Image credit here.
I used to always think it was strange that Dad was never able to sit through a whole movie with us when we were growing up. He would perhaps start watching one with us, and leave after about 30 minutes, to do whatever it was that he would rather be doing.
That is, until I found myself challenged trying to finish a whole movie myself, without feeling the urge to hit the fast-forward button, at times, or even getting up and going to my study to do something else that was more productive. I can't remember exactly when I started behaving this way, but I think it could have started sometime during my PhD.
Unless it was a movie that I really wanted to watch (and not my children), then I found that it was almost impossible to sit through the whole thing.
Things that I normally found more engaging/pressing/interesting than watching through a whole movie:
- The Internet. Yes. That's right. Even though it was little more than scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed with an expression of boredom on my face, it was at least interactive and engaging enough to keep my mind (semi) occupied.
- Games. Yeah, I still play some games on occasion. A few times a week. Playing RPGs mostly. Where I am in my own world, interacting with the fascinating characters, and completing those infuriating missions for achievement badges. But they were interactive nonetheless. On the gaming side, there were stretches where I wouldn't play for weeks or months at a time when I was trying to complete my PhD of course. Though I am trying to re-acclimatise myself with a 'normal' routine post-PhD.
- My thesis. Uhuh. Yup. Not that it was fun (never fun). But it was something that had greater priority. And it was interactive.
But of course, I did other things besides the activities mentioned above. And I did watch TV, and sometimes movies, but all with a sort of schedule in my mind.
A schedule in the form of time blocks.
Thinking about this more, I realised that I could sit through almost anything as long as it did not exceed 30 minutes. I mean, I could sit for a few hours in front of the TV, but the shows that I liked the most only ran for 30 minutes - comedies mostly. I love sitcoms. Most importantly, they could fit in a single time block. After that I was free to do something else. Or maybe even spend another time block watching another.
So a movie was generally four time blocks.
Eating out was three.
Playing with the kids was between one to two (two if we played Monopoly).
Bowling was three.
Golf was six.
When I got to see time that way, I was able to know more about how I would rather spend these blocks of time.
The question was: even though other activities took up more than one time block, why was I able to do them, and not sit through most movies?
Perhaps it lay in the nature that my brain needs constant interaction?
I don't know.
Perhaps I should spend a time block or two figuring that out.