In early March I got so pissed off at Comcast that I cancelled our cable.
It's something that the H and I talked about doing for a long time. But then it was football season and our Beloved Seahawks put together a killer team and an equally amazing QB (Love you, Russell!) so the cable stayed. Then we, uh, WON, the Super Bowl in a truly flamboyant style (and yeah, I would say that the other team was completely bumfuzzled by the whole thing) and there was no other reason to hold on to our enormous bill and lackluster (AT BEST) customer service.
Then they pissed me off.
So off it went.
We still stream Netflix, so it's not like we are without entertainment.
Here is what I've noticed in our house since the boob tube went tits up.
1) Our house is quieter. Calmer. The general level of thrum in the house is at a lower tempo.
2) I have learned more things. Most noticeably how to knit, how to make some advanced soaps, and how to cook new things.
3) The Tot is happier and plays more. She draws, and paints, and screws around in her play area. This morning, instead of watching tv, she drew an entire tableau of our family, replete with gangly arms and enormous heads. Very fetching.
4) I read more. The Tot reads more. My H joined a fantasy baseball team **cough, cough, NERD, cough, cough** and we just generally expanding out.
Those are the immediate positives. Here are some of the negatives that I've experienced:
1) I have a very emotionally demanding job. When I get home, I want to rest my brain against something frivolous like a funny movie or show. Now that is harder. If I start reading after my 10 hour therapy days, I fall asleep. Usually sitting up or canted over to one side. NOT very fetching.
2) Sometimes? To be honest? It feels a little lonely without the TV on. When I realized "lonely" was the word I was looking for, I kind of rolled my eyes. How dumb is that? But that's what it feels like. The TV was somewhat of a link to the world at large in a way that the internet and movies aren't. And why do I need that link anyways? Hmmmm. More rumination on this topic is warranted. I didn't even grow up with TV! I have no idea where that comes from...
3) The Tot is a lot more all up in my bizz-ness. Since she is an only child (well, her brother is 23 and stationed in Egypt, so...), occupying herself only goes so far. When I'm wrapping soap, or doing online training for something or reading books, she will literally crawl into my lap with her stuffies and crank up the conversation. I'm still working on that. Some strategically placed movies have helped with this to a degree.
Perhaps the biggest lesson I've learned out of this adventure is the one I speak a lot about in session.
YOU SET THE TONE.
Which means just that. In my case, as a parent, I have to set the tone for what kind of home I want my child to grow up in. It's my call (And the H's, of course. We are the allied forces around here.) And I can't wait for someone else to do it for me. If I want the TV off, I gotta turn it off. If I want her to read more, I gotta read more. If I want her to be respectful, nice and empathetic, I have to model those things myself. And on and on...
It can be hard, sometimes. Especially when I'm getting ready before work, or have a big soap order due and have to run interference around a 4 year old whose sole worry in life is that her doll is stuck in my boot. (And thank the STARS that is her sole worry in life.) The distraction of the TV would make it easier initially for me to get ready or be productive, but the long term affects to my daughter's developing mind just don't seem worth it.
I read somewhere that every time we turn on the TV we are giving permission to a bunch of strangers to educate our children in all the ways of the world. And some of those messages are rude, harsh, belligerent, aggressive, or snotty. (Not to mention conniving, manipulative and rash). When I really thought about that, my anxiety centers geared up and when I checked in with myself I knew that would stand with me.
I never thought in a million years that we would be cable free.
But I saw this:
And knew immediately that we were on the right track.
Now. If I can only convince my H to come live in a yurt with me, we'd be all set.