I have a love/hate relationship with cable television. We’re on again, off again, and sometimes I just don’t know where we stand. Like now.
I remember going to school as a kid and hearing about how other kids’ parents restricted their tv watching–wouldn’t let them watch the Simpsons or Roseanne, or set a time limit on their tv watching. It sounded so…barbaric to me as a child. I’m not really sure why, but my parents had a very laissez faire attitude about television. We watched everything. Whenever we felt like it. I remember watching Knots Landing and Days of Our Lives with my mom in elementary school. I doubt I’d let my children be that free with television, if I had any that is, but I don’t think my parents were being neglectful, it just wasn’t a thing.
So living without cable wasn’t really something I thought about much. Or ever. Until other people started talking about it and I fell in with the artistic crowd at college and disdain for the ordinary, television included was subtle but present. It still didn’t mean much though as my college apartments were all well-equipped. And really, I enjoy television.
A few years ago, I gave up tv for lent. I had read something about not just giving up something, but adding in something…so I gave up tv and replaced it with other activities. Like internet surfing. Okay, so that wasn’t the intent, but that’s really what happened. And eventually I just missed it. I’d be home on a weekend night alone, and really just want to watch some bad reality tv. So I got cable back.
Which brings me to now. I haven’t really turned the tv on since school started last week. It was an intentional fast the first week, since I knew I would be stressed and needed rest. Which is one good thing that came out of the time when it was gone–my viewing habits have changed. I’m intentional about what I watch now…it’s never just on for noise. And I grew to love silence. I embrace it. There are days I get in the car after work and drive home in silence. For 45 minutes. Because I need the rest. It’s sabbath, I think.
And so I’m back again at the place of thinking about canceling the cable. Week 1 of school is over, but week 2 has been equally tiring, though for different reasons. I started my morning workout routine again this week, with the alarm going off at 5:30 AM. I don’t love getting up that early, but I love how I feel when even if the rest of the day is shitty, I’ve at least accomplished something. With a 5:30 wake up comes a 9:30 bedtime, my day compressed. And so I haven’t turned the tv on, not wanting to waste my waking hours with it. Which has me thinking, maybe it’s time to cancel again. Not for any silly argument about it wasting brain cells or anything like that…but because I like the silence not having it provides. I like the rest. I also really like Toddlers and Tiaras every once in a while. Like I said, it’s love hate.