Faith and Personal Growth · Family

Amputation Part III

Well, I did it…..I cut off the cable.

This decision has been something that has been brewing for a few years. In fact, some 5 or 6 years ago, Eric and I started discussing our television viewing habits. We started small by removing the television from our bedroom. It wasn’t like we felt we were “bad” or that we think that television is “evil” or whatever. This isn’t a judgement thing. Just an “our” thing.

We noticed that with the television in our bedroom, more often than not, one or both of us were falling asleep to a show or the news. We would watch our favorites, but then find ourselves not talking to each other. This is not to say that we were in a bad place in our marriage, or that we weren’t communicating. It just seemed like a bedroom should be a place to rest, have peace, and have the ability to lock the world out. The world will still be waiting when we walk out the door tomorrow. So we did.

And I think I can speak for the both of us when I say we really haven’t missed it. What we discovered is that those evening conversations (especially since having kids) are some of the best moments of our day as we relate funny things the kids have done, highlights from our days, and just some time to have a conversation without the kids – even if they are the topic! The other thing we discovered was that we slept much better. (Many studies actually support this.)

I have lived without cable before I was married and didn’t really miss it. We have had cable all 13 years we have been married. I do love television. I LOVE a great movie, a funny show – and for those of you that know me well, I can still quote lines (entire scenes) from the sitcom, “Friends”. I grew up with The Cosby’s. I remember when we got our first VCR and as a family watched All My Children FOR YEARS! As a teen, I had a television in my room – AND LOVED IT! I would watch In Living Color and Saturday Night Live each week. As a couple we have loved shows like CSI, Law and Order, and The Office. But after becoming parents, something shifted. It’s hard to watch some shows for various reasons when little eyes and ears are becoming more and more aware.

There is a part of me that will definitely miss it.  This may very well be a temporary amputation….my husband is on deployment. He has promised to “discuss” it when he returns. He has had ESPN forever and I think that is what has held him back from making this amputation sooner. There are also other options, like Netflix, Hulu, and others that may be good alternatives (which will most likely be much cheaper.)

My main reason for the final cut is time. While Eric is deployed, I find I’m spending my alone time in the evenings watching various shows that I’ve recorded. It’s enjoyable, and it passes the time. But really, do I need to watch 2-3 hours of television a day? Not really. Is it doing me any good? Not really. Are there other things I could be doing? Of course. And while I did attempt to quit Facebook (numerous times, don’t laugh – it sucks me back every. single. time.) and even attempted to amputate my iPhone! I feel like this little experiment is a step in that same direction (even though the iPhone experiment didn’t go as I’d planned – I was able to cut out a lot of the time I was wasting on it.)

In addition, with Eric gone, I find I am relying too much on the television for the kiddos. Yes, Jake likes cartoons. Hannah loves them also. But do they really need to watch so much of them? Of course not. I have a feeling there are going to be moments (hours, days, weeks) that I’m going to feel like this wasn’t such a great idea, but over the long haul, I think the kids and I both will be better off. Not to mention not watching all the ads. Jake has just recently become very aware of commercials directed toward kids…”I want that Mama!” “Oooh! Can we go buy that?!” Yeah, I don’t need any “help” in that area!

So I did it. Today I cut off the cable. I have a feeling that after a while I’m not going to miss it. And I’m probably going to get a lot more done!

Have you ever considered cutting out cable, Internet or cell phone use? Were you successful? Other thoughts?

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