What Will You Accomplish Without TV?

In Life Reflections, Regan Pop by Gina Regan

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Gina Regan

Gina Regan

I broke my thumb today.

Well, it’s at least badly sprained.

Ok, that might be a slight exaggeration, but I definitely strained something, and I’m sure it will have long-term ramifications on my hand dexterity. I can’t even fathom eating with chopsticks in this state. We’re at Code Red here, people.

Do you bother to think about things when they’re operating at the status quo? If my thumb hadn’t succumbed to this mystery injury (I woke up like this, but not in that fun Beyonce kind of way), I certainly wouldn’t be Googling “the anatomy of a thumb,” or dedicating a blog post to my precarious claim to pain. I can only assume that I would instead be participating in thumb wars galore, scooping ice cream with abandon and generally taking my opposable digits for granted.

Recently I have been thinking about how much TV I watch (spoiler alert: a lot). It’s become a default setting for me; a way to procrastinate and fill the hours after work. There are a lot of things I’d like to do, especially in the summertime when I don’t have to wrap myself in 17 layers of outerwear to stroll through the neighborhood. I’ve even made lists.

Yet, inevitably, I find myself coming home from work or drinks with friends or my latest thumb war tournament and parking it on the couch thinking, “I’ll just relax for a bit and then tackle that chore/book/phone call.” Fast forward three hours and I’m on my third consecutive episode of “The Next Food Network Star” and am feeling really emotionally invested in each of the contestants (I’m pulling for ya, Luca!).

Maybe it’s the clarity that comes from a near brush with death, but I’m finally going to take the plunge and curb my TV time (please hold the applause). I don’t want to wait on my life. I’m done being content with the status quo. I have loads of activities and projects that I never find the time to start because that time is sucked up by “Orange is the New Black” and “New Girl” (stereotypical female twenty-something alert).

Since I’m not a monster, I will start out by limiting my TV time to 1.5 hours a day. That might still seem like a lot to some people, but it’s actually 3.5 hours less than the national average. Yikes.

I will probably never be able to operate a remote control again anyway—due to my injury and all—so here are three things I will do instead of watching TV:

1. Start a book club. I have been wanting to organize this for a while, but always end up, you guessed it, procrastinating.

2. Exercise. I like running, but have fallen out of the habit. I will start running again. In fact, I just signed up for the Hudy 14k on September 20th. I hear there will be beer.

3. Write. I truly enjoy writing, yet hardly do it outside of work. It often seems like an insurmountable task to sit down and begin the creative process, which is why it’s so easy to passively flip channels instead of actively put pen to paper (or cursor to computer screen?). Regardless, I hereby publicly vow to get over my fear of failure (which, let’s face it, is almost always the real reason we procrastinate) and start writing more.

Anyone else feel like they use TV as a crutch to delay their lives? What will you accomplish when you step away from the remote?

Photo (Flickr CC) by Robbt

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Gina Regan

Gina Regan

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Gina is a proud Ohioan who likes to take “extended pit stops” in other countries. She graduated from Xavier University in 2009 with a degree in History, and then spent a year teaching English in Spain. When not butchering the subjunctive tense of the Spanish language or dreaming up new places to escape travel to, Gina can be found working for Cooperative for Education, a non-profit dedicated to breaking the cycle of poverty in Guatemala through education. Among other things, Gina writes their blog and case study content, and has also published a guest post for Adventure Life’s travel blog.
Gina Regan

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