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What would you do…

Posted on: July 29, 2008

…if you didn’t own a tv?

This post got me thinking about the things that I could do if I didn’t have a tv in the house to distract me. (Or if I turned the tv off.) And it’s timely because I’ve been debating whether I should get cable when I move into my studio next month. As it is, I really don’t watch much tv during the week anyway, but it was interesting to consider what I could do instead. (Right now I just stay late at work, and that’s not exactly a healthy alternative.)

1. Read more. There is always a stack of books on my nightstand, but I usually only devote a few minutes each night to reading because I’m usually too tired by the time I get into bed. I’ve always loved reading and there are so many more books that I want to read!

2. Work on puzzles. Growing up I was never a big jigsaw puzzle person. Then in adulthood I discovered the joy of putting the pieces together to make a complete picture. It’s a relaxing activity, yet there is a sense of purpose and completion. Very satisfying.

3. Explore my creativity. One way I could do this is with scrapbooking. I also own a loom that I’ve yet to set up. (I got it almost 3 years ago!) I like making things with my hands (hence the appeal of knitting), yet I never seem to have enough time. I think of all the half finished needlework projects that I could finish.

4. Listen to and make music. Music has always been a huge part of my life. But I hardly play anymore. I’ve wanted to really learn how to fiddle and wouldn’t mind devoting some time to this. Let’s not even talk about the accordion and mandolin that are starting to collect dust. There also piles of CD’s that I haven’t listened to in years because the tv is usually the background noise. I’m sure there are some gems in there I’ve completely forgotten about.

5. Spend time with friends. I’m an introvert by nature and it’s easier to curl up on the sofa with the tv on. But I also have times when I do crave human contact. There are some people that I’ve met recently who I really enjoy spending time with and should make a point of hanging out with more often.

6. Watch good movies. Not that all the Oscar winners are really good (at least in recent years), but I’d like to watch all of them. And I have a huge Netflix cue of foreign and independent movies that look really great. Of course, when I’m watching some silly sitcom, I’m not watching a good movie. That could certainly change.

7. Exercise. I keep saying that I need to get in shape. Not much is happening in that regard. There is no reason why I couldn’t go for a walk, go to water aerobics, or spend some time at the gym. But once I sit down in front of the television at the end of the day, my energy seems to get sucked right into the screen.

8. Cook more. Cooking is another one of those activities that I’ve been surprised to find I enjoy. I like experimenting with different foods and flavors. Most of what I make is fairly simple stuff, but it beats anything out of a box or from the drive-thru. And I could freeze leftovers to enjoy on those days when I work late or am completely exhausted.

9. See more of my community. Living here during the work week means that I’ve not really gotten out in LittleUtown. It’s not a bad town and there are some pretty parks to enjoy. Give me the bug spray and turn me loose.

10. Learn new things. I have no idea what this might be at the moment. But I’m sure that inspiration will strike when I need it to.

I don’t blame the television for my overall laziness or the fact that I’m not doing more of any of these things. It’s really my fault for not having more imagination most days. When I’m old, I’d like to look back at my life and remember more than funny commercials and canned laughter. So, I’m going to start making more moments that have meaning.

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4 Responses to "What would you do…"

I have been without cable since December. I do have two channels that come in with some “television snow” but I don’t tend to turn it on often.

To keep busy I have taken dance and cake decorating classes and walk and bike ride in my neighborhood more in the evenings. Also, I love to bake so that can keep me busy between spending time in the kitchen and then delivering the wrapped up goodies to friends and family.

When I do truly miss television, I just log online and watch episodes for free! It’s saved me a ton of money and yet I still have access to most shows. (Some you may have to turn to YouTube for…)

Good luck with your decision making! Cable free really isn’t all that bad!

I have a television but it’s rare for me to turn it on because of the time suck factor. I also associate with doing chores, mostly because my mom didn’t let us just “sit” while watching a movie. There was ironing or laundry to fold down. I didn’t have a tv in my room in college and that really got me out of the habit. I like food network and some of the house design shows but just don’t watch regularly. I lose enough time in books/online, I can’t imagine trying to schedule tv into that too. I’m more likely to grab a dvd from work and pop that in but even that I don’t do regularly

I’ve been considering this for some time. I’m not sure I’ll give it up altogether but I’m definitely cutting back.

I feel like if I didn’t have TV and video games in my life, then I could be an accomplished singer/song writer/guitarist/pianist. I would take up music if I didn’t have a TV, but that’s just me. Try to take up something that makes a little extra money.

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