Thursday, July 13, 2017

Happy Accident Netflix Edition

It often seems that I progress by errors and accidents whose unintended consequences reveal opportunities.
This winter's failure of my heating system compelled me to get cracking on the home refinance well in advance of the deadline, as the only way I could imagine financing its replacement. That lead to a general reordering of my finances and an improvement in my situation by converting my high-interest-rate student loans into more reasonable home equity loan. It also let me draw a little equity for a few improvements. Most of all, it freed me from the fear of losing the home entirely, under the terms of the divorce decree. I had dreaded the refinance because at the time of the divorce I had no confidence in my ability to refinance (and therefore to keep my home) but it turned out I had made the correct moves to get it done by securing my job at Treasury; all I needed was the confidence to execute.
 This weekend my Netflix account stopped working. I had been given the extra stream on Sherry's Netflix account as, I suppose, the contribution given for the upkeep of the girls. I felt obliged to try it out and it became a habit. I worked my way through all of "Deep Space Nine" which was fun, and then "Fraser" which started fun and became dutiful - I don't think it aged well at all, particularly the homophobia but also the lack of growth. I enjoyed seeing "Dr. Strange" for free - truly a fun translation of the comic to the screen. I started working through the original "Twilight Zone" alternating with "The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt".
However watching Netflix had become less fun and more dutiful. I don't have that many hours in the day and too many of my free hours were ending up staring passively at a screen. Each individual moment is reasonably distracting but at the end what have I got? Not anything that I have created, and not a memorable human contact. It became unsatisfying but Continued out of habit or duty I suppose. Until this week end it stopped working.
I now have time to write. This is an improvement! There's no pretending that my writing is up there with "Twilight Zone" or even "Kimmy" but it is my own and the act of creation feels good.
 I am grateful for the happy accident that ended Netflix for me. Perhaps I should consider what other habits may be usefully changed by a happy accident.