when you don’t have a tv

and you have small kids, you spend a lot of time reading books, playing games, and otherwise, thinking up things to fill up your time and your space.  growing up as most americans in the eighties and nineties, tv was like a family member.  it was always there, talking to us, showing us pleasing imagery, anticipating our hearts every desire.  hopefully, my kids won’t grow up to feel the same way, but i can’t help but feel a little lonely and lost without my tv.  the house is so quiet, you can hear the wind chimes outside.  the house is so still, the plants and trees out the window moving with the breeze are very interesting.  and, there is no one to take the pressure off of me and the kids and our conversation together all day.

i’ve noticed some things about not having a tv.  call it a sort of social science experiment.

the fever pitch of anxiety that i have had within me regarding certain clothing styles, hair styles and just general physical appearance has quieted.  you would be surprised how much tv (in the form of commercials, i guess, or what people wear on shows) influences and informs about the latest styles.  i actually don’t know what the latest styles are.  yet instead of feeling like i am missing out, i am just blissfully unaware.  combine this with appreciating my body more than ever as i’ve grown older and have carried and born two children, and i am feeling more at peace with my looks than i have since elementary school, pre-third grade (probably about the time when everyone became suddenly fashion conscious).

the weather is another odd thing.  it’s not uncommon that i will be outside with the kids and someone, a neighbor or whoever, will address me with an incredulous tone and say something like, “can you believe this weather?!  it’s so nice out!”  and i will stand a little taken aback.  i’ve learned to recognize these proclamations from people as an odd sort of phenomena.  when someone says something with such enthusiasm about the weather, i know that the weather stations have been playing up a warm spell or a cold front or the amount of rain we’ve had.  when, really, to me, the extremes that people exclaim about are within a normal range of variation and, just being outside in it, i wouldn’t think twice usually about the temperature or precipitation.  people don’t know this, but they are involved in a sort of mass hypnosis craze over the weather.  it’s very strange to see from my perspective of never hearing the weather on tv or viewing a weather map.  i just stick my head out the door.  or i look at my thermometer on the wall, i look at the clouds, how fast they’re moving and what direction they are headed, and i make my own forecast.

besides the weather (which i might find the most bizarre of all) and fashion trends, i pretty much have no concept of news headlines or social happenings, such as with celebrities and the like.  the most i am exposed to are the headlines of articles people post on facebook.  and, i’ve gotta say, people might say i’m being “ignorant” and hiding from reality, but i find that i am much more happy and calm not knowing about all of the local and global tragedies the news is so fond of expounding.  i find that i am more centered in on the kind of life i want to lead and on my children and family, not being constantly drawn out by celebrity gossip and current events.  i am free from all of that.  and, as a consequence, i am able to think more about where my life is headed and what i really want to spend my time on. i am able to read a lot more, books that i can’t put down, books that would probably pale in comparison to a tv show in terms of gratification and stimulation but that, when tv is absent, are extremely absorbing.  i am able to write.  almost every day.  something that i truly love to do.

do i think you need to get rid of your tv in order to live a happy, examined life?  no.  and, like i said, i often miss my tv, especially during the holidays when i used to love nothing better than to gorge myself on hallmark christmas specials.  but i do think that my life is better without tv, everything taken into account.  it’s something to think about.  you could try it.  you might be surprised at how your life might change.  i am.


Author: Terry

Welcome! I am a Waldorf and unschooling-inspired homeschooling parent of three, ages 2, 5, and 8 living in the metro Lansing area writing from the front lines of parenthood. Join me as I try to navigate homeschooling and bask in the craziness of life with young ones. Feel free to leave a comment. I would love to hear from you! Thanks for stopping by!

2 thoughts on “when you don’t have a tv”

  1. I’ve noticed how hypnotizing it is when I see it at our in-laws. and how many visual cultural messages are sent directly into our kids brains during commercials and stuff. I would love to get rid of all of their movies and shows, and live totally screen free. maybe one day….

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