I want to let you in on the funny irony I feel as I’m writing this post: my husband and I don’t have a tv. I cannot tell you how many people have passionately offered us an extra one they have or an old one they are getting rid of when they learn this about us. Others often seemed shocked and even concerned, as if they just realized we’ve been living without food in our home, or sleeping on a cold, hard floor. We always decline these kind offers and try to reassure the well-intentioned worriers. Because, to be honest, we love not having one.
Of course, we still watch tv – thank you, Netflix! In fact, we just finished the final season of Burn Notice and are casually going through Last Man Standing, Undercover Bosses, and LOST (I was one of those crazy fans back when it originally aired; my hubbie is a newbie). But after a long day at work, it can be all too easy to spend too much of our evening zoned out in front our laptop.
About the time we began vocalizing this concern to one another, our church community began talking about fasting in preparation of the Lenten season. We connected the dots in our lives and decided to schedule ‘No tv Wednesdays.’ While the topic of fasting probably deserves an entire post of its own (spoiler alert to an upcoming post, lol!), I want to focus this space on what I’ve learned during this journey, so far.
1) We have more time than we think. As I’ve mentioned in other posts, time is a hot commodity in our household. I’m sure we’re not alone in often feeling there is not enough time to do what we need and want to do. I am always surprised at how much longer the evenings feel when we choose to refrain from watching any tv shows. Time just feels slower when not being sucked away by our technology.
2) Watching shows is not the only way to unwind. While I wouldn’t call myself a tv fanatic, I do find it very relaxing to cuddle up and watch a show. Perhaps that is because it is an easy way to ‘escape’ from our thoughts about our own lives and instead get caught up in another story. Of course, novels are another way to do this (I’ve loved to read my whole life), and taking a break from the tv helps create more time for pastimes such as reading. Getting out of the typical routine also provides an opportunity to get creative – one of our first tv-free days, I pulled out a coloring book and enjoyed an activity I hadn’t done in a long time!
3) We need breaks from sensory stimulation. We are a fast-paced, verb-focused, and entertainment-hungry society. We go, go, go, and do, do, do. We watch, listen, and share videos, music, and data faster than ever before. This, of course, has its good points. However, I often find myself overwhelmed at all the visual and auditory information that is constantly bombarding me. But it doesn’t have to be that way. I can choose to ‘unplug’ and allow myself to be quiet and still, enjoying the benefits of doing so.
Do you have any ways you ‘unplug’ in your life?