Not a TV in Sight

Beach at Port Aransas with pier in background
Beach at Port Aransas with pier in background

The week started in the best possible way – with line dancing at 9.00am on Monday morning!  Everyone was bundled up in sweaters and warm clothes as the temperatures had dropped to almost freezing overnight and the wind was quite strong.

I liked having my new friends around and now they were gone – off to explore South Padre Island and home to San Antonio for Christmas.  I wasn’t exactly lonely or really missing them but I was definitely aware that they weren’t here. What could I do to pamper myself a little – be extra kind and gentle to ‘me’?

I used to love walking the beach as a young girl in Clacton-on-Sea on a cold windy day, and I decided to go and see what this beach was like in the winter.  I caught the little ferry over, the sun came out. A reminder of how powerful nature is…  Then, top it all, I was mobbed by seagulls sharing my toast!  Pure magic!

The place was deserted – and just glorious. The photos can’t capture the roar of the waves and the wind and the cries of the gulls. Oreo hadn’t been to this beach before and we had a great walk – although my ears were freezing in the wind! What a treat!

On the way home I stopped in at the Optician’s shop and splurged on 2 new pairs bifocal glasses: one ordinary pair and one pair of sunglasses. The optician was a fun man and we laughed and joked as he helped me choose frames. His shop was painted turquoise on the outside and it had a tropical beach theme inside – just the hint of tropical beaches make me smile – and spend money?!

After doing some shopping at Walmart I went home and my new neighbour invited me over to say Hi and offered for me to use her shower. Phew! Or should it be ‘peeuuw’?! (The water in the trailer is also not working properly.) What a lovely end to the day: a hot shower, getting to know my new neighbour.

Crazy gulls  dive-bombing for my cookies?!
Crazy gulls dive-bombing for my cookies?!

Tuesday was grey and cold and I spent a productive day, catching up with my blog and old, well overdue accounts. I also followed up on the repairs to my trailer – still no good news. Oreo seemed happy to bundle up and rest all day too.

Wednesday started off similarly to Monday – a shot in the arm on a not so great day. I felt ready to ‘face the world’ and spend the day chasing down trailer dealerships!  I took a couple of breaks – to let off steam and to walk Oreo!  The evening was pleasant, listening to mostly ‘oldies’ and a country-music jam session. The day ended perfectly, sharing a ‘nightcap’ with my neighbour and some of her friends.

My brother emailed me from Holland – so nice to have easy contact with him again. He told me that Aransas Pass and the Corpus Christi area was where the movie Jaws was filmed!? He’s generally right about stuff like this but I thought I would check it out?  I asked around but no-one seemed to know anything – although Port Aransas is full of Jaws memorabilia?  I think he’s right and I tried in vain to find ‘Jaws’  to check it out – on Netflix or online (where I did find it but only in short clips). I watched a 5 minute clip and decided that the filming 36 years ago (it was filmed in 1975) left a lot to be desired!  It had a huge impact on me though, that movie, really captured my imagination.  Many people say the same thing. It was years before I could even swim in a pool, alone at night!

Thursday dawned sunny but still cool –  good for a walk with the dog, doing some housekeeping and washed the dog’s ‘beddy’ (she couldn’t rest till it was back down on the floor in her spot! So stressed!?) Managed at least to do a whole bunch of very overdue computer work done. Another ordinary but productive day. And I finally arranged for all the work on my trailer to be done next week in Corpus Christi.

The last day of the week started as the first had done: With line dancing!  Yay! Dancing is such a great brain and body exercise.

Next I went to  the Ford dealership, so my truck could get an oil change and a check up after its long drive down here – it was fine…

There was a nice customer lounge with a TV on and free WiFi where I could check my email. After a little while  I noticed an uneasy feeling spreading throughout my body. Interesting? I’d been checking my email and there was no bad news? A sort of hyper-alertness and anxiety hovered over me.

In the background the TV droned on… A pretty young presenter with a concerned face and a too-bright voice was telling us how our  entire lives are full of danger and misery…

But it’s OK.  I’m one of the lucky ones.  I’m part of  ‘the club’ of privileged TV watchers?!

These wonderful hospitals and advertisers and products will ‘save’ me.  Provided I vote ‘the right way’ and buy ‘the right way’ and think ‘the right way’…

(I can already feel my defences rising. Strong resistance to what I’m hearing is building. My need for autonomy has been tweaked – independent learning, freedom, choice, integrity…)

A lone gull guards Port Aransas beach
A lone gull guards Port Aransas beach

Cancer, heart attacks, women with cancer, arthritis, little children with bald heads and cancer, political unrest, cancer and men, global unrest and war, cancer and older folks, kidnappings, cancer. ..  These are the topics constantly bombarding our brains whether we’re in the bar, drinking to get away from it all?! Or at home.  where the TV is often left on in the background, having who knows what effect on our children and our cells.

“We have to stand together and fight the foe…”  Whaaaat?!

I reminded myself that my actual experiences today were nothing but smiles, comfort, warmth, good health, a nice hot shower, good news, music, a perfect banana, friendliness, a caring phone call and kind people.

No need to fight.

Nothing I had to buy. Consciously I soothe myself.

Phew! I can relax.

But I was thinking…

It’s starting to be accepted that there’s a link between stress and poor health/cancer. Could this constant ‘hum’ of bad news and incessant talk of cancer be stressful? To me and on my body it certainly is. So all this talk of cancer could actually increase my risk of getting it?

Cancer is big business. Huge, cynical, corporate, perhaps-a-little-less-than-honest business. After all, if we get sick, someone is getting rich? Although… Of course not.  What an awful thought?  The image we see is ‘they’ are caring, helping us, smiling determinedly (if a little sadly) and compassionate.

However… Allowing this cancer-talk to be so ‘present’, in all that we do, makes it larger than life.  Why do we allow it?  Especially when listening could be making us more vulnerable.  I hate to think of someone I love – or myself – as big-business’s clever marketing strategy?

Despite my own views on health – including cancer – I felt heavier and weighed down by this news as the hour wore on. And it was only an hour! Imagine the effect of a whole day?  7 days a week, week in and week out?

Interesting because the links between TV and behaviour are well documented?

TV ads for lawsuits against all kinds of medical procedures – that we had been assured were not only safe but ‘the right way’ – were also popular.  Paid for, of course, by the lawyers? Do you get to know the culture around you when you travel by watching local TV?  Or by not watching TV and by sharing in the real life around you?

I was delighted when someone came to tell me my truck was ready!

I rushed back to my trailer and to home-made chicken pot pie with Dolly and her friends, followed by an afternoon of computer work and the prospect of an evening of country dancing ‘with the girls’ at Drifters – very fun!

And not a TV in sight!

3 thoughts on “Not a TV in Sight

  1. That’s why is would be so great if we could all learn German New Medicine.
    When I hear all that fear mongering rubbish on TV now, I know what they
    are saying isn’t true. German New Medicine has taken all that fear away!
    Julie I look forward to your new blogs every time they are posted!
    What a great idea. They could almost make one book!!
    I would have thought it would be warmer down in Texas?
    Keep well and us all updated!
    Cheers,
    Wendy

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