Friday, January 16, 2009

Random Ramblings....

I'm starting my post with a decision - tonight the TV has been moved. Out of the lounge room and into the garage. Yep. We are now a TV free household. I don't know for how long but the plan is for at least 6 months. This is for a number of reasons. Firstly, I am a lazy person and can be a lazy parent. When I'm tired and cranky and the kidlets are also tired and cranky I have no willpower and will let them watch the box. It's used as a babysitter/distraction more often than I am happy with. Secondly, Izaak loves, and I mean *loves* TV and after our recent camping trip, during which he spent lots of time in his swimmers, I'm concerned that he will have a tendancy to put on weight really easily. He is a solid, chunky little man who could easily become a solid, pudgy, fatty little man so no-TV will mean getting out and about and getting active. He loved scootering and wants to ride a bike without training wheels so this will motivate us all to get out and about more and be more active. Thirdly, last night I had the TV on and was watching the cricket but had it muted and was listening on the radio. Obviously the TV coverage is slightly delayed (around 3 seconds maybe??) so I knew what was going to happen before it happened - does that make any sense? The TV is also going from my bedroom so there will be no temptation to stray....

In the past I've blogged about my stance on consumerism, popularity, frugal living and the like and in the past few weeks I've been contemplating our choices/lifestyle/decisions even more.
I think camping has been a big part of that - it really strips away the layers to the most basic 'things' - shelter, basic food, clean clothes sometimes - but the most amazing 'experiences'. We've seen wild wombats, rhino beetles were a favourite of Izaaks, meeting other people and families who have been on camping trips for months at a time, bike riding, swimming, watching rainbow lorikeets feeding, picnics, catching up with friends, playing at the park, waterfalls, gorges and just walking around simply taking in the world as it happens around us. It was gorgeous.

Then we got home.

So... where do I go from here? Do I stop seeing certain people because I feel so out of place? Do I change my views for an hour or two so that I can try to fit in? Do I try and see more of my 'alternative' friends where I still don't fit because there are some creature comforts/conveniences that I can't give up? Do you have conflicting views on subjects? How do you reconcile them? How do you fit in when things don't quite line up with your ideas/values?


Bells said...

Sean and I were TV free for the first two years we were together. It's a time I look back on fondly. Now, we're not TV free but we're almost 100% commercial TV free. That's my big stance. I don't need commercials coming into my lounge room making me feel inadequate because I don't have/want/need/buy the stuff they're pushing. I like my quality TV and I like to choose when I have stuff pushed on me.

so I applaud your choice and that, re your last point, is one of the ways I address a conflicting view I have - want TV, don't want to be irritated etc.

As for fitting it, I just ditch the 'friends' who exist on a level that I just don't get. The overt materialism of some friends drove me to despair and I backed away. It was as bad as watching commercial TV to me - always having choices and lifestyle stuff pushed at me when I didn't want it.

Decide where you need to be, where you feel right, where you don't feel conflicted, where you feel supported and able to be yourself, and stick to that.

Bells said...

ps great post.

Jack said...

You are a better woman than I. I confess to liking TV. Sometimes just for background noise but I also like to watch the lives of others.

Michelle said...

I totally agree with you about getting the TV out of the house for the sake of the kids. When I grew up I was lucky enough that there was no TV programmed after school - the first program of the day was the news at 6. So we either had to run around outside, go to friend's houses or play the piano or listen to music (hence my deep love of music to this day).

Nowadays I watch the TV late at night to completely chill out. It stops me thinking too much and totally saves me money on anxiety medication.

With your dilemma on friends who are over-consumers, well I'm conflicted. On one hand I too am amazed that they could spend the equivalent of your yearly income on window dressings. But I also think that just as it wouldn't be fair that they judge you on your anti-consumerist stance, it wouldn't be fair of you to judge them on their spending habits.

Turning a blind eye and all that. Because sometimes there's no other choice when it comes to friendships.

Thanks for this post. It's actually taken me 24 hours to think about it and come up with a comment on how I feel, so you've given me really good food for thought!

knitting sprouts said...

I have done 6 month patches of that and for a long time had tv free weekdays - but lately like you I have become lazy about it. I have been reconsidering this too and when the pirate starts school in a couple of weeks I think it will be back to tv free weekdays.

and as for the friends who consume - I can't keep up and have to keep reminding myself where I stand - but luckily I have a good mix of people around me and don't feel so lost with my 70's kitchen etc etc. Have you read 'Status Anxiety' by Alain de Botton- it is all about this exact issue.

And I agree with michelle - we all have different priorities and my wealthier friends or more consumerist friends are still wonderful and I love them and need them and can sometimes even enjoy the trappings at their place, so long as I get a bit of my friends who are even more frugal than me. I try to make my motto 'frugal comfort' I like it as a concept.

So thanks for the great post.

Rathna said...

Good thought provoking post!!Yes,early periods after school hours we had less TV programms and so we were able to crab more of extra activities inside and outside the house.Especially making more friends,but today TV absorbes maximum time and activity and it gives very minimum useful information inreturn.I definitly agree with you about getting the TV out of the house for the sake of the childrens,and at times this apply with elders as well,so that they spend good time with family.