When I was moving from being an accountant to becoming a coach, there was so much work to do with a foot in both camps; it was like working double time. Something had to give and, after an inspirational holiday on Skyros, I decided it would be the TV. My coach training required me to work in the evenings and at weekends and not being able to keep up with TV programmes I loved just became an added stress. Leisure activity as a stress? Surely that can’t be right?
When 2011 came around and I decided to take a sabbatical, I returned to TV and, after more than a decade, found it much improved. There was lots on I really enjoyed. BBC iPlayer improves the whole experience as I can watch what I like when I like, on demand. And watching programmes online on other websites offers that freedom, choice and luxury too – often for free.
But again I am studying and committed to a lot of different client projects and groups. My diary is chock-a-block full and the sort of person I am means that if I am not finished with my full-on day by 6.30, then it just has to run on into the evening, into my leisure time.
I am well aware that all work and no play makes Judith a dull girl. But here I am again feeling I cannot keep up with TV programmes to which I am committed and feeling stressed by that. How ridiculous!
People email and ask am I watching this or that and I reply that I cannot commit to anything else right now. My “problem” is that I am what I call a completist. If I am in, I am all in. Which means that if I commit to – say – Strictly Come Dancing, I like to watch the little gossip show on every day at 6.30 too, nicely timed to coincide with a supper break at the end of the day before I decide if I am going to work on into the evening or start another session of study.
My life goals are more important to me than X-Factor. It’s a no brainer. And I find those weekends full of hours and hours and hours of low brow TV (as I rather snootily call it) completely exhausting. Is it just me? Thankfully, when the eliminations begin to bite deep, the hours and hours and hours are reduced to just hours and hours as the programmes get shorter. But it’s not just Saturday night, is it, when I can justify not working anyway? It’s Sunday night too! Exhausted I tell you I am, sounding rather like Yoda there with my sentence construction. Emotionally exhausted and wrung out. No wonder I am grateful when Christmas arrives and I can breathe a sigh of relief that my commitment is over. I’m feel like I am waiting to exhale.
What do I make more important to me than TV? Here’s my own personal X Factor:
- Learning how to write better, then writing
- Making time to read more, especially more challenging stuff
- Going to the cinema for some real in-the-dark entertainment, always my first love
- Studying new coaching techniques
- Developing a closer relationship with my soul, courtesy of a course which purported to be about intuition but turns out to be about so much more than that
What do you choose to make more important in your life and business than TV? And what makes the cut, like my Strictly?