I think it’s important to ask ourselves occasionally,
“What are the most valued things in our life?”
Do we feel we have time for those things? More than likely, not. What is preventing us from giving enough time to them?
When I ask myself what’s most important, here are my answers: Faith, family, health, home. I’m sure your list looks pretty similar. Maybe add a hobby or job into the mix..but over all, pretty much the same I’m guessing.
Over the past few months, I’ve had this on my mind. I’ve tried to be more mindful and pay attention to what is distracting me or taking my time away from giving myself to my “list.”
The number one culprit has been our electronics. Not just for me either…I see my kids getting distracted by them as well.
I was beginning to see our brains oozing out until there was nothing of worth left inside. Just emptiness in our brain where we used to have conversations and laughter.
Sometimes, I feel like we are overtaken by TV and the never-ending list of other electronics that have taken over our home. I feel like I wake up checking my Facebook news feed and end my day checking my Facebook news feed. FOMO the (Fear Of Missing Out) is such a real thing. Even when I tell myself, I don’t REALLY care if people like my stuff, I must because well-there I go again…checking to see if anyone commented on that picture I posted. I’ve caught my kids saying, “post this picture on Facebook!” YIKES!
Even as I write this, it’s hard to focus because I want to switch over to the internet and check to see if my hubby is on the list for promotions in the Navy. Why can’t we just FOCUS anymore?!!?!?
So, I decided it was time to do something about it. It was time to get rid of some of the distractions…starting with cable and internet.
DUN DUN DUNNNNNNN!
Okay, pick up your jaw. I bet I lost a bunch of you by saying that. But…..I am a blogger so obviously I’m not going without it all completely.
We don’t watch much on cable (I observed we tend to watch Netflix) so getting rid of cable was a no-brainer. My intentions were to keep internet because…well it’s the internet. In these modern days, that feels like it belongs on the base of our “Hierarchy of Needs” with air, water and food.
My dad just sold his cellphone/internet company this year and retired…so, as you can guess, Internet and technology has been a big part of my upbringing. But, when I stopped in the cable office to drop off my cable boxes, I found out I would still be paying a ridiculously high amount just for internet. So, in a moment of frustration, I got rid of it too.
My phone can turn into a hotspot and we have unlimited data. Switching over to my “hotspot” is something I found myself doing quite a bit anyway as I was blogging because our internet was so unreliable. They told me the price would be cut in half if I waited a month and returned as a “new customer.” Sounds shady. But, I figured…I might as well give it a shot. I figured, if I can’t “rough it for 30 days,” then our electronic dependency problem is worse than I thought! Right?!
Well, I’ve lost track of when our “30 days” runs out. But, I honestly think it’s going pretty well. We have been using my phone for a hotspot for my blogging as well as for Netflix with no big issues.
My only “drawback”… it’s a little inconvenient because we have to “log in” each time. But, I really don’t mind it that much. If anything, it makes us more mindful of what we are doing and less likely to just “pop on the tv” unintentionally and camp out on the couch. We choose what we want to watch, and sit down and watch it rather than flipping channels like a zombie.
Through this experiment, I have found us to be on our devices much less and the kids have spent A LOT more time playing in their rooms and being creative!
Best of all, we are saving over $200/month!
Talk about a WIN!
I will probably look into the internet again soon just for conviencnce…but for now, it is working out good. But, I have NO DESIRE to get cable/satellite or any other TV subscriptions. I just don’t need the distractions. I’ve had about a month without it and I don’t miss it at all. In fact, I like this better. I’ve never been one to watch a lot of TV anyway. So, for ME, it doesn’t feel like a huge change. But, the huge change it DOES bring to the house, is the overall atmosphere. We now can have KLOVE playing our favorite songs softly in the background rather than TV as background noises. I can close my eyes and hear the kids laughing and building a tent in their bedroom–because they aren’t stuck in front of the TV.
I’m sure we will have to re-evaluate this once my husband is home for sports season (which won’t be any time soon so it’s not an issue.) But, what I told him was “this is a FAMILY EFFORT to be more focused on each other.” That includes him. He can easily sit and watch football or basketball ALL DAY LONG. Which, I get it-he enjoys that. But, I would much rather load us up and head to Buffalo Wild Wings and watch a game together of the teams he cares about instead of watching a random game just to watch it. Luckily, he’s spent most of his life living on a submarine. So, he is used to things being a “little inconvenient.” Driving somewhere to watch the game is nothing new to us either. Depending on where we have lived, sometimes the teams aren’t shown on local TV anyway.
Some of my favorite memories are of us packing up our 4 week old baby boy (in the cutest little Duke Basketball onsie ever) and going to a “hole in the wall fan bar” to watch Duke play when we lived in Washington. We went there so much, they got to see our little guy grow up. We loved it!
Living in Hawaii for the past 2 years has changed my mindset on so many things. I’m learning to live a simpler life and to focus on the things important to me.
By doing away with the distraction of TV in our home, I’m hoping to see us drawn together as a family more. There are so many other things we can do to work on bringing us together. But, this is a great start.
My kids are still small so this is something I want to establish NOW so that it is just NORMAL for us and less of a challenge when they are older. We already have enough other distractions taking us away from each other-work, school, sports, dance…why not wash away the things we CAN control???
I posted on my Facebook about this journey not too long ago. I was surprised to hear how many of my friends don’t have cable. How about you? I’d love to hear about it!