I’ve gone through 2 days without television. Overall, my happiness level has improved, although I’m a bit more irritable, and I find myself wanting to be more productive, which is difficult when you have children of any age, as they are constantly pressing you to do simple tasks for them. I truly love them though. The increased irritability is just speaking right now.
A notable change is that I’ve gone from 201 pounds to 199 pounds. This might not be significant, but I’m not purposely doing anything differently. I’ve just quit TV.
Physical fitness: 7.2
Due to the slight weight loss, I’m counting that as a physical fitness gain. Focus has also increased, while everything else remains the same.
What are your thoughts on TV? Do you watch a lot? Do you never watch it?
I sit quietly in an empty waiting room, waiting for my daughter to finish her therapy session, not wanting to leave and go shopping, just in case I’m needed, just in case she needs to leave.
I was recently asked how my life changed after my teenaged niece died. I ponder that even more, in this vacant space. I want to truly live my best life now. I don’t want to waste a single moment.
The rules are a bit different than the last time I tried. I can’t watch TV alone, and I can’t suggest to anyone that we watch TV together. If someone wants to watch TV with me, that’s OK.
I don’t have to be productive in the time that I take back from the gods of television, but during a lot of that time I naturally will be.
TV is about the only thing at home that makes me want to sit still. Although I enjoy reading well enough, I’m the kind of person who needs movement, so I would rather listen to an audio book or podcast while doing something physical, even if it’s going for a walk or doing some chores around the house.
TV takes me out of my natural self. It makes me sit still and be someone I’m not. I forget that I need to move. When I’m reading a book, that doesn’t happen. I’ll get anxious waiting for a chapter to end so I can go and do something.
I imagine this first half of my life and how it might have been different if I didn’t give 20 to 40 hours a week away to watching someone else’s story. I could have created more of my story. I could be more me.
I plan on writing a daily follow up piece to let the world know how the last half of my life goes with all this extra free time.
Today, I’m a muscular, not cut in anyway, 201 pounds, nearly 6 feet and two inches. Out of 10, 10 being the best, here is how I would describe myself.
Physical fitness: 7
Usually, my memory, physical fitness, and focus will improve without television, while my happiness will decrease. The happiness is a big one for me. It’s what drives me to wake up in the morning, and it’s why I self medicate with the TV pill. I’ll have to find new ways to stay happy.
I’m on day 4 of no television. I think this is the third time in my life that I’ve seriously attempted it.
No YouTube, unless it is for instructions or work;
That’s pretty much it.
I can watch Netflix if I’m with people who have for whatever reason chosen to watch Netflix, and I can’t really get out of it or find anything else to do, but in good faith, I have to try to avoid those situations.
Why the hell would anyone ever want to give up TV? I had successfully given it up in the past, and the other two times I did, I wrote novellas. They were highly productive times for me. The longer I give it up the more things I’m able to achieve. I even had a budding, paid, fiction writing career.
What Happened Before?
The reasons I failed to stay away from TV in the past are pretty much the same reasons that people get back to alcohol or heroin. I just wanted to be happy again. I get out of my own head – don’t have to think, feel, and do. I can just checkout at the end of the day.
I guess I will find that out in the days, weeks, and months to come. I’m getting a lot more done now, and it’s only been 4 days. Let’s see what happens!
My youngest daughter is suicidal. I’m managing it well, and I think she’ll be all right, but this is easily the worst time in my entire life, likely hers too.
It makes me wonder about how I spend my time though. Is there any value in watching TV or porn or whatever other bullshit ways I spend my time? Hell no! I’ve never given up TV for more than a year, but every time I give up TV, amazing things happen in my life. I make new friends, write a book, change careers. Why am I watching TV? Why am I doing half of the stupid things I’m doing. I don’t have free time, nobody does. All you have is time and how that time is spent.
I love you youngest daughter. You know this already, and I will make significant changes in my life because of you and because of my niece who ended her life earlier this year. I want every minute of the next 40 years to mean something, and it starts right fucking now!
Writing should be fun and inspirational, but how do you do it more often. I often think of writing like exercise:
It’s something I want to do;
It’s something I need to do;
It’s something that will benefit me;
If I build it into my routine it becomes easier;
It’s something I don’t have time for;
I just don’t feel like it right now.
Number 5 and 6 can make you go years without writing. Either you don’t have the time or just don’t feel like it. A lot of people will set about to punish themselves. In almost every case, this is a bad solution and won’t work in the long term. Sometimes punishments can masquerade as time management or self improvement. Some examples of punishment might be:
I’ll stop watching television;
I’ll spend less time hanging out with my friends;
I won’t play video games ever again.
Taking something out of your life that you enjoy isn’t a permanent solution. You might find yourself writing more, but you might also end up being more unhappy. Certainly if there are things that waste your time that you don’t enjoy, cut those out. That would be a reward, so go for it. Otherwise, think about rewards that work for you.
Once I complete my first chapter, I’m going to buy myself that new pair of shoes I’ve been wanting;
I’m going to watch an hour of television right after I write a poem;
Once I’ve completed that short story, I’m going to play video games.
For those who have very little time, keep in mind the time where you wait. Almost everyone has to wait for something at some point. You wait for the doctor, the dentist, friends, business meetings, family members, husbands, and wives. For those who take buses, trains, or planes, you can write while you’re commuting. In all of this time you spend waiting, you might be able to get a full novel complete within 2 years.
Good luck, and starting writing again. Feel free to contact me if you want to chat about your next project.
“He’s in there Ryan. He doesn’t say much though, but go ahead in.”
“Right, well, uh, thank you.”
I walk into a sterile smelling room with a bed, a TV, and an old man who I don’t recognize.
He says nothing in return, not even moving his head to look at me.
“I came here because I love you, and I want to forgive you. I want to move beyond the past and think about today and tomorrow.”
He coughs, but it feels like he’s coughing at me, as if to say that he doesn’t care what I think.
“You never really cared what I thought, did you? I remember how funny you thought it was to sit on my face and fart when I was a little kid. I didn’t think that was funny. I hated it. I asked you to go outside and toss a baseball around with me, and you were always too busy. You were always too busy to spend time with me, but you were never too busy to watch old reruns of Taxi, MASH, and All in the Family. You never once watched anything I liked on TV. You really had no interest in spending time with me did you? Why would you even have kids? What’s funny about that is I don’t have a single good memory that I can think of where it was just you and I hanging out. I mean, I pretty much mentioned all the good times we had, getting my face farted on and watching old people television that I was too young to understand. The bad times where you beat me and told me how worthless I was – those were really bad times. I don’t care about the stories of how your mom used to throw ashtrays at your head because you’re a bad person. Do you remember when I had to go to school and explain black eyes that you had given me? Do you remember breaking a mirror with my sister’s head? Everybody looked at me; they knew you were hitting me, but I told them the lies that you told me to tell, and they accepted them. I wanted to tell everyone the truth, but you always told me how I would get taken away from you and put into a foster home where I would be beaten worse, fed less, and maybe even molested.”
My hands are shaking from the anger, but he says nothing. He just sits there drooling. I reach over and grab his collar, pulling him toward me so that our noses are touching. He has to look at me. He has to understand.
“If all that wasn’t bad enough, you leave my mom, your wife, our family when I was 17. I needed you then, and I could barely get you on the phone. You went and had a kid with another woman, and I accepted that child as my sibling, until you abandoned that family too and didn’t even bother to show up to my wedding. I still got past all of that, but when your new wife ripped me off, stealing money from me, you got behind her and never spoke with me again.”
My hands are shaking, and I’m crying. I set him back down again, fix his shirt, and say: “I just wish I knew why, but it doesn’t matter.”
It really doesn’t matter. His motives don’t matter. His actions are everything, and he was a terrible Dad.
“I forgive you Dad. This is a clean slate. I had my say, and now I start from here. I see you from this moment on for whatever you are from now on. Look, I know your birthday is coming up soon. I’ll see you again on your birthday OK?”
He actually looks like he’s trying to say something. He doesn’t move his head but he’s mustering sounds carefully from his mouth, so I get up close and put my ear near his mouth.
“Don’t . . . don’t.”
He stops talking.
“Don’t what, Dad?”
“Come . . .”
“What are you trying to say?”
“Back . . .”
“Don’t come back? You don’t want me to come back on your birthday? I can come another day. I know you hate celebrating your birthday.”
“Ever . . .”
More tears roll down my face, but I’ve still forgiven him. I won’t take that back. We both need that peace. He is a terrible father. What did I expect?
Today my daughter (Aphra) was sick, so I stayed home with her. She’s ten years old, so she pretty much just wanted to stick herself in front of the TV all day. I love Aphra dearly, and I wish we could have just taken the day off together, hung out and done something awesome, but instead we got stuck inside doing nothing.
On top of that, I lost a client today . . . as if I care. It’s a web development client, and I’ve been trying to make the move from web developer to writer for years, but it’s been difficult, since I have a family. As a writer, I would make less money than I do as a developer. I would like to pick up some freelance jobs, but it doesn’t seem very easy or financially worthwhile.
I’m just starting this blog today, and the name is a pen name that I started using in the 1990s. I’m not trying to hide my identity, but I don’t want people who I work with today to know that I’m trying to transition out of web development, so if you do want to know anything about the real me, just ask.
I hope to make the diary category a true representation of my life as it unfolds, and as for the other categories – I’m just going to write what I feel and go from there.