Have you ever seen the movie “About a Boy”? In it Hugh Grant’s character, Will, talks about how he divides his day up into units of half an hour. Taking a bath represents one unit of time, exercising, two, getting his hair gently dishevelled, three, and so on. Like Will, my time, even my free time, has always been quite regimented. I wake up at the same time each day, play video games in increments of half an hour, and sit down for prayer and quiet reflection at 8pm every day. I even set myself a quota of anime to watch each day. This may seem crazy to you, but structure helps me to feel productive and keep my anxiety at bay. However, this year I’ve had to constantly assess and reassess this quota. At times it was 10 episodes a day, at others, eight, and now, five. Sometimes I wish I could spend more time watching anime, it’s fun, relaxing, and there’s always more to watch, but I’ve been quite strict in sticking to this reduced quota for the following reasons.
This may or may not be news to you depending on how closely you follow my blog, but 2018 has been one heck of a busy year for me. I started to blog again, as you know, and my year-long quest to obtain a green card finally came to an end. I also got to spend a whole month in England with my friends and family this summer. England may have been in the grips of an unprecedented heatwave, not to mention football fever, but it was a fantastic, memorable trip all the same! Finally, I was able to get back into the workplace. This came as a massive relief, not just to my husband and I, but to my pitiful bank balance! All of these things were (and continue to be) good, positive things, but things that took up a considerable amount of my time, nonetheless. As such, the amount of time I spent watching anime this year has had to be reduced.
I’ve had to reduce the amount of time I spend watching anime in order to spend more quality time with my husband, be deliberate about reaching out to my friends and family back in England, and work more hours. I’ve purposely phrased the above sentence to sound as if this came as a great sacrifice, because, at times, it certainly felt that way. Oftentimes I began to feel my desire to watch anime become a compulsion. Instead of watching it for fun I felt compelled to watch it to meet arbitrary goals I had set for myself. However, I firmly believe that my desire to watch anime should never become a need that I place above my faith, friends, family, and finances. That would make it an unhealthy addiction. As such, I’m now quite strict, not just in meeting my quota, but in not exceeding it. This has allowed me to, among other things, spend time strengthening my most cherished relationships.
I’m kind of nervous, putting this post out there, since it gives you a peek into my scary, crazy head, but, at the same time, being conscious of my watching habits, what they say about my mental health, and their effect on the other important aspects of my life all throughout this year is something that I’m pretty proud of, so why not talk about it? I hope that next year my relationship with anime can become even healthier!