January 18, 2015

Going without TV Week 1: Why?

Going without TV was something that has been on my mind for a while. I love ALL the TV. But I also think it is major time-suck and I kept thinking I wanted more time. More time to read, more time to write, more time to work efficiently so I could sllllleeeeep more, but I could excuse all that away cause ya know, Game of Thrones.

I have been toying with the idea as a yearly "resolution" or monthly "challenge".  But resolutions don't last and never change anything and ya know, House of Cards.

So that brought me to a recent book that I was reading called 20 and Counting a 'how-to' about raising one of America's largest families, the Duggars. And in the book the Duggars were challenged in their first year of marriage to NOT have a TV.  They survived, and they mentioned that their family is stronger because of their limitations on programming, but ya know, Modern Family.

This continued to weigh on my mind and every morning I woke up to zombie-toddlers worshipping Dora the Explorer, or little minds that were being molded by Curious George and Clifford. Me and my husband had spoken about it before and there were definite days that I wanted to just get the scissors and cut the cord. It even bothered me at night that me and my husband went to a separate rooms to watch our own shows. But ya know, Dexter, Dr. Who, Arrow, The Flash, Jane the Virgin, Vampire Diaries, The BlackList, Breaking Bad, Orange is the New Black, Sherlock, True Blood, Bitten, the Walking Dead, Downtown Abbey, Law and OrderCriminal Minds and really so much more that I'm embarrassed.

Then my church challenged the community to a 21 day fast, which usually means I should give up soda or cheese or some biblical food item, but instead they mentioned TV directly, so that was a slap in the face to my subconscious and really I thought "January is still winter break for TV, I can manage 3 weeks without screens consuming my kids lives and my time. Let's see what will happen."

So.. we did it. 

I knew that I would be tempted if I didn't just appeal to my inherent laziness and get rid of the TV (I'm too lazy to pull a tv out of a closet and plug it in when I want to vegetate). So I woke up last Saturday.... and we turned the TVs off. Ultimately I actually had to...
  • Remove the tv from the living room, 
  • Covered the wall mounted tv in our Room
  • Hide all remotes
  • Blocked Hulu, Netflix and You Tube from my computer and I also blocked Facebook (more of a work-related time sucker)
THE RESULTS: Things have changed around here and I noticed it almost immediately.

ONE, THE GIRLS: Maggie (3yo) and Willow (1yo) have gone about their day as if nothing has changed. They haven't asked for it except the first day when Maggie thought it was broken and that dad would "fix" it. I've noticed a huge difference in their concentration, imagination, and general play time with different toys. Maggie is loving puzzles, Willow is glued to this erasable drawing toy and both girls have been playing with their dolls. Don't get me wrong, they are also a bit more mischievous lately too, getting into things and spaces that normally wouldn't have come to their minds

TWO, THE SILENCE: There were days that I would come home and the noise level was intense with 2 toddlers, the TV, the dog, and the other going-ons. Now, its a little more peaceful and the girls are playing by themselves (sometimes too quietly for 2 little girls) for minutes at a time.

THREE, THE EXTRA TIME: I'm not rolling in extra time that I'm bored or unaware of what to do with myself but I have found more time to read, write, have some Bible & meditation moments and get some to do list stuff done. Its been nice.

FOUR, THE HUSBAND: We have talked. I'm not saying we didn't before the Shut Off of 2015, but now I feel as if conversations are happening that didn't before. Even if we are both sitting in the same room doing different things, now instead of the TV being on in the background to occupy the silence its us communicating and just shooting the breeze like some old married couple. 

Hopefully this peacefulness, self-awareness, God-centric time continues. Stay-tuned....

Also have I missed any life altering news coverage or gossip? I heard the Cowboys lost, Jennifer Lopez arrived naked to the Oscars...again, and that DFW might sink into the ground by earthquakes, but was there anything else?

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