As if the holiday season isn’t stressful enough, right before Christmas time our main living room tv went out. (Insert pandamonia, anxiety, and “holy shit I forgot to DVR RHOC!”) It had been coming for quite some time, as on occasion the sound or picture would break up.
So like any good man would do, my husband began looking into a replacement. But for some odd reason (like running a business and a demanding toddler perhaps?) the tv purchase was often mistakenly put off.
The reminders were constant as it became more and more apparent how often we would rely on the tv for entertainment or background noise. Through out the day we would each forgetfully head over to turn it on and kick ourselves, commenting about how we had to get one ordered pronto. The house seemed annoyingly quiet and the dogs endless panting at my feet would irritate me. Needless to say it remained a pressing issue for a few weeks, until one day, it stopped.
The walking over to turn it on, stopped.
The aching silence of the house, stopped.
The need to be in the “know,” stopped.
The want to watch the return from Dubai episode of RHOC, stopped (sorta).
And something else happened. One night, as I was making dinner, I heard my daughter humming her ABCs for the very first time. She was innocently playing in her toy chair looking at a book. My husband stood in the kitchen as it happened, and right then and there, I told him we wouldn’t be ordering another TV.
We discussed how we would have missed the entire humming session, drowned out by the noise of another news show, repeat commercial ad or junk tv replay. We talked about how much we had probably already missed, simply catching up on the “news” from the day or drowning ourselves in background noise. It shook us both, and made us more eager and grateful for the opportunity to really be present moving forward.
So instead of flicking on the Today show first thing in the morning, I actually sit with my daughter and eat breakfast. We talk about the food or play silly games. (Miss ya Hoda!)
As we prep or clean up dinner, my husband and I are able to have full, present conversations, or simply say nothing and enjoy the silence.
I even picked up a devotional I had been staring at for months. My writing increased and my reading and studying did too. We began finding more time for the simpler things like playing with play doh or impromptu dance parties. The dogs panting can still annoy me, but one day I know I’ll miss that.
Okay so let’s be real; (full disclosure as always): My husband and I still watch TV or movies together. Currently we are on a binge of Sons of Anarchy and have plans to wear patches as a badass MC of Four for Halloween this year (he doesn’t know this yet, but will soon). I also DVR RHOC and a few other crap shows and get to them when I have a break and hubby is out or baby is down for a nap.
Point is, those moments of viewing and noise distraction are more intentional and planned- less habitual. We agree to watch something and then sit down to watch it together with intent. Think portion control for TV.
I can tell you after “detoxing,” we don’t miss the distraction and excess mind clutter. And who doesn’t want more clarity, more productivity, more space for creativity and quality time?
Keep showing up friend.