Hello, my name is Nancy and I have a problem. Apparently, I’m addicted to television. To be honest, this came as a shock to me. Seriously. When people would ask me about a particular show I would say, “I really don’t watch much t.v.” I have four shows that I watch regularly and they generally flip flop, two per season; so that tallies up to about two to three hours a week. Or so I thought BEFORE we gave up television for three weeks. Here’s how it all got started.
Every year in January our church encourages us to participate in 21 days of prayer and fasting. While fasting generally refers to not eating, or giving up a certain type of food, or a certain meal every day, that’s not what we (meaning John and I) did. For reasons I won’t go into here, giving up food isn’t really an option for us. For a couple of years I gave up Facebook during this time but that was complicated because people message me through Facebook and then wonder why I’m not responding to their inquiries. Suffice it to say, we needed a change and that is why we turned off the television: no news, no shows, no chitchat in the background.
It didn’t take long for me to notice this annoying twitch in my right shoulder. It seems that every morning when I go into the bedroom to get dressed I automatically reach up to turn on the television, which is suspended on a stand over John’s dresser. And then I would remember, “Oops, no t.v.” I kid you not; this “twitch” lasted for two and a half weeks! And it wasn’t just when I’d go in to get dressed in the morning; it was EVERY SINGLE TIME I went into my room. I guess I felt like I might actually learn something of value in the 30 seconds it takes me to put on my shoes. Seriously, what is wrong with me?
On the up side, each time I would reach to turn on the television it would remind me to pray. John and I both agreed that the three weeks without t.v. was beneficial in many ways. He managed to read through several of the 40,000 magazines he has lying around the house (which THRILLS me because now they can go out the door!) I read five books (only three were novels which read much faster than non-fiction) and best of all; we talked more – much more. That can only be good, right?
At one point, John mentioned that perhaps we could cut back on our television watching permanently. I agreed thinking that was a great plan. Then, he said, “Maybe we can even get rid of Tivo.” I just looked at him calmly and said, “Honey, that’s the only thing getting me through this.” I can give up the chitchat. The news, I gave up years ago (that’s John’s vice.) But, NCIS? Not quite yet. Baby steps . . . baby steps.