On being unplugged, but not nearly as cool as Eric Clapton

I wrote this post about a week ago, when I was still kicking this idea around in my mind.  Heck, I’m still not sure about it.

I am thinking of starting a blog.  Thinking seems to be all I do, because I’m scared to pull the trigger in case the thing turns into a pit of narcissism and monotony.  No one wants to read my diary.  Not even me.  And yet, I write so little now that I’m a liar when I call myself a writer.  Can’t remember the last time I wrote anything, let alone something worth reading.

But we’re in the middle of this recession/depression/whateveritis and I think I’m going to want to tell stories some day about how we lived through it.  It’s not like, Dorthea Lange portrait-worthy, but it seems more and more that the world is crumbling down and skies are falling and yet, in many ways I’m happier, we’re happier than ever.

Honest to goodness, I think it’s largely because we got rid of TV.  No, you’re not mistaken, there’s still a 37 inch piece of expensive technology hanging on the living room wall.  But there’s no cable feeding into it—we decided to break up with Comcast and save ourselves some cash.  I can’t turn a box on and waste 4 hours on a Saturday flipping through channels, glazing over in front of CNN or some sort of crime show marathon on one of those channels that involves three letters starting with T (man, how many days have I wasted on TLC, TNT, or TBS and their unending marathons?).

It’s like that cable was a needle shooting drugs straight into my brain.  I had stopped reading! YES. I had stopped reading.  There was a day when I would stay up late and wake up early just to immerse myself in a book, and somewhere between English-major-burnout and TV-induced-apathy, I stopped reading books.  And now that we’ve pushed that little pusherman out of our lives, we’ve made it through withdrawal into beautiful, beautiful sobriety.  I’ve been home alone most of the weekend, and I haven’t watched any TV since an hour of “John Adams” on Thursday night with Jon.

via hj91 @ Flickr

via hj91 @ Flickr

It’s amazing how many hours there are to fill when half of them don’t get sucked out of me through a cable.  I wake up and make coffee and spend an hour or so reading news and blogs.  I crank up some music and dance through the chores of keeping our house from being taken over by puppy fur and the smell of wet paws.  I pour myself a big ass glass of sweet tea, grab my shades (to keep from being blinded by sunlight on a page), and head out to the backyard to read in the sunshine while the puppygirls nap at my feet.  This is my favorite way to spend a weekend afternoon.  Jon comes home and we chat in the backyard while he tosses tennis balls for the dogs until we decide it’s time for dinner.  We talk a lot more now, and I have to say, I didn’t know how much I was beginning to miss having real conversations with my husband until suddenly we were having them again.  We take a lot more walks.  We sit and read together.

Now, I’m not saying we don’t watch things.  We have a subscription to Netflix and have been streaming shows we missed the first time around like “30 Rock” and “Friday Night Lights.”  We get dvds in the mail like “John Adams” that I mentioned earlier.  But the hours we spend watching are much fewer than before.  It’s funny how much I dreaded giving up cable, how much I thought I would miss it, only to find how much more I enjoy the things I was previously missing out on.  I thought it would be hard to wait to see shows until they were on Netflix, but I have no idea what is going on on “LOST” or “The Office” and I have realized that I totally don’t care.  I find I’m less worried now that I don’t spend mornings and nights being told how bad things suck in the world by perky newspeople on CNN.  I even find that I want fewer things now that I’m not subjected to constant messaging from advertisers.  In fact, at this point, it’s hard to feel that by giving up cable, I gave up much of anything at all.  I gained so much more.

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5 thoughts on “On being unplugged, but not nearly as cool as Eric Clapton

  1. You’re right, I’m almost certain of it. I’ve been fighting the pull to do this very thing ever since hearing that you were giving it up.

    I’m not ready to commit yet, but I’m leaning…

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  2. yayyyy sarah! maybe i’ll start blogging, just cuz i already have a wordpress account and a single post… and i know you’ll read it!

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