My Life Unplugged
I don’t know how it works in your house, but in mine the TV is almost always on. It’s not I am sitting in front of the TV 24/7. You’ve read the blog. There is no way in hell I could get all this stuff done if I was camped out in front of the television. It has become sort of the soundtrack to my home life. It is just always on to the point where I have difficulty falling asleep at night if it isn’t on (even if I have no idea what is on, just so long as it is not a) ESPN or b) a horror movie). Sure, one of us does actually watch a lot of TV from the comfort of the couch but that is not me. Just saying. But during those times I do crash on the couch to actually watch Dance Moms (what is WRONG with me?), I am also on my laptop and/or phone because while someone watches the TV all the time, I have some form of technology within arm’s reach. After all, I need to like all those status updates about Dancing with the Stars (even though I don’t actually watch it, the boy does) and ridiculous photos of your kids passed out on the potty. And that pig isn’t going to get hit with an Angry Bird without me. Heck, I can barely run without having ear buds in.
Let’s face it. We are technologically addicted.
The boy came up with the brilliant idea of turning off the TV for one night a week. This also extends to the computer, except to look up reference material as needed for vicious games of Scrabble or cooking related needs. Or to solve the arguments. And no games on our cell phones (Here I have to apologize to all my opponents at Words with Friends for my absence. No. I did not die.). It isn’t so much about spending quality time gazing into each other’s eyes and having deep meaningful discussions about world peace. It’s more about just doing normal things without the distraction. Yes. I said it. Facebook, you are a DISTRACTION. I hate you. No I don’t. I love you. A lot. Don’t hate me. I can’t live without you.
Or can I?
So this is what we did. It’s pretty exciting and meaningful stuff.
Went for a walk. We held hands and skipped along the beach at Tahoe, gazing lovingly into each other’s eyes. Um no. Didn’t you read what I just said? It’s not about all that gooey relationship stuff. We leashed up the two old dogs and walked through our neighborhood. Without iPod’s or cell phones. Okay, we had our cell phones, you know in case of emergency but we weren’t texting or anything. By the way is surprisingly loud at 5:30 PM: dogs barking (not mine), kids screaming (definitely not mine), metal clanging (what the hell?), lawnmowers rumbling (come visit me next, kind sir). In fact, the entire neighborhood was teeming with activity. Apparently we were not the only ones enjoy a warm spring evening.
Ate dinner at the Laundromat. Eating sub sandwiches in plastic chairs from the 1970’s to the sound of ancient laundry machines whirring and chugging away is way romantic. And practical. We have a perfectly good washer and dryer at home. They work. Perfectly. We won’t get into the details as to exactly why it was necessary to wash every comforter we own at the Laundromat last night but it was necessary. Besides, who wouldn’t want to wash multiple large loads of laundry at the same time? At the SAME TIME, people! It was so worth the $9.00 in quarters I have to beat the change machine to give me to have everything washed, dried, fluffed and folded in 45 minutes flat. And said laundry joint happens to be right next to one of our favorite sub places. No brainer: dinner in a Laundromat. Awesome!
Cleaned out the kitchen corner cabinet. We have one of those really big corner cabinets under the kitchen counter. It is so big in fact that it has two lazy susan spinning shelves so we can organize and find things. The problem is it is not organized and we can never find anything. And stuff flings itself off the shelves frequently, begging to be used just this once. So while Bill peaked in the fridge to see what had died in there I spent twenty minutes spinning shelves and tossing out outdates processed foods in a box we’ve long since given up. Then I organized it by product type and frequency of use. I know. I am amazing. Don’t worry. It will last only a day or two.
Put away laundry. Admit it. You have some place in your house you toss all your clean laundry with the misguided plan of actually folding it and putting it away. Instead, you root through the pile of clean laundry each day looking for that one sock that matches that one other sock. Hint: It is either lying in front of the dryer or is actually in the dirty laundry (because for some reason, only one sock gets washed at a time in my house). You know you do it too. It’s not like we leave it there indefinitely. We actually get it all put away at least once a week, sometimes more. So in addition to putting away all those comforters, we also put away all our other laundry and we chatted about world peace and such while doing so (actually it was about whether or not Penelope has allergies, but if you have ever heard Penelope sneeze it could just as well be about world peace). This also prompted some reorganization of my running clothes drawer. I have too many colorful tank tops. Too many. But I love them. Don’t judge me. We also reorganized Penelope. She wasn’t too happy with all the poking and prodding but the determination is pollen allergies. It’s good to know the Black Death isn’t communicable to dogs.
Baked now bake energy bites. Wait, that doesn’t make sense. It was more like dumping a bunch of delicious ingredients into a bowl then turning on the Kitchen Aid. Then we chilled it, rolled the mix into little balls and packaged as a delicious and healthy afternoon snack for my office. (They loved it, by the way!) We also chatted about ant habitats. Don’t ask. By the way, looking for a tasty recipe for energy snacks? Check this out.
Sat on the couch and read. Who knew you could actually just sit on the couch and read quietly? I don’t think we did. It was blissful (even if I now have the idea to do this cool snake skin pattern thing in my team colors for the next flyball tournament thanks to Cosmo. Yes. I read Cosmo). It was also the perfect way to wind down our evening.
Before we knew it, it was well past our bed time. And we didn’t miss the TV or YouTube or Angry Birds or whatever. We didn’t solve the world’s problem. We didn’t do a date night or even play board games (this week). We were, however, productive which kind of makes me wonder how much more time I could have for fun things like running and kayaking and biking with the dogs if I turned everything off a little more often.
So there you have it. I like this new idea.