Daily Writing Prompt: Shoulda, woulda, coulda…

February 13 Shoulda, woulda, coulda Tell us about something you know you should do . . . but don’t.

Starting the ten minute clock…now!

The most daunting — and humbling — aspect of today’s prompt is the sheer scale of options at my disposal. What leapt up immediately was my sugar-intensive eating habits that continue to dog me throughout the day like a junkie doing laps around the block until the methadone clinic opens back up. Why would I want to dial that back? Well, apart from the whole, not-wanting-to-get-diabetes deal, I feel like my incessant ingestion of sugar throws my energetic balance into dizzying disarray. Nobody should be out of energy at 2 p.m. (apart from said junkie, perhaps), and yet replenishing my sugar stores has been an enduring ritual for years. So yeah, cutting that back, or even out altogether, is a natural.

Then again, there’s the whole social media thing. Who in their right mind feels that they don’t spend enough time on social media? NOBODY. Nobody does! Conversely, you can’t swing a sack of yams without hitting three people who would readily confess, “Yeah man, I really need to spend less time on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram.” I don’t know if I’ve ever left Twitter in a better mood than when I logged in. Instagram is far more benign but still I find myself checking my IG feed as I’m faced with the prospect of nothing to do for a few seconds, cracking open the app and scrolling slapping the like button at a comforting metronomic tempo, while I vaguely plot my next move.

But I’ll throw television at the top of the list. It’s not so much the allure of TV shows that pulls me into the orbit of my couch each night, but what TV represents to me — pure, unfettered leisure. It’s like being on vacation; if I have time to watch TV, then I am truly a free man because who else but a guy with absolutely no obligations in life would sit on a couch for hours on end, watching largely unoriginal ideas regurgitated by schlocky actors night, sandwiched in between hammy commercials for insurance and shampoo? Of course, I’m being glib. (shit, I still think of Tom Cruise when I use that word. That sucks.) Shows like Game Of Thrones, Breaking Bad, Peaky Blinders and Three’s Company all establish that fresh ideas and saucy coed interplay live in wild, joyful abundance on the small screen. So it’s not that I need to stop watching television but that I need to be more choosy with the television that I watch. When I balance that realization against the towering wall of unread books that casts a dark, judgmental shadow across me each time I pass by, the need for better TV discipline crystallizes.