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This months Editor's Comment

"Minds are like parachutes - they only function when open."

- Thomas Dewar

It’s the second morning of the New Year and already I’ve hit the ground running. Busily planning out all the ideas that often give birth over the New Year period – when sitting around with friends, reflecting over the year; perhaps resulting in new resolutions or goals to consider.

Already I’m contemplating a new website, a possible business venture (or two!), career progression - and taking up Chinese Cooking! (Courtesy of a new cookbook from my partner – he loves Wonton Soup with a passion – ergo the new cookbook!) See what happens from discussion the merits of how hard it would or would not be to make a favourite dish? Have been enjoying myself in the supermarket this morning however – hunting out new ingredients; and am popping down to the shopping centre for a new wok this afternoon; so who says cooking can’t be fun?

I always find the time of New Year’s fascinating – listening to friends and family reminisce and making future plans. (Secretly taking bets on the likely ongoing success of hastily spouted resolutions over a glass of wine!) The only resolution I can ever remember making and sticking to, was made about five years ago – I promised to myself that I was going to try one new thing every year. Some years have meant overcoming fear of heights and jumping out of an airplane; singing karaoke in public (singing in the shower didn’t count); or taking up studies once again. Last year was my best yet – I moved into a new flat devoid of a television and decided to try living without one for a few months to gauge the impact living without one would have. Admittedly there is a television over at my partners, and I certainly haven’t given up on going to the movies – but after getting over the initial shock of not having one to switch on as the first thing I do when arriving home, I find I am now listening to music and reading more, and for the first time since I can remember am actually getting things done! From darning those socks (boring) to finally getting started on long planned but uninitiated goals (exciting), I now find myself attempting things that I once thought I never had the time to do.

Anyone who says they don’t have enough time in their day – should first try giving away their TV set. (Or at least lock it in a closet!) Now I find myself indecisive as to whether to buy a set this year as planned. If I do get one, will it stay off except for the nightly News, my favourite two programmes and the occasional movie? Or will I slowly get drawn back into the mind-numbing but strangely addictive soaps and nightly fictional dramas?

Now that I have gotten over the initial “So what do I do with myself” feeling, I now find it easy to keep myself occupied each evening, and am seldom bored. The old adage that you don’t miss what you don’t know is on the box has certainly rung true for me. Yet I can also remember not so long ago, planning my life around the week’s programmes on television, instead of the other way around (as it is now).

I’d be really interested to hear how other people deal with this issue (if it has ever arisen for you!) – looking ahead to having children of my own, I am loathe to let my kids turn into couch potatoes – but with DVD, Play station and never-ending and expanding home entertainment technology, how to get them outside into the fresh air when they can race Ferrari’s in your living room?

Food for thought this year – with the TV switched off of course!

Happy New Year! -Ed.

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