Confession: I made a New Year’s resolution this year I didn’t tell anyone about. (I think because I was sure there was a 0% chance of my keeping it.) But I’m now 10+ months in and still going strong — and mentioning it to Wendy when I visited last month didn’t ruin my mojo — so I think I’m finally safe to talk about it.
I’ve stopped watching reruns on tv.
Now, this may not seem like a very big deal, but I’m someone who would regularly lose an entire weekend to a Law & Order (or Criminal Minds, or SVU, or NCIS, or Castle, or…) marathon, so for me, it was huge change — and one that really needed to be made.
I’d like to say that I immediately reduced my tv watching by a huge amount and developed delightful new hobbies and have been both reading and writing a ton, but my path, alas, was not so straightforward — but it has been positive overall, in occasionally unexpected ways.
One thing I did not see coming at all was that, as soon as I stopped being desensitized by weekend binges, I could no longer watch new episodes of the two creepiest crime shows I’d been watching for years: Criminal Minds and SVU. Both of those shows were off my DVR by early February, and haven’t found their way back. (Neither, I might add, have the nightmares both occasionally inspired.)
In the realm of less-postive developments, I replaced my weekend/evening crime show rerun habit with HGTV without even realizing it. I became best friends with the Property Brothers (via their many, many different programs), worked my way through pretty much all of Love It or List It (both the Toronto and Vancouver versions), watched House Hunters of every iteration (domestic, international, tiny, beach, etc.), marathoned my way through Fixer Upper, cheered on Rehab Addict Nicole Curtis as she renovated historic homes, and even sat through more episodes of Flip or Flop than any human should. (I did draw that line at Flea Market Flip. Gotta have some standards.)
If you’ve ever wondered, it takes about seven months to get through pretty much all of HGTV.
At that point, I started tuning in only to discover I’d already seen an episode, and so had to turn the channel — or turn the tv off, which I started doing increasingly often.
It’s no coincidence that my Goodreads account shows that I started finishing books in July. And while having 13 books read from that point until now is not a huge number, it is very much an improvement.
Funny enough, a large portion of the books I’ve read since summer fall into the same category as my former tv rerun habit — crime/mysteries. I’m particularly into Tana French‘s Dublin Murder Squad books, which are not so much a series as a group of semi-related novels. (The detective who serves as protagonist of each story shows up as a bit player in a previous book.) I’ve only got one of those left before I get to the current end of the series, which is a bit of a bummer. Happily, though, I’ve recently discovered — thanks to the National Book Festival — Laura Lippman, who writes mysteries set in Baltimore. She has a fairly lengthy ongoing series, but also writes stand-alone stories, which is where I’ve started.
Now I just need to figure out why, whether it’s on television or in books, I’m so into crime and murder…