My Month Without Television

Still water w/ rock

Not using television as a distraction has made me much calmer and more relaxed. (Photo by Cynthia Price)

In July when I was still watching television there was a commercial in which an Olympic athlete said they had not watched television since last summer. The point, of course, was that they were too busy training.

I wasn’t training for the Olympics, but I realized I was too busy. So I gave up television for a month. I thought it would be difficult, but it wasn’t. I didn’t even miss watching the Olympics (fortunately, the opening ceremonies were in July).

Now that the month is completed, I may indulge with a few movie rentals from Redbox (I didn’t even allow movie rentals in the house). I’ll also watch a few of my favorite fall shows, such as NCIS. I won’t, however, keep the TV on as a distraction. I’ve realized that keeping the TV off as much as possible is one of my “Absolute Nos.

Without television, I’m not feeling the need to spend money on the newest fashions, the newest designer crazes or the newest cereal. I’m reading many more books (10 in August!), which means the piles in my house are disappearing. I even made time to tackle some of the piles. That means I’m feeling more organized and relaxed.

I’m enjoying the quiet. With fall in the air, my windows are open and now I watch “Cat TV,” which is the myriad birds at the feeder. I even have a bird book to identify them – from the red-headed woodpecker to the black-capped chickadee (my favorite) to the tufted titmouse to the nuthatch.

I will, on occasion, enjoy an evening or two of mindless television watching. My experiment, though, helped me realize that television is not the way I need to unwind.

Do you know what you need to unwind?