Thursday, October 21, 2010

On Not Having Cable, (or any) Television

"We don't have t.v. " I say when someone asks if I've seen the most recent episode of The Bachelor or any other show.  "What?" They reply, "How do you LIVE!!??" "Very well thank you..." I reply.
Now don't get me wrong, we do own an actual TV.  It's one I bought when silver was the "in" color back in 2003 after landing my first real job after college graduation. And although I would LOVE to own a big, fancy LED Sony 62 inch, our TV works just fine when we decide to pop in a movie after Aiden has gone to bed. We have a Blockbuster membership, (Been meaning to do Netflix but the cashier at Blockbuster is just too cute to give up! Haha!) We probably watch maybe one movie a week and then when the only TV shows I care about are in season, ("Parenthood", "Kate Plus 8" and "19 Kids and Counting") we watch that online at Hulu from the wi- fi that our most generous neighbors unknowingly supply us with :) Every now and then when I want a real brain cell killing fix I'll tune into "The Hills" (strictly for fashion updates) or "Teen Mom" (When I am having a bad day and am questioning my stellar parenting abilities) :)
Most evenings after hubby arrives home from his long day at work we eat dinner as a family, go on walks, go to downtown farmer's markets, meet new neighbors at our park across the street, listen to Aiden's music and sing with him, have friends over to BBQ, get house projects done,  and and play with our baby. Now that I've got my piano moved back into our house I predict lots of piano playing as my alone time in the evenings or even some super- cheesy family sing-a-longs!  It's peaceful and mind clearing not to have the sound of the 5 O'clock news droning on and on in the background informing us of all the things that are wrong with the world. We read about it online and that's enough. NPR radio shows provide much to ponder as well. When we used to have cable, I feel like we would spend our evenings consumed by it, starring at it like zombies and not being in the moment of our life.  (I almost never turned it on during the day though unless I was sick on the couch) I feel like we missed out on sharing more of our thoughts, coming up with new ideas, being outside in nature, having the mental space to be creative and exercise our talents for ourselves and with Aiden. Life is short and you don't truly realize this until you have watched a child of your own grow into their first year. I am afraid of missing out on the poignant memories of our baby laughing and rolling around on the floor with his Daddy because I may have spent too much time in front of the TV throughout his early years. When we first rid ourselves of the brain-cell killing device, (oops I mean cable) it was a little quiet and felt a bit lonely in the house but after a week or so we had adapted and came up with new, more interactive ways of living that truly make each one of us more alive and happy. I think having cable can be great and I'm sure we will have it again someday, but by doing without it for a while, (So far over a year) I hope that when it enters our life again we can learn how not to get so addicted to it like a lot of people out there. I hope we will create our own stories instead of watching the scripted ones of the actors.
What are some family activities you enjoy? I am always looking for new and creative ideas for spending quality time together.

1 comment:

  1. That was great Laura - I lived for a few years without a TV, and I loved it. I lived alone - so, times were a little lonely, but I listened to the radio alot. :) Now, my husband would be miserable if he didn't have a way to watch his beloved SF Giants. (Which he watches through his TV, but ironically through the internet, and not cable.) We also have implemented media-free Sundays. With no media, unless absolutely necessary (I sometimes work on Sundays), and I love those days.