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TV: You’re Dead To Me
In 2010, I swore off celebrity magazines, cleaned out my RSS feeds, and significantly reduced my intake of Hollywood hoopla. (You can read about it here – there are some good bits about the relationship between celebrity imagery and body image, I think.)
I’ve mostly stuck to my guns. I bought, maybe, two or three issues of US Weekly in the last year, and I only occasionally give in to my curiosity about what’s happening on blogs that used to be my favorite sources for celebrity gossip.
But this season, I got suckered into both American Idol and Dancing With The Stars. I know! I thought I was cooler than that, too! But as I confessed in my post last year, I thoroughly enjoy the melodrama of Idol and DWTS. There’s nowhere to hide while singing or dancing – one’s true character is shown in all of its fragile human-ness, and I love that. Also, I love to look at Jennifer Lopez. And her outfits. And the way her nail polish matches her outfits.
But every Wednesday, when I realize 90 minutes of my life have passed while I cooed over how pretty J.Lo. looks, I feel like a lamer version of myself. It’s not dissimilar to the way I feel when I mindlessly snarf food I didn’t intend to eat.
And now that Melissa and Dallas at Whole9Life have thrown down the gauntlet with their Kill Your TV program, change is coming to our living room.
Dave and I are taking on the challenge. No TV for the month of May. It shouldn’t sound like a big deal – and the reason I know I will benefit from trying it is that the idea makes me feel a small flutter of anxiety.
Weeknights will be fine. We’ll eat dinner. We’ll play with Smudge. We’ll read. I’ll make food for the next day and head off to bed.
But weekend evenings, we often curl up with dinner and a movie. From here, Friday and Saturday evenings are looking like long, quiet stretches – which only makes me realize how much we rely on the TV to provide an easy way to pass the time.
I’m kinda horrified at that last sentence.
I don’t want to “pass the time.” I want to thrive. I want to Do Stuff.
So we’re unplugging our TV on May 1. Instead of flopping on the couch with the remote, I’ll flop with a book. Or work on my Prague scrapbook. Or play the piano. Or adapt new recipes. Or go for walk in the neighborhood. Or meditate. Or write blog posts. Or enjoy some bonus sleep. (Sssshhh… there’s even been talk around our house of instituting an after-dinner dance break every night.)
I’m not an anti-TV zealot, nor do I pass judgment on people who watch TV. Let me be perfectly clear: I love-love-love to loll on the couch with Smudge, Dave, a plate of dino-chow, and some craptastic entertainment. But I’d like for that activity to be a sometime indulgence rather than a nightly norm. There are far too many things I want to do that I say I don’t have the time to do. If I turn off the TV, I’ll get at least 60-90 minutes back every day.
Therefore, no TV in May! Then Dave and I will discuss how TV fits into our healthy lifestyle after the 30-day experiment… just like we did with the Whole30 eating program. Just as I sometimes decide to eat tortilla chips, I suspect I will sometimes decide to tune into J.Lo. (I know Jennifer is crying tears of relief right now!) But it will be a decision, not a habit.
How about you?
Are you ready to kill your TV for a month to see what kinds of fun activities emerge without the blue box? Just take a look at the Whole30 Kill Your TV program and consider it. Like the Whole30, I suspect this will be more manageable when we all do it together.
(By the by, a google search for “kill your tv” yields some powerful, clever imagery.)