Cutting the Cord

One of the best decisions I ever made came from a place of necessity. After my divorce, I had to find some ways to save money so one of the first things to go was my very expensive dish bill.

I don’t recall how much we were paying for tv but it was close to $100 a month. It bothered me at first that I couldn’t afford what I considered a very basic utility and right.

But you know something? I didn’t miss it for very long because it quickly became clear that I didn’t watch shows so much as I flipped channels. I had so much more free time on my hands because I wasn’t mindlessly flipping between HGTV and ALF reruns.

I live in the country where internet options aren’t great so I don’t use any streaming services but do have an antenna which gives me access to some fabulous entertainment. I’m listening to a great PBS concert while writing this and have access to a vegan cooking show, documentaries, some neat reruns and, of course all the modern stuff brought to us by the brilliant minds of network television executives today.

If the tv is on in my house, it’s to watch something specific and not to kill time. And since I’m not flipping through hundreds of channels all evening long, I have more time to read and to do other things I enjoy.

Not to mention, many tv shows (I’m looking at you Chip and Jo) and all commercials are designed to make you feel dissatisfied with yourself and your life. Plus, there’s just not much on television today that’s worth the brain cells you’re killing by staring at the thing. By minimizing my tv exposure, I have actually increased my happiness.

Thinking about cutting the cord? I say do it. If you’re on the fence, add up how much you spend on tv in a year and think about what you could do with all that money! Even if you invest some in a streaming service, you will be saving hundreds and possibly thousands a year!

It may feel weird at first but I promise you won’t regret it!

Found Time

I wrapped up a project at work this week and rewarded myself with a four day weekend. Everyone needs a little mental health time.

Thursday was cleaning day (doesn’t my living room look nice when it’s clean?), Friday was for adventure and today is dedicated to prepping for the new week. But Saturday, Leap Day, was found time and I used it to do something I never do: nothing.

I read, watched a movie and even took a long nap. It was a beautiful sunny day which should have been spent out hiking or doing something productive but I have no regrets.

Everyone needs a day to decompress and to hit the reset button. Leap Day was perfect for that. Today is a new day and a new month, a perfect time to start fresh goals or to recommit to old ones.

I Miss Those Days

college days

I commuted to Ohio University and often found myself with time to kill between classes. If the weather was good, this is where you could find me. Countless hours were spent sitting on this sunny hillside plowing through centuries of good books as I pursued my degree in English.

I miss those days. 

It was wonderful having nowhere to be but right here, sitting in the grass with a book in my hands. It was here that I read my first Ian Fleming book as part of a film noir class. It was here that I developed an appreciation for Indian literature and it was here that Jane Austin came to life.

I suppose I could go sit there with a book someday but I’m guessing you really can’t go home again. I don’t belong there anymore. But the memory – ah, the memory of the smell of fresh cut grass, the sun beating down, the feel of a book in my hands –  it’s the best memory of my college career.

 

I found a lot of time

There aren’t enough hours in the day. Don’t you agree?

That’s why I made the decision a few years ago to pull the plug on my satellite television. I was spending about $50 a month for 150 channels and nothing to watch. So the satellite is gone but I still have network tv thanks to a cheap antenna.

I’m not one of those tv snobs who claims to be above it. In fact, I LOVE the Big Bang Theory and my Sunday morning revolves around Mr. Charles Osgood on CBS Sunday Morning. But I try not to allow the television to dictate my schedule or to take up too much time. Sometimes I turn it on for noise in the house while I do chores. Sometimes I can go all day without flipping it on.

And you know something? I don’t miss the satellite and I have found so much extra time to read, walk, do chores and other things I enjoy.

Have you tried it? Why not flip off your tv tonight and do something else? You might be surprised how much you enjoy it!

It’s a little dusty

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This is my bike. It is July and this is the first day my bike has left the house since last October. How sad is that? What did this beautiful, shiny, new bike do to me that I refuse to take it out for a spin once in a while? Am I really so busy that I can’t go for a little ride?

Remember when you were a little kid and how much you loved your bike? Or was that just me?

Maybe we should spend less time working and running and stressing and more time doing the things that bring us joy. Real joy. Not the artificial kind that comes from watching a stupid tv show or the fleeting kind that comes from buying a new pair of shoes. The kind of joy that makes us feel young again, the kind that you can’t buy.

Grab your bike! I’ll race you!