The Closing Ceremony

Was it the Moon? Another friend of mine calls it a Spell. Either way, last week I was sunk in the doldrums and stuck on the couch.

Right in the middle of the most intensely contested athletic exhibitions on the planet, I was moving at the rate of zero.

Sure, the Olympics provided me with tons of great examples of how these thoroughbred athletes used great coaching to reach the astounding limits of their own capabilities. While I loved this absolute truth on display, I wasn’t doing any coaching while watching the tube.

I sat motionless and amazed in my living room, as other examples of my same species performed fantastic feats of physical ability and fierce mental focus. Until mid-day Wednesday that is…

In the afternoon, while home by myself, I had seen enough. My sedentary self finally got fed up with the grasp that the games had on my mind. I noticed that I was STUCK to the TV.

So I hopped up off the couch…

Unplugged it from the wall…

And pushed the whole (old-school big screen) unit on it’s wheels, to the back room.

Then rearranged the living room and said Ahhhh…

Wow, a conversation spot.

Wow, a reading spot.

Wow, possibility!

And no attention grabbing, life-sucking, Olympic games for me to waste another day on…


Okay, so just when you thought this blog was about the ills of television and the heralding of the virtues of reading and conversation, stay with me for a bit, ’cause there is more to explain here… Cool?? Cool.

{Sneak Preview} there still is no TV hooked up to electricity in my house today.

{Another Sneak Preview} I don’t hate TV, and may sometime hook it back up.

Here’s the thing.

Over the last week, without a TV in our life, I’ve had some neat perspective shifts, also unexpected experiences, and lots more time to talk to my lovely bride-to-be, Lindsay.

I’d love this blog to be a live chat conversation and take guesses from the audience as to some of the things that have gone on in the last week without TV.

First off, comedy.

When I am home alone, in the evening, while Lindsay works, it is has been a tough transition to not have the boob tube on.

Yes, I have a very nice 30″ computer monitor, and a high speed connection, so naturally, my ‘need’ for electronic entertainment turned here to the desktop PC.

Did you know that has TONS of shows that you can watch entire episodes of online?

I love PBS!

I’ve watched great shows here on the computer in the last week!

Also, did you know that there are websites that have silly kiddo games that you can play for hours and hours for free online? I found them last Friday night! I was so engulfed into race-car games and dirtbike games and snowboarding games and jet-ski games and whatever, that I was literally laughing and terrified hysterically at the same time!!

When Lindsay finally came home and saw me playing a racing game, I just snapped my look over in her direction and said ‘Please don’t say anything right now, I KNOW this is ridiculous, but it’s been a tough night!!!”

So truthfully, I don’t know how everyone else handles withdraw from something that you’ve done daily for bunches of years, but for me it hasn’t been all pretty!

Fast forward to Sunday afternoon, Lindsay and I had some serious coaching homework. Earlier in the week, we’d hired a stud financial coach to assist us in our household money management intentions. Just like a lot of people, we’d let our diligence slip on this issue, and weren’t making it a high priority. So we hired some help, and it was well worth it!

Especially because there was no TV to distract us from completing the homework assignments our coach gave us. We had the normal budgeting stuff to go over, and a better system of tracking our cash, and then, we had lots of Goals to discuss, short, med and long-term.

With a nice dinner included, we probably spent 4 hours together talking about our personal goals, our future lives together, and just welding the connections we already shared.

That couldn’t happen in-between commercials. Yes, maybe lots of people do that same thing with a TV in the room, but turned off. It just so happened that our focus on ‘Us’ became laser sharp with one less distraction around.

The one last thing I want to share about this experience is this:


I learned this by watching episodes of Cooking with Julia and NOVA and The Woodright’s Shop online on the PBS website.

See, when we flick on the TV, we get the impression that the shows and the information and the entertainment is just a perpetual flow. It just gushes forth from the screen and we get caught, or get stuck-on, or get sucked-into watching whatever is there. If the TV execs and advertisers are doing a good job, then we just sit and stare while one program unfolds and we stay around thru the ads, then the beginning of the next one is just tasty enough to keep us there for more. Sure, most of us click around, but we’re just fishing for something good that someone else is spilling out at that moment on their channel, right??


It’s easier to see when I’m choosing each program to watch on the computer that I’ve made an actual decision to watch a certain program at a given time. On the internet, it’s your pick as to when it starts, pauses, or is cut short, to move onto the next show.

It does feel different to choose your entertainment, entree by entree, instead of being at the end of a conveyor belt piled with someone else’s idea of what’s good right now.

Okay, so as you can see. I gave up TV, but not really. I switched habits and some were silly. I have won 1st place on 8 racetracks of a monster truck game, but just can’t get that last one… Yes, it’s true! Ha!

But really, truthfully, when was the last time, you attempted to change a gripping habit?

It doesn’t always go perfectly… BUT, it is a choice.

Yes, I always had the choice to talk to Lindsay for hours on end, and get huge strides created in our relationship, instead of watching TV.

Yes, I always had the choice to read and ride my bike and clean up around the house, instead of watch TV.

Yes, I always had the choice to watch PBS programs anytime I wanted online, or play Mini-Clip games and feel ridiculously excited to win an upgraded racing monster truck!

I did however notice this choice more clearly, more vibrantly, and more painfully in my strained eyeballs, when I moved the TV out of the room.

It just became apparent, what was already really going on.

I could always Choose.

I was no victim of the television, I just hadn’t decided to be in complete control of my attention span. By noticing this, I am working on ways to improve that, right now 🙂

Fact is, I probably already watched less TV than a lot of people. I only had a few channels that my antenna pulled in. Also, being at home, alone in the evening, in front of the TV, instead of out at a bar, is an improvement for me…

I guess I missed the Closing Ceremonies of the Olympics. I wonder if I’ll see the next ones, or if I’ll still be TV free when they come around?? hmmm….

I love trying new things. It pushes and stretches. It can bring anxiety, fear, insight, laughter and the feeling of being alive!

And that’s real fun.


Aaron Nichols


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