Finding balance in a chaotic world

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December 2017
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It’s a New Television Season

So here we are in September, which means that the major TV channels are inundating us with their latest “Must See TV” shows. I used to be pretty pumped when a new season came around, but over the past few years, I’ve become much more jaded. In fact, I actually look at it as kind of a disappointment. During the summer I had very few things that tied me down at a certain time, but now certain nights of the week I have obligations. It is too bad that there are a few shows that I really like.


My disillusionment with the major networks happened about five or six years ago. There was this great show that I loved, “Spy Games.” It had Linden Ashby as this martial artist expert and cold-war era spy and his new plucky partner, Allison Smith. The show was over the top but in a great modern take on “the Avengers” way. My friend and I were 100% sold on the show from the very first episode. ABC canned it after showing three. I felt pretty ticked off. Here was a show that I felt was worth watching, and ABC decided that after 3 episodes it wasn’t worth keeping.


So after that, I adopted a new rule. I will not watch a new show until it is confirmed for a second season. That way I don’t bother getting invested in characters only to have them leave me hanging. So I followed this rule and my disappointment in TV decreased markedly. It also had a curious side-effect I was not expecting: I watched less TV.


As time went on, I kept up my rule, only making exceptions for actors I really liked, and consequently watched less shows. The fact that the TV stations only really show new episodes from September to November and then January to March helped me to make my decision. If I get out of the habit of watching a show, the chances of me coming back to it are less.


It has gotten to the point that any given time, I’ll only have three, possibly four shows that I follow and do I feel freer for it. Sure I may not know who is on Dancing on the Stars or what happened on the latest episode of Lost, but I have a lot more time to spend playing with my kids, working on my writing, or just relaxing. Time I used to be sent sitting in front of the television absorbing I now spend being active and I love it.


I do enjoy television, and a good show like Psych or House truly entertains me, but I no longer look at the television as my primary source of evening entertainment. I’d rather not give up my Dish network, but I will ration how much of it I watch. Balance.


So here is my challenge to you. List the number of shows you watch. Cut that list down by a third and see if you actually miss any of those shows you aren’t watching. See if you actually enjoy your life more with less TV.