Ray (my husband) and I have given up TV. He has wanted to do this for years and has regularly threatened to “cut the cord”. So, several weeks ago, when the digital converter box (we do not have cable) stopped working, we were left with the choice to purchase a new one or see how things go without the TV. You guessed it, we chose the latter. I have noticed a couple of things, first of all, it is easier than I thought it would be and secondly, I have no idea what I am doing with my found several hours a day. I do not seem to be accomplishing any major projects and the blog posts are not coming any faster, but the step has been made, there is a shift that has begun to occur.
I probably should tell you that the TV still exists in the living room and we are still throwing in a video when we need a distraction. We have also discovered Hulu for those desperate moments when we really do not want to do anything. That being said, we are eating dinner at the table, we are talking a lot more, and I have felt a level of stress disappear from my shoulders that I did not realize was even there. Isn’t that how things work, something exists for so long that you believe that it is “normal”. I have found that every night spent in front of the TV would create a guilt inside me about needing to do something productive. “I need to get up and do this or do that.” Every evening that went by without doing this or that became a small failure and the TV had started to represent my lack of discipline.
I was in Minneapolis this week for work and really thought that I would be glued to the TV every moment I was in my hotel room. I turned it on the first night and flipped through all of the channels two times and literally found nothing I was interested in, so I turned it off. It seemed very uninteresting to me. I should fess up here a little and say that this particular hotel did not have the Food Network; this part of the story could be going very differently if they had. The next morning I turned on the news, feeling as though I have been out of touch with current events, I had it on for just a few minutes and I felt like it wasn’t news, it was just all really negative information put out there to insight some emotion in me that I was not ready to feel at 6:30 in the morning, so I turned it off.
I will have to let you know when I have something tangible to show for my time without TV, but in the meantime the intangible benefits are so worth it. The connection with my husband and the ease in the evenings has been worth every moment so far. It makes me wonder, what else feels normal to me that is making me unhappy that would be as simple as putting down the remote.