Here is the scenario...
Elizabeth lives alone. (and yes, I will be referring to myself in the third person. Because it's my blog)
Elizabeth is slightly creeped out by total silence in her basement apartment.
Elizabeth comes home from work and turns on Netflix. You know, for noise.
Elizabeth discovers that all 12 seasons of Criminal Minds in on Netflix.
Elizabeth wastes the rest of her life. But it's okay. Because...Derek Morgan.
I don't know if anyone else has come across this, but in the off chance at least one person has, I'm writing about it.
I realized I have fallen into a really unhealthy habit.
Using tv to keep me company.
Using it as my 'reward' for working hard.
Using it as a way to slow down and relax after a long day.
Now, I am not going to hate Netflix, Hulu or any other entertainment viewing platform, because I totally enjoy it, and will continue to do so.
It's just that in my reflective prep for this year of intentionality, I realized how much I was actually watching.
There is this statistic that I read years ago, and it says that for every hour of television you watch, you are 15% less satisfied with your life.
Since that was a few years back, I looked it up again. And while I didn't find that specific stat, I did find one that was slightly more alarming.
An Australian study stated that for every hour you spend watching television, you knock almost 22 minutes off your life.
Let's do math...
I have been watching approximately 20-30 hours of television a week, if I include weekend binge watching.
30 hours x 22 minutes = 11 hours/week
52 weeks x 11 hours = 572 hours/year
572 hours / 24 hours = 23.8 days/year
By watching all that television, I am losing almost 24 days a year.
24 days is a lot...
That's more than my vacation time and sick time combined....woof
I mean, I could get a second job with the time I would have on my hands if I stopped watching tv.
And that got me to thinking about how I could be more intentional with my personal time.
About what I could do with those extra 20-30 hours a week.
And while I don't think it is particularly healthy to pack those hours with stuff, I do think I will be more satisfied and accomplished if I shift how I spend my time.
Serve Seattle is currently going through the spiritual disciplines, and this month we are focusing on Silence and Solitude.
Last year, I farted out of this discipline super early. aka - I didn't do it at all. And internally, was a whiney little butt about it. I was being selfish. No bueno.
But this year, I want to be intentional about it. (see what I did there? yeah, it'll get old after about a month...)
I want to really spend time finding out why silence combined with solitude is scary for me.
I want to see what Jesus has been trying to say to me, but can't get through because I'm only opening my ears for television, radio and podcasts.
So here's the scoop on how this month is going to go:
No television at all for the next 30 days.
No technology before 7am or after 9pm.
Television is defined as: theaters, home movie nights, Netflix, Hulu and any other entertainment platform.
Technology is defined as: My phone. My phone. and My phone. Email, FB, IG, text messages, etc - that can all wait until there has been a little time with Jesus.
I want to get closer to Jesus.
I want to worship Him more.
I want to read more books and learn.
And most of all, I want to be okay with quiet and silence.
Because I think it'll be really good for me.
I think that by living alone and not having anyone to take care of for the first time in years, I didn't quite know what to do with my down time. Like, when all the tasks are done and everyone is okay, what do you do?
I'm not beating myself up for watching tv, and you guys shouldn't either. It's just that I think I want to spend my time differently. And I want to be intentional about it.
I want to see how practicing simplicity for a year maybe changed my perspective on loneliness and quiet.
I want to see what happens when I just sit with Jesus and learn at His feet.
I want to grow and learn.
Let the month begin.