If this doesn’t sound like a challenge, you are probably awesome. Probably you travel a lot, or spend your evenings creating art. Maybe you work out or play board games or engage in small home improvement projects after dinner. In any case, for you the couch is not a symbol of exhaustion, defeat, or your mother’s projected self-image. Read no further, you’ll have no idea what I’m talking about.
Everyone else, consider joining me.
For fellow Midwesterners, this is an extra-ambitious week in which to launch a challenge. It’s the week of -50 windchill Wednesday. It’s also the week of January-into-February, the two top contenders for most depressing month of the year (though I’d still argue for March).
And it’s the week of a friend’s first divorce mediation, so I’m watching someone I love finally come to terms with their worst mistakes after it’s too late to fix them. If you’ve been here, you know that witnessing that kind of pain requires either extreme detachment or full-time care, and I have neither. Watching him deteriorating while he simultaneously grows more compassionate and appreciative is messing with me in a way I can handle only by burrowing on the couch and watching The Durrells in Corfu.
But this is the week I’ve chosen. Or rather, this is the day I woke up thinking about a week off the couch. So here we go.
Here are the rules.
- Don’t sit on the couch for a week.
- Don’t lie on the couch for a week.
- Don’t touch the couch for a week.
Doesn’t mean you can’t watch TV, or read, or nap, or burrow. Just don’t do any of that on the couch.
It’s not like I’m expecting life to suddenly become easier or more amazing, but I am curious to see what might happen. If you decide to join this challenge, I’d be curious to hear about your experience. And also, what makes it hard or easy for you to stay off that big piece of furniture this week.