>Television Challenge

Posted On February 11, 2007

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>I sit here day after day. I survive without cable television, or for that matter, any television at all. I here people complain about how they can’t do this or that because their favorite show is on. Funny, I used to be one of them.

But now, as I sit here and think about it, my life is more full than it ever was when I was a television junkie. Okay, so don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy a good DVD now and then, but that is about it. I don’t sit at the television for hours on end just staring blankly, entranced by what is on the screen.

I get to spend more quality time with my children. I get to get out and do things with friends. I get to be a happy, well-rounded woman whose brain is not rotting away because of the mindless drivel coming out of a little electronic box.

I read. I write. I enjoy spending time with family and friends. I sometimes just get in the car and drive to nowhere in particular, just for the sake of getting out and going. Sure, sometimes I get bored, but then I find something else to do.

I am constantly trying new things now. I have started walking. And believe me, after my first two block hike, my legs wanted to fall off. I am getting a bit better.

I enjoy cooking . I bake cookies about once a week just for the hell of it.

I read books with my children, and they are better for it. My son, 3 and a half, loves books. He doesn’t even seem to miss television, and it was a big part of his life for a long time. I will admit that when he was a bit younger, when his dad first left us, I am guilty of using the television as a babysitter so i could get some work done, or get some cleaning done, or just take a two minute shower. I worked at home at the time, and it was hard being a pregnant, single mother, trying to take care of an extremely active two year old. I needed a break sometimes too.

But now, I still manage to get those showers, and get work done, and get the house cleaned, because he is content to sit for a while “reading.” And I think he is actually starting to understand the words on the pages, which is an even greater accomplishment.

Our children learn by our example. If they see us hunker down in front of a television for a dozen hours straight, and never get up and go out and get active, they will feel that that is acceptable. Probably part of the cause for so many obese children. And parents are suing the fast food companies. (I will post more on that one later)

Life without television is great. I have time to chat with friends, read books I have been meaning to read, and get back to work on my novel even! Trust me, six years of blood, sweat and tears, and it still isnt finished, may be another six before we get there. But I walked away from it for two years and havent even looked at it. And then, for a lot of that time, I was a television blob.

In November, I made a conscious decision to kill the cable, and I don’t have an antenna. I now only show educational videos for my children, and the occasional silly Disney movie. My son loves Cars. It is probably one of his favorites. For a very long time, I thought he was saying something obscene because he would incessantly quote the “I’m in the Piston Cup!” line.

So I have a challenge for all of you. Turn off the television and spend time with loved ones. See if you can go a whole day without turning the evil box on. Go ahead, do it now, I will wait. …..

Done? Okay, good. Now get out of the house. Go enjoy a park, or a museum, or even better, a library. Or Just wander around your town for a few hours, on foot. There are amazing things to do and see in every neighborhood. You just have to get out and look for them. Trust me, you will thank me for this later.

With that, I am going to get off of here and go take my own advice. There is a nature trail in town calling my name, and it is even more fun at night than during the day. Now, where did I put that flashlight.

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