I left my very steady job as a park ranger for the National Park Service, and I moved out of the country to live in the Caribbean where my husband attended medical school.
We lived there for three years before moving back last year, and we learned so many things from that experience. One of the important lessons I learned was how not having a TV in my house made me extremely, extremely productive.
I’ve now gone without one for four years, and I don’t miss it.
4 Years Ago
Now, there actually was a TV in my little tiny apartment in Grenada when I arrived on the island, but we were so broke and strapped for cash that I didn’t want to pay the $30/month bill. So, I had my landlord take it out of our apartment. That was almost 4 years ago to the day.
And wow, as I’m writing this, I shudder to think of that time in my life. I had no savings, $6,000 of credit card debt, piles of student loans, and NO JOB. Oy. I don’t know how I didn’t have a heart attack.
But that bad situation in my life made me work much harder than I ever had before. I started freelance writing, and over the last four years have built the business up enough that I now support my family on my income alone since my husband is still in his last year of medical school.
It might seem like I’m going off topic by talking about how I built my freelance business, but I think it’s really all interconnected.
Basically, I got rid of the TV and suddenly I had nothing to do in the evenings except write. I worked on my blog every night while my husband studied, and to be honest with you, the only time we really missed TV was around football season when we wanted to watch our favorite team, LSU, play college football.
However, we got around it by going to a friend’s house, and now amazingly my husband hardly mentions college football at all. He’s pretty much totally out of the habit of watching it, which is awesome for me because it means he spends more time with us.
The Extra Bonus
You know what took me so long to realize? I am a much happier, calmer person without TV.
I don’t look at any commercials, I don’t suddenly want all the bling that Kim Kardashian has. I turned off the materialism. I turned off seeing violence while flipping the channel. I turned off the trash that did me absolutely no good and certainly didn’t contribute to the betterment of my brain.
We do watch the occasional show online via Netflix or another method. We like watching cooking shows and other random things, but we don’t let it control our lives. We watch it on my iMac while sitting on the sofa as a way to decompress, but gone are the evenings of flipping through channels and letting the hours slip by.
Now, every night we work out, I write, he studies, we tidy up, run to the store, and do whatever else we have to do to keep our house running.
I think we are far more productive without TV and far less negatively affected by the world. It’s done wonders for me. What about you? Would you ever try going without a TV altogether?