Written on Wednesday, May 11, 2011 @ 4:15pm.
You’ve probably guessed that I’m not a fan of television. You are correct.
But I’m not going to tell you why I hate television. Not yet. Next time.
I wanted to tell you what I do watch.
When I sat down to work on this post, I parked myself in front of my television: the window.
A rough thunderstorm was blowing outside. It was not nearly as powerful as the tornadoes that passed through the southern states earlier this month, but still a fierce spring storm with high gusts of wind, pounding rain, and hails the size of marbles. Thunder rocked the building as I sat there, mesmerized by Mother Nature. I left the sliding door open wide enough so I could hear the thunder better and smell the rain. I love the smell of rain. I briefly thought about going outside to dance in the rain but I was a little bit afraid of being hit by lightning, especially after a bolt just came down and blinded me a second after I finished writing that thought (seriously! I kid you not). Ah! Make that twice! My eyes saw red. Yeah. Not going outside during this.
Watching this storm beats watching anything that could be on television right now. I can see the storm with my own eyes. I can smell the rain. I can feel the mist from the rain that’s seeping through the screen door. I could step outside and taste the rain. I can hear and feel the thunder rocking the building. Television has nothing compared to this!
The rainbow at the top of this post was one I saw when I looked out the window in the middle of doing homework at college a few years ago. My bed fit perfectly in the little nook of a dormer window and I would spend time laying on my stomach, watching outside the window. It was a great view and I saw many things unfold in the world beyond that window.
How often have you dropped what you’re doing to marvel at a storm or rainbow? When was the last time you stopped to notice the leaves blowing through the trees? How often do you peel your eyes off your television screen, computer screen, or phone screen to notice the world around you?
I realize that looking out a window is much more fascinating when something different is outside – a storm, strange people, cute dogs, parades, and so forth. But you know what one of the best times is? When normal, every day life is going on. When the sun shines, when the birds look for worms, when people are going for a walk, or when the street seems completely silent. Each of these moments pass by and no DVR can record them. If you’re not watching, you miss out. Forever.
Real life is so much better than television because it’s real!
If you don’t pay attention, you will miss out on some of the most beautiful things in the world.
Sit by the window. Watch life unfold before you.
Take it a step further and place yourself in the scene.
The best part? You can be one of the characters.
You don’t have to stay at your house to watch people, animals, and nature. Go other places to watch. Coffee houses. Malls. Airports. Libraries. Parks. Churches. Zoos. Forest preserves. On public transportation. Everywhere and anywhere, really.
Next time you mindlessly sit down in front of the television, shut it off and park yourself in the middle of a set. Watch the real drama unfold. Be part of it. Create your own show.
You could be missing out on so much.
Ah, the storm is over now. The darkness is gone and the rain is falling lightly.
That was a great show.
And there’s more to come.
Sunday, May 22, 2011 @ 8:11 pm.
Another massive thunderstorm arrived a few minutes ago.
It just inspired and reminded me to finish editing this post.
The clouds are swirling and lightning has hit the same spot ten times in the last two minutes.
The building is shaking. I’m going to sit by the window again.
On Thursday, May 26th I’m attending a meetup with several other bloggers at The Martini Club in Jefferson Park (Chicago). Hosted by Jenny Smythe from Minimalism Defined and Sam Spurlin of The Simpler Life, the meetup starts around 7pm. Stop by if you’re in the area! We want to meet and see you! If you think you can come, let me know via e-mail or @simpleLaura. (Psst: The last meetup was pretty awesome!)