a bit of grace

The random musings of Kate Grace

On my nightstand

To bring you all up to speed, a couple months ago I made a drastic decision… to cancel cable and internet in my home. I KNOW! It was shocking and I have no idea where the decision came from and I immediately regretted doing it. It took another week for them to figure out I was still sucking on the teat of my DVR before returning the box, but eventually they busted me and disconnected the whole thing.

I writhed in boredom for days until finally I did something. I picked up a book I had been meaning to read. It had the cooling effect of Solarcaine on my LED-enduced burns I hadn’t been aware of suffering. Then another amazing thing happened. I picked up a cook book, and I tried a recipe. Then another, and another. And suddenly weeks had passed and it occurred to me I should dust my TV.

I hadn’t realized the pattern I had fallen into was come home, watch TV and then watch some more, then sleep. I was depressed and had no idea why because things were good. I have a great job, I have a wonderful pup that cracks me up and keeps my feet warm at night, and loads of great people in my life that laugh with me and at me in equal measures. I couldn’t put my finger on where the depression seemed to be coming from, but suddenly that unknown part of me lashed out and took control by calling Comcast and immediately saying, “Transfer me to whoever handles cancellations!”

This leads me to one of the books that is currently on my nightstand – Imagine: How Creativity Works by Jonah Lehrer. With a conversational tone similar to Radiolab on NPR (and my only chance of ever understanding anything remotely scientific), Lehrer takes the reader through the latest discoveries about the mind/brain functioning in regards to creativity. It’s fascinating and gave me insight into my previous depression and impulsive lashing on all things cable-related.

I’m in the process of reading the book now, but beyond the insight it provides to how creativity happens within the human brain, the book promises to give an understanding of that process to allow for supporting and strengthening it. And sometimes that’s as simple as stepping aside and getting out of your creativity’s way before it charges through for the sake of its own survival and makes you do something crazy like move to Fiji, shave your head or cancel cable just before the Mad Men season premier.

All joking aside, I’m happier and am amazed by how little I actually miss cable now. Nights are spent trying a new recipe for dinner and then either sitting on my back porch to read or write, or taking a long walk with Maddie. I hadn’t realized my artist, creative, muse… whatever you might call it needed something else in order to operate. I hadn’t realized my old pattern of TV and Internet were slowly killing it by means of atrophy.

It’s a great read for anyone curious about how creativity works or looking to kick start their own.

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2 comments on “On my nightstand

  1. Ty Hutchinson
    April 4, 2012

    That’s a bold move you made. I commend you. I should watch less TV.

  2. Christin
    April 5, 2012

    Oh yes, the dreaded box that sucks away so much time. It’s too easy to flow from one show into the next! I’ve cancelled cable before, but only as a last resort for budgeting reasons, never with the freedom in my choice that you describe. It’s tempting, but I don’t think my husband would go for it ;) I did take your book suggestion however – I’m now number 37 for a library copy.

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This entry was posted on April 4, 2012 by in Uncategorized.
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