The Unplugged Home
When my husband and I bought our first home, we decided to make some changes -- by which I mean deletions. After years of talk about green and low-tech living, we’re finally putting our money where our mouth is, and trying out a simpler existence. In The Unplugged Home, my new series for SheKnows, I give you a peek into my new bike-pedaling, garden-tending, chicken-raising (yes, chicken-raising) life.
First, let me just give you a bit of backstory on me. I haven't always been this hippie. I am a car-loving Texan, I encountered real-life vegetarians for the very first time in college, and despite my earnest efforts, I have a black thumb in the garden. I adore Bravo TV, I spend way too much time on the Internet blog-surfing, and I may or may not have a secret affinity for decidedly unorganic fare. Like diet Big Red.
Trust me, I'm no angel in the whole living department. But I just so happen to live in the city that invented Whole Foods (Austin, Texas), and married a man who takes DIY to a whole new level. Once, when I asked him, "Where do you think I could get a better desk?" he replied, "Hold on." Five hours later, he walked in the house carrying a new one – that he made.
So when my brilliantly self-sufficient husband suggested we give up cable TV at our new house to lessen our bills, I agreed. Reluctantly. Buh-bye, Real Housewives of New Jersey! But I figured, you know what – that's cool. I can still watch Modern Family and So You Think You Can Dance? and get to know my sweet, quaint local news again.
Only, we didn't just leave cable TV behind.
We left the whole set.
As of today, I have gone a month and a half without a TV at all. People, it is both liberating and terrifying.
I'm still not sure how my husband talked me into it. And to be honest, I'm kind of surprised that I didn't pitch a fit. But now that I've spent a few weeks without its comforting glow and background noise, I've had to force myself to find new forms of recreation. These include:
I am totally not making that last one up. In the time I used to spend sitting on the couch, I now climb up suspended bits of fabric and do semi-acrobatic tricks on them! I'm not exactly Cirque du Soleil yet, but it's quite a party trick.
Even more beneficial is the reading books thing. I've always been a reader, but now, I look forward to shutting down my gadgets and carving out deliberate, hour-long spans to delve into my stories. I could be making this up, but I think I'm a better conversationalist for it.
If, that is, I can get used to the lack of water cooler talk. I feel like a moron when someone brings up Real Housewives – or more embarrassingly, current events – and I have no idea what they're talking about. Just between you and me, I sneak in a little Hulu action from time to time to feel more in the loop. Is that cheating? Probably.
But without a TV, I figure my relationship with Mr. Hulu is one affair I'm allowed to have.
Things to do when you unplug