Netflix – the work life balance barometer in your life

Nuts. Nuts I tells ya, I’m going nuts.

Between the kids, the house, the clutter, the non-moving baby weight and hmmm, what else I dunno, life stress, my little head has been a whirr.

You’d think not working would have started to set me straight, but I feel like I’ve taken on even more since cutting work days out of my week.

More tasks. More things to do. Like a rather pauchy hamster on a fast moving wheel, running, running, running, going nowhere, and because my cheeks are full of nuts (cake) I’m not losing any weight either!

Anyhow, I have been making some small changes and I do feel that within a couple of weeks I will start getting into a new, more organised routine that will help with the productivity stakes. I’ll be doing a post in follow up to my New Year, New You post soon and updating on a new book I’m reading about How To Get Organised. I guess it takes a while to change bad habits you’ve been building up for years.

So… Netflix. I’m a member of the Stream Team which means I get updated on all the new happenings and get a subscription service. I regularly see things coming through that I’d like to sit down and watch and I even have a few things that I haven’t finished yet, despite starting them weeks ago. Netflix has been getting better and better, more shows, more movies, more things that really appeal to me.

Yet it’s not something that I allow myself to watch that often on my own.  Myself and the hubby do watch as much as we can during the week – it’s our thing to do whenever we get our evenings free. But as he works a lot of nights and even on our freer nights, our work from home things take over, so we slack there too.

I’ve realised that I use Netflix as a bit of a carrot and stick point in my life.

I’m a ‘I’ll watch that as soon as I have all my other work done as a treat‘ type of viewer.

This means I barely get to watch it all.

I don’t allow myself to. I refuse to reward myself with it because I feel I haven’t completed enough work in the day.

What am I like?

The hubby has no problem switching on the XBox to play the war games he’s become addicted to, at any time during the day. If he has five minutes to spare, he’ll power it up and shoot a load of zombies. He switches into ‘off’ mode at the drop of an exploding corpse.

I on the other hand need candles. The fire lit. The kids soundly asleep for at least an hour to be sure. Tea and chocolate. Maybe some wine. A clean house. My blogs completed and promoted. My creative writing done. Bills paid. Emails responded to. Friends caught up with. Messages answered. Post sent. Shower done. Hair straightened.

Catch my drift? I just can’t sit down and watch Netflix until it’s RELAX time.

I’ve worked out that this is a way of controlling and punishing myself. Of course I could just sit down and watch whatever I wanted at any time in the evening when the kids are asleep or even during their naps. But then I might feel completely out of control, that I’ve let go of all the things I need to get done and sent them spinning out to the universe, never to be completed, ever.

It means that I never really relax. I never really switch off or give myself the down time. Now that I’m no longer going to the office, the house has become even more of a work zone. There is always something to be done. And it’s very hard to relax at work. Can you imagine kicking back in the office in the middle of the work day to stream a box set? That’s what it feels like at home.

So I’ve decided that I need to change that and the more Netflix I watch, the more I know that I’m truly relaxing.

If it’s the only part of the day when I know that I am not thinking about anything else (because even when I’m reading, I’m usually studying!) then I’ll be able to check how much I relaxed during the week by hours of Netflix consumed on my own. And relaxing on your own, is different to relaxing with your other half. We all need our own space and our down time.

Is anyone else like this? Do you use your down time in a similar way, or do you find that as a Mum and a creative, it is really, really, hard to switch off? I’d love to hear how other people use their leisure time.

So… here’s what we have managed to fit in Netflix wise over the past few weeks. Most of this was with the hubby. Some of it was on in the background while I cleaned. (See what I mean?!)

Manhunt Unabomber

We are loving this at the minute. It’s really well shot, good script, great story line and it has that element of intrigue that keeps you glued. It’s about the FBI investigation into the Unabomber who terrified America for two decades by sending bombs to innocent people in the post. The series goes back and forth in time, showcasing how the investigation preoceeded, and the background to how they eventually discovered who the Unabomber was. If I have any criticism it would be that there are some scenes where the protagonist James Fitzgerald is portrayed as too much of a hero – but as far as I know he’s involved in the show, so that can happen! A great one to watch with the partner or by yourself.

Stranger Things 2

When Stranger Things came out two years ago, the hubby and I lapped it up. We loved the soundtrack, the script, the kids – and I even got lost in the fantasy element of it. I did a post about that here. This time round, the hubby was fare more into Season 2 than I was. I think the reason I wasn’t DYING to switch it on each night is because it’s so bloody scary. Like edge of the seat, eyes behind fingers stuff. He loved that. I thought – man, I’m edgy enough in my day to day life – I have enough stress going on without being stressed watching this too! So, it’s brilliant, as good as the first series, just a bit more grown up and jumpy I think. If you’re into horror, then this is definitely for you – but it has enough else going on, if horror isn’t your thing too.

The Crown 2

Oh Elizabeth. Lizzy, Lizzy, Lizzy, Lizzy. Thank you for being in my life. Thank you for coming along and showing us your royal upbringing, so far removed from any sort of life I can ever imagine. Series  two is fantastic. Fantastic! I love following the charismatic Philip as he’s portrayed in this, and, as per usual learning about all the historical stories that somehow have never made it onto my radar until I starting watching this. I haven’t finished the series yet. but that’s because, as outlined above – I’m saving it as my BIG treat.

The Confession Tapes

I wasn’t sure what to expect from this series, but often, when I’m cleaning upstairs or doing housework, I like to put on a documentary that I can have on in the background and listen to, without having to sit down and watch intensely. This is really good. It follows a family in the US who were murdered and the case of the son and his friend who were suspected of carrying out the attack. I’m only an episode or two in, but already I’m intrigued – it’s showing up some murky police work and is very much in the vein of Making a Murderer. Well worth checking out.

Mindhunter

I almost forgot to include this! Don’t know how as we loved it! It took a bit of time to get into, but I really enjoyed the two lead characters – who are so different to each other but so interesting in their own ways. Its set in the late 70s and follows how the FBI began to introduce profiling into their investigations – particularly needed as cases of serial killers and very graphic murders began to increase. We’re finding Manhunt: Unabomber, almost like a follow onto it – in the 90s, even though they’re not related!

Here’s a few things for our list going forward that we’re hoping to watch:

1) Black Mirror Season 2 – we enjoyed the first season (which is only 4 episodes long) but apparently it gets amazing after that!

2) Dirty Money – I like the look of this documentary  – although I feel I’ll watch it and be so annoyed at the world I’ll have to disappear for a while!

3) The Naked Truth – another documentary series about under-reported cases. I love factual viewing – it all feeds into my fictional writing!

So that’s our Netflix update. I’d love to hear about your viewing habits, leisure time and housework to Netflix ratio! Feel free to comment below or on my social channels. As above: I receive a complimentary Netflix subscription to chat about it on the blog.

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