Friday, November 20, 2009

TV Fast

I thought that I'd give an update on my thoughts now that my four week TV fast is coming to an end.  First of all, I cannot believe that it has actually been four weeks since I watched TV last!  The time went really quickly, and for the most part I didn't miss the TV at all.  There were times that I did, however.  Here's my breakdown:

The Good:
  • I did more reading, which is something I have been meaning to do for a while.  This does have a bit of a bad component, though...see below.
  • I realized that there were times that I was watching out of habit even thought I didn't really need or want anything to watch.
  • I realized that most of the reason that I felt like my kids didn't nap long enough was because they would be ready to get up when I was in the middle of a show they shouldn't watch.  Without the TV, I was ready for them to be up and around me again, which was a really good feeling.
  • I learned to be okay with the times of quiet in my house.  I think I was using the TV as a noise maker at times, and really?  My house is noisy enough, thankyouverymuch.
  • I knew I was watching too much TV, but now I know exactly which shows to delete from my DVR.  I decided that the shows that I didn't think about at all during the four weeks need to go, and some of the ones that I rarely thought of will go, too.  The rest I will keep without guilt.
The Bad:
  • I really missed having the TV for the chores that are no fun to do otherwise, such as folding laundry, ironing, and entering receipts into the computer.  These chores just haven't gotten done much since my fast began because the thought of doing them without a distraction is not a nice one.
  • Nursing Andrew right before he goes to bed is more difficult without the TV.  Jerry and I would usually watch a show together while he nursed.  A show without commercials is 40 minutes long, about the same length of time as Andrew nurses, so the timing is perfect.  Otherwise we sit there, unable to talk because it disturbs Andrew and struggling to read in dim light.
  • I found that I tend to find some sort of escape mechanism no matter what.  Without the TV, I just switched to books (the lesser of two evils for sure) and over-read when I should have been doing something more productive.  Just a look at the way my "read" column has lengthened on the side blog will prove my point.
I am sure I could come up with other items for both the good and bad lists if I tried, but these are the ones that stand out to me.  Overall, it was a great experience and I'm glad I did it.  I think I'll watch less TV because of it, but I don't think I'll unplug it and put it away!


Joanna said...

Very, very interesting!!

Del just ordered cable TV today. It'll be interesting to see what happens in the house. The shows that I think about that I haven't watched in over a year are:

Good Eats
Dirty Jobs
How It's Made
The Golf Channel

Lawanda said...

I totally get the point about the escape mechanism.

I think that is a natural human instinct. Like we would die from all the stress if we didn't block it out with our imaginations :)

Anonymous said...

Wow, sounds like it was an eye-opening point for you. My escape mechanism of choice lately is the computer (gulp), and since I do most of my photography work on there, it's hard to just walk away from it for longer than a day. That said, I think I could do a better job of monitoring my time.

I went seven years without television, and I didn't miss it at all. I found that it's only when I allow myself to get into a show that I end up "missing" TV. Food for thought...

Catherine R. said...

Andrew nurses for 40 minutes?! I would be bleeding if Sidney nursed for 40 minutes. He just chews on my boob, basically. He has lots of teeth. I am not going to be sad when nursing is over : |