How I got through 31 days of not watching television and what I watched first.

I’m writing this at 10:45 p.m. from my living room couch. It’s September 1st as I write this, my first day back watching television after a month long hiatus from it. I’m laying back with my head on a pillow, my legs covered by an antique linen blanket. On the acrylic coffee table there are 3 white ceramic candleholders with tea lights flickering in them. To my right on the couch are 3 television remotes. To my left, a bag of chips and half a pint, a quarter of a pint, an empty jar  of London Fog flavoured ice cream from Foundry Ice cream with a spoon sticking out of it.

I am ready. I am set up. I am not watching television. I repeat … the television is not on.

For 31 days I’ve been looking forward to watching television. I haven’t looked forward to something this much since I finally got that third nipple removed.  Just kidding.  It’s still there.  Just kidding.  Never had one.

I didn’t even think about turning the television on until around 9:00 at night. I was busy canning tomatoes and peaches all day and I really wanted my first television experience in a month to be EPIC. A movie. A great series. A weatherman on CNN hanging sideways off a tree as a hurricane hits land throwing an octopus over his head. Something like that.

I had decided weeks ago that I was going to watch the documentary Amy, about Amy Winehouse and what a train wreck she was because of mishandling and misguidance. I love Amy Winehouse and I love documentaries so this was a perfect pick. But it turns out that movie isn’t out yet so I couldn’t watch the one thing I’ve been looking forward to. No problem. I’d watch Trainwreck with Amy Schumer instead. It’s not out yet. Straight Outta Compton! Not out yet. I KNOW! I’ll watch the last 3 episodes of The Mindy Project that I haven’t finished yet!!! Except I had finished them. CNN had some guy I’ve never heard of on, I’m completely bored by HGTV and I couldn’t bring myself to let Entourage: The Movie be the first thing I watched after a month of not watching television.  So I gave up.

After 10 or 15 minutes of clicking, scrolling, and searching I thought …. this is stupid. This is why I went on a television hiatus to begin with. Because I spent half the day half paying attention to shows I didn’t care about and half the night flipping around looking for something I wanted to watch. So I turned the television off and stared at my socks for a while. Then I ate the ice cream. And now I’m writing this post.

It’s not that I’m over television. AT ALL. So get that ridiculous idea right out of your head immediately. I think it was just sort of anti-climactic. I got too worked up over it, put too much pressure on myself to be entertained and just got overwhelmed. Or I actually became Amish. Can that happen? Like you stop doing normal, modern things and suddenly you’re Amish? Because if that’s possible it may have happened to me. I did spend the day canning tomatoes and peaches. And yesterday I tried to milk my cat. Oh no. I think I caught Amish.

Which could very well explain why I am not watching television tonight but instead, am listening to a radio show.

Radio. Radio is what got me through the past month.  The first radio thing that got me through the month was Chicago Public Radio’s This American Life.  It’s what I’m listening to right now. So I’m not totally Amish. More Mennonite really.   In fact This American Life was so instrumental in entertaining me whenever I needed it to last month, that by the middle of the month I donated money to them.

The other radio that got me through my month of no television was a local radio station.  Boom 97.3 .  I had that radio station on from morning until night.  And I got WAY more enjoyment minute for minute out of listening to it than most television shows I watch.  (As long as you don’t count The Mindy Project, House of Cards, Deadwood, Dexter, Breaking Bad, Transparent, Downton Abbey, Call the Midwife, Nurse Jackie, Shameless, Arrested Development, The Sopranos, Moone Boy, 4 or 5 episodes of Danger Bay, The Wire, Empire, the first season of Prison Break, Mad Men,  um …. and a few more) It’s the best music from the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s which sounds really dorky but you can hear The Jackson 5, The Smiths, then Blind Melon within a half an hour.  IT’S GREAT. It’s enough to turn an Amish woman English.

Other than those two things nothing else really changed around here.  Well that’s not true.  I worked longer because without television I had no reason to sit and relax.  If I tried to read or listen to a radio show at night it went something like this … “Opens book … head nods … drools on rug“.  “Turns on radio show … head nods … drools on cat“.

So that seemed like a waste.  I also went to bed much earlier than I normally do.  Partly out of boredom, partly because I was so tired from doing stuff for 17 hours straight.

I’m going to try to watch television again tonight.  Once I get the buggy shined up and the quilt made I’m sure I’ll be ready for a sit down.

Have a good weekend!


  1. Dawn says:

    Try Danger 5 on Netflix. Amazingly stupid and entertaining. A bit of an acquired taste.

  2. Peggy says:

    Two words: Orphan Black. BBC America. Best. Show. Ever.

  3. Teresa Jennings Richardson says:

    I started out smiling, then chuckling to myself and then laughed out loud so hubby asks, “you alright in there?” as I read this update. You actually made me think of myself. I love to read on a cruise. Sit in a lounge chair and just read til my eyes hurt. I was looking forward to reading the Left Behind series–all 12 books, all 3069 pages of binge reading. I didn’t quite get thru on the cruise. I finished up this morning around 10:30. Why did it take me so long? Reading relaxes me right to sleep, and I had forgotten that little fact. Writing and creating keeps me wide awake as I juggle all the individual characters and their lives, but reading what someone else wrote, just knocks me right out. And the last 3 books of that series were just a little boring and repetitive. Reminded me of those little blurbs before a commercial on TV to let you know what is going to happen after the commercial. If you cut all that junk out, the 60 minute show would only be 17 minutes long. And that’s the way those last 3 books of the 12 were, rehashing what had happened in the first 9, 10, and 11 books so much there was probably not 5 pages worth of new material. I was a little disappointed until I realized the epilogue hints there could be a book 13. Only thing is I don’t know how long we have to wait for it to come out. Satan has to be bound in the pit for 1000 years before we know what happens next. So tonight I finally got around to cleaning out the 3500 emails that had piled up in 12 days, read a few Facebook messages and saved my favorite things to last–your blogs. No wonder I laughed out loud. I didn’t fall asleep re-reading what I had already re-read several times before because your stuff is fresh and new and funny. I think I’ll watch some TV tomorrow. It’s Saturday, college football season and it makes the hubby happy. I think I may have ignored him for 12 days too.

  4. Linda says:

    Lots of interesting posts. I”ve become a TV addict because of hubby who is addicted to it.
    I love some reality shows and documentaries but in all honesty I’m a radio addict. Love Friday nights when I can stay up all night listening to CBC, PRI, etc

  5. Shauna says:

    I just finished all 3 seasons of The Killing. Great Netflix show. It’s from 2013 I think, so I’m totally behind the 8 ball on this one, but if you haven’t watched it – try it out. The first episode has really great acting in it and unlike most detective shows, I never really could figure out ‘who did it’ until they wanted us to know.

  6. Jackie H says:

    Have you tried watching TED talks? They are my go to when I need to be inspired and refreshed.

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