When I began my journey as an at-home father I knew sacrifices would need to be made. Going from two incomes to one was not an easy one, after all. It was also abundantly clear that one of the most obvious means of cutting back on costs was getting rid of cable, along with its delicious lineup of succulent programming. Well, friends, that time has come. The cable is gone.
It’s been a difficult transition thus far, I’m slightly embarrassed to say. Oh, I’m not curled up in a ball sobbing in the shower or anything. But I’ve become so used to the TV always being on that it’s been strange dealing with the sudden quiet that has settled over my house.
But that’s just it, isn’t it? Live television had become merely background noise. I didn’t care much about what was coming through the cable. Most of the shows I enjoy I can get via other methods. Cable TV had become a distraction, nothing more. Well, that distraction is gone now. Silence is king. What time I have is mine.
So what the hell do I do with it?
It would appear that my options fall under the categories of Self Improvement and Productivity. Exciting! Unfortunately, I’ve never been particularly skilled at either. I’m much more well versed in Self Destruction and Laziness. But, as they say, when a lack of cable hands you lemons…
Option 1: Sleep More
Yes, yes, I know I said I was going to try to be more productive. And you are right in thinking that at first glance this would not seem to mesh well with that goal. But I do think this is an important step in the right direction for me. You see, I have a tendency to stay up too late at night. Doing what? Well, watching TV of course. And Audrey, on the other hand, just loves to get up at the crack of dawn. So without TV to keep me glued to my couch, well… Why not sleep more and wake up well rested instead? Makes sense to me.
Option 2: Fix the Fence
It’s been how long since Sandy dropped a tree on our back deck? And I still haven’t fixed it? I know we’ve had a miserable winter but there’s just no excuse for this. Get off your butt, buddy, and fix the fence already. Jeesh.
Option 3: Read More
It’s simple: TV bad. Books good. More read books good.
Option 4: Replace the Floor Vent Cover
This dented vent cover in Audrey’s room showcases many unsafe features, like mildly sharp edges and a risk of falling through into the floor! I know, I’m a terrible father. In my defense I have gone to every hardware store in town looking for a replacement, but this size cover just doesn’t seem to be available, well…anywhere. So I’m either left with looking elsewhere for this size vent cover, or I need to make the hole bigger.
Sigh. Would I rather be watching cable than either of these? Yup, probably.
Option 5: Exercise!
I already do a decent amount of exercise, but I could definitely step things up a notch. Sure, when winter finally decides to break up here in the Northeast I’ll be automatically more inclined to go outside and get my sweat on, but the lack of “T.J. Hooker” marathons will help too. Sorry Shatner.
Option 6: Open the Mystery Bag
What’s in this bag? I don’t know! When we renovated our kitchen three years back we dumped all our drawers’ miscellany in this bag and left it to rot. What will I find? Will there be any lost treasures? And, perhaps most importantly, is there anything living in there? I’ll be sure to find out!
Option 7: Everything Else
I could continue to individually list my need to get out into the back yard and clean up my garden, recycle the compost, paint the stairwell that nice green color I dreamt up, complete the two drawing projects I’m currently halfway through, work on the tiki bar, etcetera etcetera…but you get the point. I have a lot of things to do and now I have the time to do them. The loss of cable is a source of potential gain for me.
And not only me. My daughter too! A better, more productive me means a better, more productive father. And that trickles down.
Will cable ever return? Perhaps, should it become financially feasible once again. But then again, maybe not. Maybe this will mark a turn in my life. Maybe I will grow to love the quiet. Maybe I will learn to make the most of this newfound time. Maybe, just maybe…
This will turn out to be one of the best things that ever happened to me.
(At least that’s the hope.)
P.S. Peter, if you’re reading this, leave your door unlocked Sunday nights when “Breaking Bad” comes back on. That is one sacrifice I am unwilling to make!