As I was saying in this post before I so rudely interrupted myself with an account of how Miss Pink sometimes gets worried about the end of the world, I am used to having homework. More generally, I am used to being motivated by external obligations. I clean the house for my family, but I am much more motivated when I know people are coming over. If I tell you I'll do something, I'll do it, because I hate to disappoint anyone. I make to-do lists and put routine items on them just because I like crossing them off. ("Wake up--check!") I'm not quite that bad, though.) But you get the idea.
For some reason I have carried this character trait over into my use of technology. I hate to keep emails in my inbox and delete them as soon as I don't need the information anymore. I use Google Reader to read blogs and I feel a strange sense of accomplishment when I read all the posts. (I may be wasting time, but at least I waste it effectively--huh?) And since we have a DVR to record all the shows we like to watch after the kids go to bed, I have another list to get through. When we haven't watched in a while, or when I have several shows piled up that Justin doesn't want to watch, I get antsy. I can't just sit there and watch four hours of TV or whatever. On the other hand, I'm behind! I need to catch up on my TV homework!
This means that I can't subscribe to too many shows. I only have time for a few. So I may hear about a great new show and know I would probably like it (Mad Men, for example) yet I just don't have time for it, and at this point I'd be hopelessly behind, anyway--maybe when I'm 62 I can watch the old episodes. If a show really does sound interesting, I'll record one episode to see if it can hook me. That's what happened with Leverage, which I recently added to my series list. Fortunately Tim Gunn's show is on hiatus so I have time for the new one.
Justin is the opposite of me on this, by the way. He keeps all kinds of programs. I don't mind about the really funny comedians which we go back and watch every so often, but every time a movie comes on that he might want to see someday--I mean, when he hasn't watched it in six months, it really ought to go.
When we switched to a different cable provider, we had to ditch all the old stuff he had recorded. I watched what I hadn't yet and felt peaceful knowing that I didn't have any TV homework left to finish.