The word binge is getting a bad rap.
I admit that binge-eating is not good. Or binge-drinking. Or even binge-watching cable news, which I was doing while mulling binge’s reputation.
But if there ever was a time to give ourselves some healthy distraction, it’s now.
And defining that break as a “binge” makes it just seductive enough to sign on.
I think we need to start extending the term far and wide – to every good thing that can give us a break.
Pretty soon, we’ll be bragging – with just enough shame to make it interesting – about going on a tai chi binge, or a meditation binge or a binge of making homemade vegetable soup. (If I remember correctly, even Betty Friedan confessed to that one.)
This is not an easy task.
I admit I struggle to be a confessed binger, even to harmless things such as family TV shows.
“I watch it while I’m on the exercise bike,” I tell friends about “This Is Us.”
And when I confess to spending too much time on Facebook, I hasten to add, “It’s really helpful before you message someone to check out what’s going on in their lives. You don’t want to say, ‘Hope all is well,’ when you could have known their father just died.”
I don’t mention that while I’m in there, I’ve leapfrogged to checking out people I have no intention of messaging and probably will not be running into anytime soon.
Still, I can tell that binge acceptance is making progress.
“What’s your favorite Netflix binge?” a Facebook friend asked the other day – and got so many comments she could have sold an e-book binge guide from it. I know this because I read every one and took notes.
“The Crown,” sadly ending after its next season, seemed to be coming in first, with “Grace and Frankie” vying for second. (I can’t help but add that Lily Tomlin was scoring slightly ahead of Jane Fonda, whom I’ve noticed – while I’m pedaling frantically – struggles at age 82 not to look 35.)
Even my local library is in on the legitimization of binges. Now available prepackaged and free is the Binge Box full of DVDs selected according to theme. You can get Dino-Mite Movies (dinosaur movies just for kids) and the Don’t Go Near the Water box (shark movies for adults), to name just two.
My tai chi class is moving steadily in this direction but has not yet swallowed hard and called the opportunity to spend at least 90 minutes each day on tai chi a binge.
But surely it qualifies as a binge – and a particularly effective one. How can you possibly attempt to follow 108 moves – with names ranging from White Snake Turns and Pulls Out Tongue to Step Up, Deflect, Parry, Punch – and worry for even one moment about who is likely to win the South Carolina primary?
Then there’s the constant reassurance that we all make mistakes and life is about beginning again and again and again.
Who these days doesn’t need to binge on that?
Balancing Act author Pat Snyder is a northwest Columbus resident and life-balance speaker and coach. Find her at PatSnyderOnline.com.