47 days into my year of no TV there has only been one really hard moment. The evening of January 2nd, if I’m honest, I wept a little. The tears weren’t about missing TV, but rather a kind of grief about what TV had become for me. I sat on my bed, facing the black rectangle of my silent wall mounted 32” inch screen and admitted to myself that for as long as I can remember every time I felt a little sad, a little anxious, a little bored, a little overwhelmed, I would comfort myself with the warm glow of a screen and the familiar faces on a beloved show. Watching something had become my main coping strategy for just about anything and everything. That night I was suddenly faced with how long a year is and this challenge that had felt exciting the day before seemed, for a moment, insurmountable. I panicked a little and then I did the dishes. I don’t remember how I passed the rest of the night, but I know that I didn’t turn on the TV.
I’ve been grateful that the beginning of this challenge has coincided with a busy time in both my professional and personal life. It would certainly have been harder not to break the rules in these first six weeks if I had more time on my hands to fill. As it stands, the only times I’ve been really tempted is when I’m exhausted. I’m reading more. I’m writing more. I’m having more conversations. And I’m sending people a lot of gifs from The Office, because it feels like spending a very very tiny snippet of time with my friends from Scranton, who admittedly, are what I miss most about my reliable distraction box.