I've been testing this out recently though, and I've realised three things:
- I do work bloody hard, much harder than I give myself credit for.
- I'm very rarely just watching TV. I'm usually breastfeeding or e-mailing or sorting washing or eating, or its after 10 o'clock at night when I'm so tired and zoned out that my brain couldn't cope with anything else anyway.
- Neighbours is about the only thing I watch without doing anything else, and, along with Facebook, I think its responsible for keeping me (mostly) sane.
Neighbours is comfort TV, I've been watching it on and off since I was 14. I can still remember sitting with my little girl gang in our classroom at breaktime, in what would now be Year 9 (4th year then), gossiping about Scott and Charlene and the daily goings on in Ramsay Street. Even at my very posh university (long story for another time), I remember piling into the common room with a variety of assorted intellectuals to catch the 5.30 edition.
Now, its my Reset Button.
Bath and bed time are pretty hectic and traumatic in this house, as DS1 is normally so tired he just can't get himself to behave, and DS2 just wants to annoy him or have his feed and go to sleep. Consequently, I'm normally pretty fraught by the end of it, and there has often been much yelling.
But Neighbours makes everything better, just as it always has.
DS1 is in bed, DS2 is in his pyjamas, we sit down on the sofa, DS2 has his feed or plays, I find the latest episode on Sky + and.... breathe. I can actually feel my body physically relax as soon as I hear the music. Karl, Susan, Paul, Toadie, Sonia and the rest are like a family I catch up with at the end of the day, in a world where nothing ever really goes that badly wrong and the sun pretty much always shines, and my brain doesn't have to do anything. Bliss.
Facebook is similar in that its a really quick way of not feeling completely isolated when I'm home by myself. I have a friend who calls it 'virtual net curtain twitching' which I've always thought is a brilliant description. I'm usually only on it for about five minutes at a time, but its a really important five minutes as I'm the kind of person who needs to connect with other people to get back to me, even if I'm just checking what my friends are up to, without actually commenting. After the birthday debacle with my mum I blogged, talked to the mums at school, other friends, DS1, my counsellor - and it was only after talking it over and over and over that I started to feel remotely okay again. It's like I need to recalibrate myself after something throws me off like that - and as you may have noticed, there's usually something throwing me off! - so Facebook is like a quick 'connection top up', to stop me going completely insane.
So, back to work for me now, but I'd love to hear about what things get you back to you - and if I'm alone in continuing my Neighbours addiction all the way from the 80s!