When I was in high school, our t.v. died. This was back in the day when we only had one television set in our house. Today its pretty common to find more t.v.s in a house than there are people, but we only had the one. When it died, we all looked at each other with slightly bewildered expressions. Now what? We didn’t have the funds to just run out and buy a new one, so we went without.
At first, it was unpleasant. I missed watching t.v. I missed watching my favorite programs. I missed having the noise of a t.v. I even missed the news. It was so very quiet.
But I grew to love that quiet. My homework was done in record time. I felt more able to concentrate on my studying. We played games together at the kitchen table. We were less distracted by a box sitting in the corner of the room and able to actually have conversations. I got to the point where I can honestly say I didn’t miss that television one bit. I loved that it was gone.
After a while, we saved enough and bought a new one. And we fell back into our patterns and stared at the flickering screen once more. The background noise returned.
But even now I wish that we didn’t have a television in our house. I feel pretty good about saying that we have only two, one upstairs and one downstairs, which is fewer than the number of people in our residence. When I am home, the one upstairs is on for most of the day - if for nothing more than the noise factor. Each evening I sit down after putting Reagan to bed and click through our 8 channels to see just which show is most worthy of my time and attention. Even when there is nothing deemed worthy I still watch something.
Recently, I forced Hubby to participate in the Green Hour. One particular night at exactly 8:00 p.m. we joined with many other families and businesses in the world and turned off all non-essential appliances and all the lights in our house. Except we cheated a bit. We had both t.v.s on. I’m sure we were disqualified immediately.
I love to hate it. I love to sit there and berate commercials, make fun of reality show contestants, and complain about how there isn’t anything “on”. I love to sit there and let it make my eyes glaze over and dull my sense of hearing. I love to zone out. Shut off. Wind down. I love that. But I hate it. I hate that I am addicted to it. I hate that I automatically turn it on when I walk in the house. I hate that I allow the crappy programming to infiltrate my life, my home, my mind. I hate my television. Secretly, I wish it an untimely death.
The key here would be that were I to have one ounce of willpower, I would be able to resist the urge to turn it on. I could cook supper while listening to music. I could put Reagan to bed and just quietly read a book. I could have an actual conversation with my husband that didn’t start with the words, “When there’s a commercial, can we talk about...” So here’s my goal: for one week I will watch only one hour of television per day. Some of you probably think, good grief, for one week you could just not watch any television at all, and others of you are going into convulsions at the mere thought of that much nothing. For me, one hour per day is a lofty goal. But one I think I can actually attain. It starts today, April 9, 2008. Pray for me.