Ryan Wrecker

WRECKER: I Can’t Binge Watch

Ryan Wrecker
July 30, 2018 - 10:00 am

I was living the dream that all parents dream – my spouse was out of the house for a week and she took the kid.  I had the whole place to myself.  It was liberating. The only sound was that of my creation.  Much like Julie Andrews in the Sound of Music, I could walk through my house singing with no one embarrassed on my behalf.

But the weird thing about having time to yourself is that you find it’s easy to get bored easily when you have time to yourself.  I forgot how to enjoy free time.

The first idea was to binge watch something on Netflix.  It started off great.  Get a pizza, don’t get off the couch and just do your best not to move.  That lasted about 2 hours.  These shows should have offered an escape to reality, but instead it made me want to get back to reality.  In a way it acted as a motivator to get off the couch and catch up on things around the house. 

The scary realization is that boredom rises from negative space - it’s not something you do, it’s something you don’t do.  There was a time when having no obligations was worth its weight in gold.  Even now, I can’t think of ever being bored before a wife and kid entered into life.

Maybe it’s more of a personality trait that changed in recent years, but I could only do a few hours at a time on the couch before I felt compelled to do something else.  Even if the programming was enjoyable, it wasn’t engaging enough to keep me watching. Even at night, I watched the clock on the wall as much at the TV.  “Should I go to bed, or stay up a little longer?  Nah, I’ll go to bed.”

After giving it a try a few times, I wondered if I was going to have to fight boredom for the rest of my life.  What’s going to happen when I’m retired? Am I going to feel compelled to work until I’m 85 just to escape my own mind? 

Maybe it’s smart to have a hobby that’s not also my job. Maybe I should write a book and get bored of doing that.