I have decided to go 28 days without television. I don’t know about you, but I’ve always scoffed whenever I read a celebrity interview and the subject says something like, “We don’t own a television” or “I don’t ever watch any television”. Yeah right, they probably watch TMZ every night to see if Harvey Levin makes a weak joke about them. But I am simply amazed when people say they don’t watch television because I have always watched a lot of television, especially when I have a normal, full-time job. Television fills my evening hours. If I am eating alone, I eat in front of the television (or computer). I have had periods where I watched little television, usually in foreign countries or because I was traveling a lot, and I noticeably missed its presence. Television is a comforting distraction. Don’t get me wrong, I will still be watching my favorite shows (28 days=Breaking Bad premiere), but I am cutting out the fat a la Real Housewives and Girls and Mob Wives.
I want to change my automatic habits. TV is one of them. I have a few other bad habits I’d like to tackle after this one, like:
- Cracking my knuckles (my dad swears I’ll get arthritis)
- Bad posture
- Eating the same foods over and over again (too lazy to try anything new)
None of these are really a big deal, but I think they are all associated with a kind of carelessness and mindlessness. The biggest of these is the amount of time I drain from my life watching TV. I have a few ideas on what I will do with my newfound free time like:
- Return some videotapes
- Blog daily
- Work out
- Play tennis
- Write a short story I’ve been putting off
- Groom my dogs
- Rearrange furniture
- Take on a DIY project (I am thinking of this if I can borrow the supplies I need)
- Work on my eBay business
- Come up with a tasty-but-cheap menu for upcoming camping trip and 4th of July picnic
- Come up with my personal investing strategy/philosophy
- Finish reading the Personal Finance Classics
- Brainstorm a game plan for FinCon12: What do I want to get out of it besides getting to meet everyone and hang out?
- Come up with a plan for my next documentary
- Finish Mandarin Level 1 on Mango Languages
- Read my subscriptions of WSJ and Barron’s
- Print the photos I’ve been meaning to print and use the cool frames I bought two years ago (still in wrappers)
Wow. That’s not even half of the stuff on my mental to-do list. I didn’t even know all that was just sitting in my head. It should be an interesting 28 days. Before this blog, I was never one to stay accountable, but having stayed accountable on my debt for over a year now, and tracking spending daily since January, I feel confident that I can reduce my dependence on television for the next 28 days. I’ll always watch a good show and never feel guilty about it, but I hope I will be able to recognize when I am just watching to fill the time or fill a void.