Easter has come and gone, and along with it went Lent. This means that we can watch TV again. I thought that giving up television would be very difficult and that I would be bored each night. At the beginning, I was quite bored. I would just sit on the couch and wonder what I should do next. After a few weeks I got used to it and began to enjoy it. Instead of watching television and drinking a margarita while eating popcorn, I began to read and drink a glass of wine. (my drinking actually declined quite a bit during this experiment….not that I drank all that much to begin with). First, I finally finished the book “The Paris Wife”. I had started reading it a few months ago and could never find the time nor the energy to read it. I finally finished reading it (although I did skip the last twenty pages or so and jumped straight into the Epilogue…it was about Hemingway…I already knew how he ended up.) Then my friend, Sidney, gave me the first two Hunger Games books. I read both of them in less than two weeks and am now reading the third one. They are an easy read, enjoyable and page turners….the perfect recipe for night time reading. I have been so obsessed with these books that I haven’t written a blog post for over a week!
After Easter I tried to watch TV one night, but was not interested at all. I turned on Netflix, picked a show that I usually enjoy (Everything is Sunny in Philadelphia), watched less than five minutes, and then shut it off. I was truly not interested in watching TV. I picked up my book instead. They say that it takes two weeks to create a new habit. For me it took a few more weeks than that, but once I found what I enjoyed the transition was easy to make.
Now, this has not been the same wonderful experience for the kids, especially Wilson. Wilson loves his TV. He has been counting down the days since we started this TV fast. He got to watch a show or two at my mom’s house each week, but for him it wasn’t enough. We decided to have a movie-night on Easter Sunday evening to kick of the new TV watching. Weeks ago, the kids had picked out the movie that they wanted to watch: Tinkerbell’s “Fairies and Pirates” movie. We had popcorn and a carpet picnic during the movie….I didn’t even have to cook dinner!
Unfortunately, Wilson is now asking to watch television all of the time!! It is driving me nuts! We made the rule that they get to watch television on Saturday mornings and one movie night per week. Wilson still begs for it all the time. He did wear me down the other day while I was cooking dinner. Everyone was being very whiny and annoying and it was difficult for me to do anything in the kitchen. i decided that they could watch one show. Sometimes, the TV is a great babysitter and a great distraction. One show can reset everyone’s attitude for the rest of the night. I am hoping to stick to my guns most other days. i am sure Wilson will quit asking after a while….I hope.
I never thought that I could live without watching a little bit of tv each night, even though I knew that there was nothing morally uplifting on it. Some one once said that we should gauge what we watch through the eyes of Jesus….would we watch it if He were sitting next to us on the couch? I have to admit that most of the shows that we watch are full of adultery, sexual immorality, murder, profane language, and a host of other unbecoming behaviors….and we don’t even watch the worst of the worst. I felt that we were watching some of the better shows, but deep down knew that we weren’t. I guess I will have to stick to Survivor for now, until I can find something that is morally uplifting.
Overall, this was a fabulous was to break old habits and start new ones. Sometimes it is best to shock the system in order to change things for the better. We all detoxed from television over the past six weeks. It was the best thing that our family could have done at the time. We played games, stayed outside longer, had more dance parties, played Monster, slept more, and read more books. I would do it again in a heart beat.