The No-Television Anniversary

The companion change to moving into our new house a year ago this week has been just as wonderful - in my mind anyway.

When we left the hotel and moved into the house, we left television behind. We've chosen not to have any type of TV hookup in our house at all. So it's been a year today since we've sat down to watch commercial television.

I did watch a little of the Olympics this summer, and I can hear some of the sports that the guys have on in the newsroom every night. But that's literally it.

Can I tell you what it's been like?

Would you believe that I don't crave it one bit? It's not the least bit like giving up chocolate or something else vital to human existence. There haven't been dramatic withdrawls or threats to call the cable company the next morning. It's honestly not been that big of deal for either one of us.

But can I tell you the one thing I miss?

Sports.

We both love football - Roll Tide!!! - and baseball. So not having sports channels has been a little difficult to get used to. But we just follow along on their websites or catch something on the radio. There are ways to get information without being glued to the television, you know.

But more importantly, let me tell you how much MORE I have.

I've had MORE time. Time for reading my Bible, getting around in the morning, being with my husband, crafting, losing myself in a book and even ... gasp ... cleaning. When there's no television to distract, all of this time suddenly comes out of the woodwork. Evenings are my favorite time now because we can choose to watch a movie, curl up with a good book, play a game or just watch the turkeys walk across the yard. (I've named one of them "Dinner." He's cute.)

I've had MORE clarity of thought. Now, I'm already pretty foggy because of the fibromyalgia, but I had no idea how much worse TV made it. Apparently my brain was pretty clogged up with the useless stuff out there because I can actually feel a difference in my thinking. There's so much less rattling around up there because there's not a constant stream of information being taken in. Did you know that your house might actually have silence in it? Mine does and I love it!

I've had MORE accomplishments. I thought I could multitask and do something else while I was watching television. This is not the case, I've learned. When I have a little music in the background, I can clean more efficiently, create better crafts, get more words written and pay more attention to the people around me when I'm not looking at a little screen every couple of minutes. I'm not on a schedule to stop something just so I can go watch a TV show, so I'm not leaving a task unfinished. This is amazing to me.

I've had MORE good clean fun. All of a sudden this year I'm not worried about what filth and junk might be sinking into to our heads through the television. I can't stop the sex, violence and language that comes through a television screen when it's ON. I can, however, choose not to have the sex, violence and language from coming through to begin with. This is the most freeing and liberating thing you can do for your soul. And never again will you get up and say, Well, that's 30 minutes of my life I'll never get back. Or if you do, it's your own fault.

While this may not be the perfect choice for some people, I adore not having television anymore. I can pick and choose the shows and movies that I truly enjoy and watch them at my own leisure. We're not tied down to the couch just because it's in front of the television. And I've truly realized what's available to do in this world because I'm not glued to the TV.

It's been a blessing for me, and I'm looking forward to another year of free time.

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