The TV Experiment

Hello Dear Reader and Happy July!

We are well into summertime here in Fargo. The sun in shinning. The leaves are a vibrant shade green. The waft of flowers and yard work and BBQ fill the air. It's a perfect time to sip your morning coffee outside, read a book in the sunshine on your lunch break or use the energy of summer to get some projects done. 

Yes, doesn't that sound lovely? I think I might get to that when I'm done marathoning the Gilmore Girls. Or Orange is the New Black just came out. I gotta cram that in real quick. Or at the end of the day I just need to relax my brain and veg out, so I'll go for a walk later. 

Sound familiar? Yeah, that's where I've been. Now, I'm not ashamed to say that I enjoy TV. I appreciate well crafted storytelling in all forms. I grew up bonding with friends and family over shows and movies, referencing favorite quotes, predicting what would happen next, loving and hating characters and personalities. 

But I recognize it's downfalls, and I've gotten very intentional with my TV over the years. I don't have cable. I don't mindlessly flip through channels. I don't record a million shows. I only watch what I really want to on Hulu or Netflix when time allows. But even still, there are a million options and endless hours that could be spent on just two resources tempting me and sucking me in.  

Luckily I don't have time to watch that much, but I did notice that any spare time I did have was being consumed by my shows. I try to be so mindful in everything I do, and my work requires me to be very engaged and social, so watching TV was an easy way to turn off and relax. 

But when I actually tuned in to myself while I was trying to turn off, I noticed that watching TV wasn't really serving me.

I was left feeling sluggish. I lost motivation. I just wanted to stay on the couch and keep watching. I didn't get this feeling all of the time. I don't think TV is evil. But the more I started tuning into myself regularly with yoga and writing, etc, the worse I felt after vegging out. It's like when you start eating better and crappy foods effect you even more. 

Which leads me to today, July 1st. For the past month I've been observing my relationship with TV and how it really makes me feel. I've been keeping a rough track on how much time I spend doing it and thinking of the other things I want to be doing with my time, but didn't get to due to TV watching.

These things include writing more blog posts, staying on track with my reading for my 30 While 30 Book List, going to the gym, picnics, cooking more, evening walks, household responsibilities, writing music, and the list goes on. None of them I NEED to do, but all of them I want to be doing. 

And my other half is not a TV person at all, and so it cramps our bonding time as well. Side note: In the off chance he does watch TV, it's really fun because he's so fascinated by the commercials and such. I've never seen anyone laugh so hard at Chester the Cheetah. 

For weeks I have been prepping myself, mentally and by emptying my Netflix queue, for my month-long no TV experiment. And I'm ready. It's July. A lovely time of year to not waste the precious days of summer in front of a television. 

Yes, there are other distractions. Social media, smartphones, cat videos, but one goal at a time, people. 

I write this to you so you can help me be accountable, but also to invite you to join in on the fun. And you don't have to go as long as a month. Try a week or even a day, and let me know how it goes. 

I'll be sure to keep you posted throughout the month if I'm not too busy frolicking in the fields or writing my next masterpiece. 

Take good care,

Randi Kay