Is this about paying the cable bill or am I addicted to television?

cable cordWhen did it happen that I found it necessary to have every television channel available?  We live in challenging economic times and many of us search for ways to help relieve the financial burden.  Could I do without my cable?  For several months I would contemplate the value of cable television as I faithfully paid my monthly cable bill.

A few weeks ago I did an experiment to see if I could survive without this creature comfort and disconnected all the cable boxes in the house.  Oh Lord, help me!  I realized immediately that the issue was no longer financial but that I was addicted to television.  How did this happen?  I am a level headed and productive individual, or so I thought.  Why was I having withdrawals and wanting to stare at the dark massive screen in the room?   

The first three days were hell!  I came home from work and immediately pulled out the DVD and VHS collection to watch as many movies as I could each night to pass the time.  It didn’t matter what the movie was about – I craved entertainment.  Then on the fourth day it started getting old.  From that point forward I worked around the house, concentrated on my business more and emailed and phoned clients to keep in touch, enjoyed the deck and the pleasant weather we have been having, felt more relaxed and spoke with friends and family, and enjoyed my tennis leagues with a renewed competitive spirit. 

I began to realize that without any focused effort my energy dispersed to various targets and life was becoming more productive and enjoyable.  Oh sure, I missed flipping on the remote but did I miss the cable?  Yes I would be lying if I said I didn’t miss it but in this case change was necessary and a good experiment. 

The other day I wanted to watch a football game so I turned on my little portable television.  I keep it in my home office on my desk and listened as I worked on a client’s listing.  It dawned on me; I wonder if I could get reception on one of our televisions with this little antenna?  I took the antenna and plugged it in to the back of one of the TV’s.  Well, I’ll be damned!  The reception was fine on the local channels and the ballgame looked better on the bigger screen.

A solution! A satisfactory alternative is now available to the cable bill.  Yesterday, we made a trip to Best Buy and purchased three indoor digital antennas for our televisions.  This is a very small investment for the compromise of dropping the cable completely.   Tomorrow we will contact the cable company and give our 30-day notice to cancel.

I learned several lessons during this experiment.  The most important is that changes in my daily routine were necessary to be more active in my day-to-day interactions.  A challenge! – Now, can I continue to make progress and transition my television time to other activities?  We will see…