What did people do before TV’s were invented? I mean that in a serious way, less the exasperated, frantic “WHAT DID PEOPLE DO WITHOUT TV’S? OMG I’M GONNA DIE!” sense. The question got me thinking about our lives and how much time we spend sitting on couches or beds and watching hours of TV a day. I am not a huge TV watcher myself, but I found that I liked having the background noise when I was cooking or doing laundry or writing. Currently, our television is broken. It has been for about a week, and happened just about when the New Year began. It will be fixed soon, we think, but it’s going to be at least a week or two until that happens. Without it, at first, I thought it was creepy for the house to be so silent, especially when my husband was gone to work. It’s like something was wrong inside the house. There wasn’t anything wrong other than the fact that silence has become weird to me.
When did that happen? When did silence, a quiet house, and I mean quiet without any sound other than my fingers on the keyboard and my dog chewing on his Nylabone, kind of quiet. The silent kind. Not the background-noise, gentle hum of a show or someone’s voice. When did that become so weird to me? To us? I kept thinking about this over and over, and decided that the TV being broken at the beginning of this year maybe isn’t such a bad thing after all. I remember when I was a kid, I had a TV in my bedroom. A small one, with a VCR built in to it.The thing I remember the most about it was how little I used it. I loved to watch Disney Channel movies at night (8pm on the dot, I was in my room with popcorn!) but I also loved to read so much. Oftentimes, I would turn the thing off and grab a book. For hours, I would be lost at Hogwarts, running with Ramona, being brave, tracking unicorns, and learning to fly. I would be outside, playing in the mud, or playing soccer or pretend tennis with my sister and my neighbor. When I was 7, I would have picked playing “people” with my sister over a TV, any day.
Being without a TV has made me realize that there are other ways to be entertained. It’s called doing something. Playing Uno with my husband, playing with my dog, or reading. Writing, making homemade popcorn, or tea and curling up on the couch just to talk. Exercising, or taking a much needed nap. Creating, doing, being, that is what life is like on this side of the screen. It’s about being around people and connecting and doing work and creating. Grab your kids, your bike, your dog, your best friend or significant other, and go for a walk. Grab a hot coffee, and sit outside for a moment and just breathe. Listen to the birds, the wind, the trees. Grab a book, and immerse your mind in a story.
Tonight, I’m writing some blog posts, taking a long bath, and curling up in bed with a book (The Hobbit!) There will be no noise, except the heater (it’s so cold!!) and the wind blowing outside.There is so much life going on in this world, in this house, and I’d hate for most of mine to spent with silence as an issue. Where TV is a savior to noiselessness. I want to be someone who can live with the silence well, who can be the master of her own mind when it comes to imagination and making use of time.
I’d love your feedback on TV watching, and how you like to spend your time, and maybe how you wish you spent it differently? 🙂
Love you guys!