Every year I give it a go and every year to date I have failed. Each year it was going to be something that wasn’t really going to hurt (all that much) and yet still I managed to fail quite epically. So this year I decided to try and not only stick to it, but go without something that would possibly be difficult and make a difference to my every day living. I am, of course, talking about Lent.
This year giving up something as ‘easy’ as chocolate wasn’t going to make any difference I decided, so I chose to give up TV. Now given that I do like a good American sit com, am partial to period dramas, enjoy a bit of reality TV on occasion and give me a good comedy and I’m a happy girl, I approached this with a little nervousness. What would I actually do with the odd hour or so I might watch TV during the evenings or over the weekends?
But given that my faith is incredibly important to me, it has provided me with a time of genuine reflection and space in an otherwise hectic world to actually ‘think’ without the constant background noise of life.
It has been interesting in how I have withdrawn to my home at times and have almost wanted to shut myself off from the world to concentrate and focus on what is the most important relationship in my life. Switching off the TV has given me the freedom to deepen that focus and concentrate more completely on that. I feel an inner peace that I didn’t seem to have when time was taken by watching moving pictures on a little box in the corner of a room.
I have also found that I have had to ‘find’ different ways to entertain myself, to occupy my mind and to get creative. It hasn’t felt that I have been going without something (mind you I really missed watching the rugby), as my brain has been active and I have been excited at the prospect of exploring different possibilities. In other words… it has been fun.
Whilst, I think there are still 11 more days in Lent, it has made me ponder the age old questions… do I really need a TV? Would I miss it? I feel, on the whole, this has been a great thing to do… it certainly has made me think far harder about Easter and all that it means for me. It has made me realise that simple things in life can be more rewarding than just sitting down and switching off. I have been forced to ‘engage’ with life and things that matter far more.
I’m sure that box will sit in the corner of the room for some time, but whether I switch it on again in 12 days’ time remains to be seen….