Something funny happened a few weeks ago. I celebrated Thanksgiving with my family at Lake Norman in Charlotte. The first few days were beautiful, but then a nasty, rainy day showed up and we all were inside enjoying the lovely lake house. The house: pristine. Beautiful deck, ample space for four of us, full kitchen where I made Thanksgiving Dinner, docks with kayaks, etc…nothing left to be undone, even a massive 55 inch or bigger, TV and you know what we did?
We crowded around my 13 inch macbook to watch Christmas Vacation on Netflix…..I had forgot the VGA converter cable. I wish I had taken a photo.
In my journey of self-reflection this year I had some life changes this year and one of them included:
shutting off my cable (dish network)
Not only was $60+ of my hard earned paycheck going out the door every month, but like you, I had 100 channels but nothing I WANTED to watch. I was not unhappy with my service, Dish isn’t in charge of quality programming. Their customer service had always been fair with me. I had no complaints of them as a company.
First world problems everywhere…..
I found over time though that turning on my tv meant:
- a bad mood
- some laughs
- DVR dependency
- hatred towards commercials
- hatred towards the volume of commercials (isn’t that supposed to be illegal?)
- mindless watching
- time wasting
My bad mood stemmed from news, stupid shows, the ‘dumbing down’ of society.
The laughs came when I got sucked into the above comment. I also love me some Stewart & Colbert.
I hardly watched TV, I DVR’ed everything so I could skip through commercials.
Commercials. dontgetmestartedbitches…..where’s the ‘devil face’ emoji?
Mindless watching consumed me. I like the noise, but I found myself stopping what I was doing, even if it was a task like unloading the dishwasher, and two hours later, I’d awake from my TV coma to see the sun had set. Ugh!
Time wasting. TV is numbing. It’s a distraction. It was an escape. I used TV to ignore so many things.
So, I shut it down.
And started counting my money honey!
I still have a TV. I saved the equivalent of what I wasn’t spending and bought a wireless blu-ray player to stream content. I restarted my subscription to Netflix. I have hulu (limited commercials at the SAME volume) that are tolerable. After saving another month or so, I bought one of those digital converter boxes because I like the news SOMETIMES. I will watch the Olympics A LOT.
I can get almost all of the content I watched before (and then some) online. In a decision of TV or Internet: Internet won.
What am I doing with my money?
- Paying other bills
- Treating myself once in a while
- Not missing subtracting that $60+ each month from my account.
- I’m reading more. I’m writing more. Which has nothing to do with money but it has added to the quality of my LIFE, which is priceless.
As you race through the holidays at warp speed and watch the Christmas Story marathon on TBS all day, what is ONE single way you can increase your happiness? As we unwrap a pile of consumer goods, what does that really mean to you and your family?
Do I miss TV/cable sometimes? Yes. When I travel somewhere with cable, I watch it. It’s fun, but it’s now considered a treat, just like that pint of Ben & Jerry’s in my freezer. But, there’s still not much on there I WANT to watch. I like to be entertained, but I also like being more peaceful and more money staying in my pocket.
Do I want you to cancel your cable? Nah, you do what you want, you’re an adult. But, sharing this can shed a light on forcing us to reflect.