I successfully gave up TV for the whole week! It was pretty miserable the first day, but I didn't really notice it by the end of the week. I did watch TV on Thursday when I was home sick, but ti was only for 30 minutes. That alone is pretty impressive since I usually watch non-stop TV when I'm home sick. Friday night after work I turned the TV on at 4:30 and it didn't go off until about 9:30pm. Of course, I slept through most of that; it was just on for noise and company.
A challenge isn't successful unless you learn something in the process. So what did I learn from my challenge?
1.) I watch TV to fill the house with noise. Living alone, it gets pretty quiet in here. I like the quiet, but it is the silence that bothers me. The TV tends to keep me company. The problem with that is, instead of having it on in the background, I end up sitting down in front of it. So this week I ran my Sirius radio pretty much nonstop. I leave it on during the day to keep Bailey company and just left it on when I got home from work. It filled the void just as well as the TV and without the mind-suck factor.
2.) I eat less with less TV. I already know that I'm a boredom eater. If I'm bored, I eat. TV has me sitting on my widening rear for extended periods of time with nothing to do but kill brain cells. Without the TV, I snacked considerably less in the evenings. I ate my dinner at the dining room table (something I NEVER do alone) and only snacked on granola bars, pumpkin seeds, and hot tea in the evenings.
3.) No TV = TONS O'Productivity! Seriously. I got a mountain of grading done. My house stayed clean. My laundry got done. My errands got accomplished. I planned out all my lessons. long story short, I stayed on top of the day-to-day and even got ahead.
4.) I felt like a better, more functional person without the daily Mind Suck. I was able to read for fun without being totally wiped out. (I usually only read for fun right before bed after watching mindless TV for a few hours.) I left my house in the mornings feeling satisfied in knowing that when I returned the house would still be tidy and neat upon my return. I felt less rushed during the day because I normally have to get all of my work done at school because nothing ever gets done when I'm home. I like to delude myself in saying that I can grade and plan while watching TV, but let's be serious. If that were true, I wouldn't have needed to give it up for a week! And watching less crap (i.e. reality TV, mundane comedies, reruns of shows I've seen before ...) just felt better all-in-all.
So where do I go from here? Well, I really liked who I was this past week, and I would like to see more of that self. I think I am going to limit myself to 1 hour of TV a day. I can use this hour early or late, in the morning or the evening, but it's still one hour no matter how I dice it up. That will give me the veg time that I need with my brain turned off, but it will also give me the time I need to be productive and be the human being that I like being. As a child of the TV generation, this is a pretty big move for me.
I could just cut my cable, but that would leave me with no internet and that, my friends, would simply be impossible.