I was thinking today about how much more time I have on my hands now that I’m not watching TV anymore. Well, I will watch a movie from time-to-time, or we’ll watch an episode of The Profit on Hulu, [and I would watch Fixer Upper if a new season were on] but I used to sit every night and watch TV and then the news before heading to bed. I’d find some puzzle or project to work on while the TV was on, but my nightly ritual used to be sedentary and a bit mind-numbing.
As a result, I don’t feel as connected to all the bad news happening in the world. I totally missed out on the Olympics, and maybe some other feel-good information, but I’ve started exercising and, of course, now I’m writing regularly. It’s a great trade-off.
I thought I’d miss TV more than I do, but I really don’t, except maybe when people are talking about some show; I no longer have anything to contribute to the discussion. It’s a little surreal listening to people talk about TV now that I’m no longer informed. I don’t even know what the new season shows are, but as I listen in on the conversations, the dialogue about them seems so fake. Is that what I used to sound like? I’m sure it was.
I get the attraction, or the obsession. I was there for a long time. But it seems so meaningless now, and I don’t ever want to fall back into that habit. It’s easy to do when you work hard and come home tired; all you want to do is vegetate. But the more you vegetate, the more you want to vegetate, and it becomes a sludgy cycle. I’ve not thrown my TV away, but it no longer controls me, and that’s a very nice place to be.
DAY 349 HOMEWORK: Take a look at your viewing habits. Is it a bit obsessive? If so, cut off the cable, or drop it down to basic. It will force you to look at the time-wasters in your life. You can still choose to watch, but then it’s harder to work around the constraints, so it makes it easier to break free. The key, then, is doing something with your newly-found free time that involved connections with others. Try it out and see what you think.