Nine weeks. It has been nine weeks since I moved into my (to me) new home and decided not to subscribe to a cable- or dish-provided television service.
I'd had subscription service through the same company for over 18 years and, other than having to pay for a larger package with tons of channels I never watched in order to get the sports channels I wanted, I was very satisfied.
A couple of years ago I began playing around with the idea of dumping the satellite. I joined Netflix, but most of the time I forgot I even was a member. As long as I had my subscription service and had the NFL and college football, professional baseball, college basketball, and hockey, along with HGTV, I really didn't need anything else.
I gave more serious thought to dumping the dish as my most-recent move neared, and I finally decided to, as Nike always urges me, just do it. Besides, I reasoned, I could always resubscribe if I changed my mind.
I reasoned, too, that I could listen to the radio or watch programs on Netflix, but I haven't done either one. In fact, I've only listened to the radio when in my car and have watched a grand total of two hours of programming via Netflix in the past 70 days.
There have been some interesting outcomes of my television-less lifestyle.
As expected, I have more time to accomplish other things. I've read even more books than usual, written more letters, and, yes, even whiled away more time surfing the internet and pinning images on my pinterest page. But I've also gutted a kitchen -- tearing out the cabinets all by myself (my son did help me carry the long countertop outside) -- and then prepped and painted the new cabinets, rehung the doors, and put all the knobs and pulls back on.
There have been a couple of unexpected benefits as well.
First, despite having no stove or microwave for much of the past nine weeks, I've eaten out far less than I had become accustomed to. Not only do I have more time to prepare meals now that I'm not watching TV, I also am not tempted by the images of a juicy steak and baked potato at a popular steak house or my favorite sandwich at a national deli chain.
I'm also sleeping much better than I normally do. Instead of lying awake for at least an hour, waiting for my mind to stop racing 90 miles per hour, I fall asleep almost as soon as I lay down. Perhaps my body is more tired, given the projects I've been working on. However, I think the main reason is that, without the stimulus of evening television, my brain more easily "lets go", allowing me to slip easily into the deep rest of sleep.
I'm feeling far less stressed as well. Considering that we're less than 4 months from a national election and I'm a highly-political person, that is quite an accomplishment! Instead of feeling "worked up" about this or that much of the day, itching to share my opinion with friends or family via a text or Facebook, I feel calm and unruffled.
I've also discovered I don't miss sports programming nearly as much as I thought I would. In fact, the only thing I've missed is watching the Olympics -- this is the first Olympics, winter or summer, that I haven't set aside much of the 2+ weeks to watch as much of the Games as I can. Even so, I've only had a few little pangs of not-even-regret, and those little twinges aren't enough to send me to my nearest sports bar/restaurant to watch the competition and enjoy a nice meal.
I'm enjoying this break from television and subscription programming. It may not be permanent. I may at some point decide to put a dish atop my little house and watch "Law & Order" marathons again.
Until then, I'll just relax and enjoy the peace and quiet of my television-free home.
What about you? Have you ever thought of going TV-less? If you have, what's holding you back? Share your thoughts/experiences via a comment -- thanks!
Congratulations, CurtissAnn -- you are the winner of the free copy of Breaking Up With Perfect! I'll be in touch with you to get your address. :)