Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Day 15: Ditch the TV for 24 hours... Saving My Mom From Herself

Can I get an amen?! Ms. Thurman really knows how to hit the money! Thankfully, I can honestly say that I don't get as caught up with television as, say when I was unemployed for eight months, and last summer on my aunt's couch... the 'rents don't give me a chance to! I have found myself co-watching whatever they are sometimes, but I lose interest after a while and resort to my computer. I am slow on the whole Netflix phenomenon (which has subsequently evolved to Hulu, then Optimum has the unholy audacity to feed couch potatoes with internet-based television.... have mercy on us all!), so there's that... I resist mostly because most of the shows I would really want to keep up with are on HBO or Showtime and cost a lot of money and effort to access, but I do acquiesce to the occasional indulgence. I do like my nature shows, the occasional court drama or BBC/PBS show, and we definitely share this once in a while, but I would much rather be outside biking or traversing the city than sitting in front of a brain drain.

Last week's recovery found me ogling the tv a lot more, but it still gets too boring and I have always been much more of a reader anyway. But my mother is sorely addicted to COURTTV, ID, 48Hours, and their ilk. It's maddening, ever since she upgraded to cable, it's endless television. It is the first thing that turns on after the lights in the morning, and does not shut off as long as she is at home. She will fall asleep with the tv on, the light glaring, the sound low to not disturb my stepfather that turned in at least two hours earlier.

It makes me sad, and angry for her. But how can I tell a 53 yr-old woman what to do? I am not exactly where I want to be in life, having moved back in with them after a failed live-in relationship. I had not lived with my mother for almost seven years when I moved in back in October.... There are soooo many issues to be addressed with how she takes care of herself, but she is still my mother who cares for her adult daughters, no matter what mess they get themselves into. I respect that. She inspires me with her encouragement as well as her personal examples of what not to do, how not to get caught up. I am simultaneously trying to be as good as her and better than her- is this what it means to be a daughter?

As for me, I know I must not let a whole year ( or much more than that) pass before I am independently living again, for my own sanity as well as for her continued peace of mind and personal development therapy. I used to make excuses for why I could not move on or get going because of whatever criticism I harbored in my heart for mom, but maybe I need to show her I can do it, so she can give herself permission to do it as well.

I sent her this challenge in her email this morning, and left a handwritten note on the kitchen counter with as much love and suggestions, and as little admonishment as I could muster. Like the letters she found digging through old stuff in her Bx apartment, I have been writing versions of my observations, fears, frustrations and love to mom for at least two decades and beyond... I wonder if she will keep this one (or at least read and digest it).

As she said this morning, "out of the mouth of babes"...

Happy Black Woman Day 15: Ditching the Boob Tube

1 comment:

  1. Isn't it amazing how out journey helps us to see ourselves and the primary parent (in both our cases our mothers) with clearer eyes?

    In encouraging your mother do not forget to encourage yourself a wee bit too. Yes, you had a failed relationship but that relationship lasted 5 years. That is a lot longer than many of your peers. Take to lessons learned and keep moving forward.