My 3-week TV diet

My wife and I made a huge life decision this week … one that may rival the little bundle of joy we received last October when it comes to learning to adapt to change.
That’s right, my friends … we’re cutting the cable.
TV, that is.
Despite my overly dramatic first sentence, it’s only temporary. We’re switching from cable to the surprisingly much cheaper dish. The decision was made this week, and our cable was supposed to be snipped Friday (though as I write this on a Saturday, we still have it).
Now we could have waited to cut the cable until the day our dish arrived so there wouldn’t be a lull in mind-numbing entertainment in our household, but we’re going to run a little experiment.
We’re not scheduling the dish for a while. Three weeks, to be exact. And the only reason we … scratch that … the only reason I need TV in the second week of September is because that’s when the NFL regular season starts.
No amount of potential for self improvement could keep me from going TV-less while my Cowboys are on (and hopefully winning).
But for those three weeks, I am hoping for a little self improvement. By no means am I a couch potato … heck, I work way too much for that. Nor am I a TV-head and entertainment junkie.
But I likes me some TV. It’s on when my wife and I eat. It’s on when we head to the living room after the kid’s put to bed. It’s on in the morning … it’s even left on sometimes because we’re one of those strange couples who think dogs like the noise when nobody’s home.
Our TV is most likely our most-used home device, aside from the air conditioner this summer (can I get an amen?). When it’s not on, there’s an odd silence in the house … almost like a loud over-talking relative who’s been staying with us the past seven years decided to step out for a while.
To go three weeks without it, I’m not sure how I’ll react or how it will change me. I mean, three weeks is nothing in the grand scheme of things, but it will be the longest I’ve ever gone.
For three weeks, I’ll be missing out on the beginning of the new fall season on the networks. I’ll have no idea what people are Tweeting about when “True Blood” starts again (not that I ever did), and should some big nationwide news event happen, I’ll have to rely on the (gasp!) Internet for the details.
Well, I suppose I could our newspaper’s wire system … but still …
Growing up, I never would have thought this would be a problem for me. I spent my youth and my teenage years in a small East Texas town that still has never seen a cable wire. And we didn’t have the dish, so we relied on a tall TV antenna bolted to the side of the house to pick up one really clear channel (ABC) and three kind-of fuzzy channels (FOX, CBS and NBC). I think we might have received PBS somewhere in there, too, but I can’t remember.
It was never a problem for me. As a kid, I played outside 75 percent of the time, and when it was raining or too cold, I played video games. Besides, real childhood memories come from building forts and invading your cousins’ forts in mock wars using sticks … or backpacking through the woods with your best friend and pretending the two of you were off to some undiscovered land.
Memories do NOT come from the television.
So I’m hoping for these three weeks, I get a new appreciation of life without TV. It may mean more quality time with my family. It may mean being bored off our rears.
We shall see.
My hope is this — when the TV comes back on, it won’t be as necessary.
Except for football, of course.


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