On January 1st I did what has been heretofore impossible for me and I shut down the television. I'm way too addicted to it and it's time to see if I can cut (or unplug) the cord.
I only have one TV in the house, and I don't get cable channels. But I have a Netflix subscription and a lot of movies on disc and it got to the point where that was eating up a lot of free time. Netflix streaming is addictive! Why watch one episode of Dr. Who when I can plow through five? How fast can I get through a season of Damages? What documentaries are new this month? If each Parks and Rec episode is only 22 minutes without commercials, surely I can get through three in an hour compared to two on broadcast.
It was getting out of hand. I was neglecting my reading, I was neglecting my writing, and was getting generally squishy. If I wanted to stop backsliding on actual creative stuff, I needed a change.
So, riding fresh on the tail of some other self improvement successes, I unplugged the TV and cancelled Netflix.
-No DVDs, streaming content, or broadcast television in the house.
-No internet bypasses for shows, such as Hulu or network sites.
-Outings to movie theaters are okay.
-Going to someone else's house for the purpose of social viewing (like movie night, or the Superbowl) is okay. (Looks like we're hosting a Superbowl party anyway.)
-Exceptions are made for coverage of a major news story or the presidential election.
-No TV? Dang it!
-Really, watching television is stress relief for me. I already had my resolve tested; three weeks ago my car, on the verge of many fatal ailments that had been anticipated in February, got worse and died. So while I had an inkling that I was going to replace it, all of a sudden I found myself scrambling to get the car loan stuff and the insurance stuff and that "find a car" thing done. I am a worrier by nature, and if ever there was a week where I just wanted to turn off the worry switch in my brain, it was that week. I settled down to read a book and kept drifting to worries about the car, when some TV would have definitely helped. Not fun, but I'm on the other side of it.
-I'll have to listen to radio when football starts back up next season.
-Any traditions (like our Christmas movie, The Family Stone) will be shelved this year.
THE (vaguely defined) GOALS:
-Read more, off-internet.
-Blog more. (hey!)
So... we're a month in. I haven't cracked yet.