Sunday, September 25, 2011

No TV for Me (Kind Of)

Never, did I ever, think I would be saying that we cancelled our television service.

But the world is changing. Our nation is changing. It may be subtle, but it’s happening none the less. Necessity may be forcing the change at first, but eventually, I believe we’ll be glad we made certain changes, glad that we came full circle and back to basics. My husband and I cancelled our television subscription a couple of weeks ago. Yes, it’s true. We still have a TV, but now we have no cable or satellite. We made the decision based on a necessity to save money, but as I suspected, we’re pretty glad we made the change.

Sure, it was rough-going at first. Adjustments were necessary. My morning routine of flipping on the television while Jeremy and I got ready for work was turned on its ear. Now, instead of the sound of Matt Lauer and The Today Show, we listen to the sounds of coffee brewing and slow, early-morning, sometimes incoherent conversation. I missed the TV routine for a total of about five minutes, and then I began embracing the fact that sometimes the sound of silence is the best sound of all.

We also had to revamp our nightly ritual of eating supper in front of the television. I can hear you all cringing now, and I don’t blame you. I cringed a little when I wrote that. I was raised in a household where I sat down to dinner every night with my family at the table. No TV. No cell phones or other distractions. Just family and togetherness. Having been raised in such a house, I was surprised and disappointed in myself when Jeremy and I started eating in front of the television. One or two suppers here and there evolved pretty quickly into a nightly event, and suddenly, my good manners and upbringing were a thing of the past.

I wish I could say that no TV has reformed us from our ways, but alas, we still gather around the coffee table in the living room to eat. Instead of watching TV, however, we now watch movies and DVDs. We just couldn’t seem to give up the habit of being entertained while we ate. But hey, I still have hope. It’s all about baby steps after all.

In addition to a newfound love and renewed appreciation for our DVD player, we are also enjoying the gifts of technology. For most of our television watching needs, which includes mainly my obsession for Glee, we’re trying to stream our favorite shows from the internet. Can anyone say Hulu? (LOVE!)

I find it pretty ironic that going “back to basics” and getting rid of our television service has caused us to become more tech savvy, but again, it’s saving us money, and in today’s economic climate, saving money is the name of the game.

With the cancellation of our satellite service, we have trimmed our household needs down to the bare essentials. Electric, internet, cell phone, mortgage, insurance, and car payment are the only bills we have left. We’ve never had a home phone, so we save money there each month as well, and now that it’s finally cooled down, we’ve turned off our air conditioning for even more savings.

Truth be told, we could probably trim our household expenses down even further, but I feel really great about our changes, especially the television decision. So far, it seems to be working out wonderfully. Ask me again in six months, and I may be whistling a different tune and begging for my remote control back, but for now, I’m glad to be cutting some corners and finding that we really don’t need it all to be happy. 

Author's Note: This post was written in response to The Lightning and the Lightning Bug prompt "Never." The idea was to begin your piece, whether it was fiction, non-fiction, poetry, or otherwise, with the word "Never." As in, "Never forget to bring a towel to the sauna." I hope you'll click the button below and check out this truly awesome writing community. We're small, supportive, and fun. The linkup is available through Wednesday, so if you don't have a post ready now, no sweat. Come link up anytime between now and then. Hope to see you there!

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