I went from 2005 to 2007 without owning or watching tv. For a sports and political nut, that would seem like a long time. I would guess I went from watching between 30-40 hours of tv per week to nothing. The reason was my house had been foreclosed and I lived out of my car for a considerable length of time. What I found surprised me.
My life prospered without tv! My attitude, social life, creativity and spirituality flowed like a mountain spring. When I finally got back into an apartment, a friend gave me a tv, and I ordered cable. I wanted to watch Lance Armstrong’s comeback in the Tour De France. As Lance raced for first place (ended up third), so did tv’s hold of my attention and time race ahead.
Television viewing advanced from a few hours, to more than I care to own up to over this past winter. Life on tv was great! Regrettably, my life was becoming non-existent. Instead of hiking, biking, playing music and making love, I was watching everyone else on tv do it! I was a spectator without a sport. Something had to change.
Recently, I decided to try life without tv again. It seemed like a drastic change, which is what is needed sometimes for change to start. Here are areas in my life I hoped to make better when I sold my tv:
1.) Weight loss.
I wanted to start hitting the gym at five am in the morning, and I found myself staying up late to finish watching a show or the news.
2.) Meeting new people.
With a tv, it was too easy for me to stay in instead of actively seeking social activities to join in and meet new people.
My writing was almost non-existent. I was wasting more time than I should watching tv instead of writing and thinking.
4.) Time management.
It was too easy for me to decide to relax for fifteen minutes and turn on the tv. An hour later I would still be “relaxing” in front of the boob tube.
I’m not blaming tv for anything bad, yet I did let it interfere with my time spent in prayer and meditation. I’m not saying I’m a monk, however that is an important part of my life and I feel better when I spend time in that area of my life.
My goal was to read one book per week. I am way behind but am starting to catch up with my reading goals.
After more than a week clean (tv-less), I have found the fountain of life spring up from my soul again. By seven am my daily workout is complete. I am spending time talking to friends and neighbors without looking at my watch so I don’t miss the re-run of Californication. My fingers are caressing the piano keys again. Writing ideas are flowing from my mind onto the paper. Frequent meditation is no longer something I have to “fit in” to my schedule. And daily reading is becoming a habit. So, what have I missed?
Without tv, I have missed nothing. I am truly, “winning!”. How about you?