True Confession: I love MTV’s Teen Wolf. There’s just something about the mixture of teenage angst and fake supernatural phenomena that sucks me right in. I watch reruns of it every summer, and have even been known to sit through The Slowest Streaming Ever on MTV.com to watch new episodes.
So when I decided recently to quit watching shows like Teen Wolf in an attempt to cut back the television in my life, I lamented for a bit.
I mean—I looked forward to vegging out with Scott and Styles during the evenings after a long day of work.
I’m Cutting Back TV To Simplify My Life
My decision to cut back on TV is part of my overall mission to simplify my life this year, and unlike my capsule wardrobe (which is just plain fun), this TV-reducing effort is more difficult, partly because of another true confession:
I completely fit the average American television watching profile, meaning that I watch 2-4 hours of TV per night.
Apparently this makes me normal. According to statistics, the odds are high that you watch this much TV, too.
Now, I won’t speak for all the other “normal” TV people out there, but here’s why I like TV:
- It relaxes me after a mentally draining day (which—let’s face it, is basically every day).
- It’s something my husband and I do together.
- It makes boring tasks (like paying bills or folding laundry) more enjoyable.
- It makes me laugh.
- It gives me an imaginative escape into another world or story.
In spite of these things I like, though, I’ve noticed something about myself: I always envy people who don’t have TV’s. These people seem to do so many interesting things. And to me they also seem less harried, and more calmly purposeful about their life.
When I meet them or read about them, I find myself wishing that I could cut out TV, too, and do something more interesting with my time.
Also, one of my highest motivations for simplifying my life is to remove the things that distract me from what really matters—namely God and other people. TV, though wonderful in the ways I listed above, doesn’t help me to connect to either of these things that matter most.
My Biggest Challenge So Far: How To Watch Less TV When Watching TV Is What I Do With My Husband
That said, one of the biggest challenges for me with this effort is that watching TV is something my husband and I do together, and I’m having a hard time coming up with good replacements. The “interesting things” I want to do with my time do not
always often match the things he likes. And though he’s open-minded to new ideas, he’s not equally intrigued by a life with less TV. (In other words, he’s perfectly content to keep things just as they are.)
These are still the early days of this latest simplifying endeavor, and I’m still experimenting with how to make it work. I’d love to share more about the specific steps I’m taking (because I actually have a little strategy going) after I’ve got more time under my belt. In the meantime, though, I’d be curious to know if you have any good ideas or thoughts on cutting back TV, especially if it’s something you do with other family members.