I have to admit, I suffered classic, unmistakable symptoms of withdrawal. I felt lost, I felt unmoored from the world and the remote seemed to taunt me. What if we missed the greatest episode of "Chopped" ever (as in, what if there were eagle eyes or pig brains in the basket? If you've ever seen "Chopped," you know exactly what I mean...)? What would I do without the voyeuristic comfort of "House Hunters" every night? What about "Will and Grace" in the mornings, when the kids were finally enmeshed in their play and I could grab a second cup of coffee? And for heaven's sake, what about "Project Runway"???
These were my initial thoughts but I'm also going to admit something else. True confession time: I love junk TV. I mean, I really *love* it. Give me a Real Housewives of Wherever and I'll sit and watch it in utter fascination. Getting a chance to watch how the priviliged and elite live (and waste their money and ruin their marriages)? Uh, yes please! It's the best and truest example of watching the metaphorical train wreck -- that state of being unable to look away.
But suddenly I was forced to look away. Because there was nowhere to look, nothing to look at! I didn't quite get into cold sweats and trembling hands, but I was pretty miserable at first. Then, slowly, I began to notice there was far less noise in my head. When I was loading the dishwasher I wasn't thinking about Josh from "Million Dollar Listing." I wasn't wondering who
So. Fast-forward to now. I've been clean for a couple months and honestly, I just could never go back to watching cable like I once did. In addition to saving quite a chunk of change each month and having that blessed relief from all the brain noise, I also seem to have gained hours in my days. Naptime for my babies now seems to stretch ahead of me with all kinds of possibilities, and isn't just a matter of two 1-hour shows. Life is measured by other rhythms, my mind filled with clearer thoughts, our money saved or more wisely spent on better things.
You know, I've heard TV described as "soulless." And how true is that? Do you know there are people who sit in conference rooms, discussing how to get you glued to a show so they can get more and better advertising dollars, so they can pad their pockets and *get rich off you*? I'm reminded of the lyrics in James Taylor's song, "You've Got a Friend":
...People can be so cold.
They'll hurt you and desert you.
Well, they'll take your soul if you let them.
But don't you let them.
So here's my challenge to you, dear readers: Consider cutting cable. Think about it. If not, just think about majorly cutting back on your viewing time. Please don't think I'm preaching to you...I'm a self-admitted former junk TV junkie, after all! I just know what it's like on the other side of things. And I highly recommend it. I know what I've gained: time, money, peace. I also know what I've lost: I don't keep up with the Kardashians. Weep for me if you must. *wink*
Note: This is the first of a post series I'm beginning called "Mommy Challenges." Which isn't at all meant to be limited to mommies only, but is geared toward mommies who want to live better lives for themselves, their husbands, and especially their children. "Better" meaning simpler, fuller, richer, more focused lives. This is my goal and I would love to encourage you to join me!
Another Note: We still offer our kids plenty of entertainment, which I plan on cutting back as well. It's too easy to buy Nick Jr. DVDs at Target.
Final Note: "Project Runway" is available on Lifetime.com within a few hours of original episode airing. There's simply no need to live without Tim Gunn (perish the thought!).