up for Lent, decided I just flat out wouldn’t eat it anymore, said I’d cut back to only having one mini chocolate piece. None of these ever amounted to any real success – even when I was being diligent about dieting and lost 25 lbs. It wasn’t because I stopped eating chocolate. But, to be honest, I don’t see this particular vice as a problem that needs to be solved. I don’t see anything wrong with my daily need for some form of chocolate. And there in lies the heart of my inability to stop – I don’t really want to. That’s the thing about vices, they have a hold over you. They are those things that you just don’t see any reason or need to give up – regardless of how bad they can be for you.

I’ve never really been one to smoke or drink to excess or take drugs or any of those other habits that can quickly turn to vices. My mom has smoked for more than 30 years. I honestly don’t remember a time in my life that she didn’t. Ok, that’s not really true. She tried to quit on numerous occasions. And was even successful at it for a few months a couple of times. But when it came right down to it, she thought/felt/knew that smoking was something she NEEDED in her life. Something that no matter what she just couldn’t cut out. Today I am very very very proud to say that my mother has quit smoking. And I know without a doubt that this time it’s for good. How do I know that – she’s HAPPY about having stopped. Every other time she’s attempted to quit she’s been testy, and stressed out and in physical pain. I could hear in her voice and see on her face how hard it was to avoid the ‘need’ for a cigarette. I haven’t lived at home in more than 10 years. I see my family a few times a year at most. But, I talk to my mom at least once a week. We’re very close and able to read the nuances in each others voices. To hear what’s going on but being left unsaid. When she first told me that she had quit a few weeks ago I mentally prepared myself for an experience like previous attempts at quitting. That experience where we all walked on egg shells and were nervous that something we did or said would be the thing that sent her out to the porch in search of her safety net – her ‘smoke’. But in the strangest and most wonderful turn of events.. the exact opposite happened. Every time I’ve talked to my mom in the last couple of weeks it’s like this huge weight has been lifted from her. One that we didn’t even really notice was there. She SOUNDS happy and content and mostly stress free and it makes me grin from ear to ear to know that she’s finally thrown off this vice she’s had for so long. Here’s the difference – she actually WANTED to stop.That is why I know it’s for good. She’s finally stopped.

Vices can quickly and easily take control over our lives. I am lucky (I think) that my vice is something as simple as chocolate. But the thing is, it does still have some powerful hold over me. I crave it and it’s never because I am actually hungry. It’s purely because I am addicted to it. I will step up and admit to that. I also think that someday I will be able to throw off the vice – but that day is not today. I don’t want to give up chocolate. I may never. That right there is the strength of a vice – I recognize it’s an addiction but flat out refuse to give it up.

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January 31, 2011 Posted by | Life | , , , | Leave a comment

HGTV

Have you ever lost an entire day to HGTV? It’s one of my favorite channels. But it’s also the biggest time suck I’ve ever experienced. HGTV (Home and Garden Television) is the most addictive television I’ve ever experienced. I don’t even know how it happens. A few years ago I was horribly addicted to this channel. I thought I’d broken the addiction, but it seems I’ve relapsed. Over the last few months I’ve made the wonderful mistake of turning on HGTV on a weekend morning just as ‘background’ while I do something else. Before you know it it’s 5pm and the ‘other stuff’ you wanted to get done never even got off the start block.

For someone that likes real estate, really wants to own her own home and has a thing for decorating there is something hugely inciting about watching home improvement or home buying/selling shows all day long. Recently I’ve been enjoying lazy mornings with my BF watching shows like “Holmes on Homes”; “House Hunters”; “Property Virgins” and a few other ‘home’ related shows. You don’t even notice how much time you can lose to this channel. But what I love about it is the chance to see inside all sorts of homes. To learn about what can go wrong in a house, what the buying or selling process is, how much you can get for your money if you move to the mid west, and what you wouldn’t compromise on if you did buy a house.

When I watch shows on HGTV with my BF we talk a lot about which houses we like, what elements we like/don’t like, what kind of houses, what kinds of property etc. It’s fun to pick out the pieces you like to design your own home. For me, the biggest thing is the kitchen. In every show we watch where people are buying/selling houses it’s the kitchen that I pay the most attention to. I love to cook and I know without a doubt my favorite part of any house I buy would need to be a kitchen. I love a big kitchen with lots of storage and counter space. Ideally there is an eat in area and it’s open to some sort of living space. I grew up in a home where we spent a great deal of time in and around the kitchen. I loved that, and it’s something I definitely want for my family some day. While my BF definitely likes a great kitchen a whole lot I don’t think its the key to the house for him. I think it’s the overall living space that catches his attention the most (but perhaps I should actually ask him what’s that one big thing in a house for him).

I think the reason that HGTV is so addictive is that it lets you dream about what you want in a home. I mean everyone who doesn’t own a home dreams about what their home would be like. With shows like “House Hunters” you get to see all different sizes and styles of houses and really get a sense of what you like. HGTV also helps you figure out what you’re willing to do yourself (in terms of renovations) and what you know you’d contract out. But, in addition to that there are shows that TEACH you what to look for, what to ask contractors about to ensure they are doing things right, and how to do things yourself. It’s just so easy to get caught up in the dreaming that goes along with pretty much any “home” show on HGTV.

In a few years I will own a home (I hope) and I’d bet that rather than getting the addiction under control I’ve just changed directions and become addicted to the ‘Garden’ side.

January 30, 2011 Posted by | Random | , , | Leave a comment