Forty Days Without TV

Leah Health Guide
  • Memory…ahhhh, I wish I could remember what it was like to be able to just pull out of thin air all the memories I know I must have had at some time…  Seems I’m doing a lot of head shaking (back and forth, not up and down) when Bill asks if I remembered to do something…or a friend says, “Remember when we…?”  No.  Nope, can’t say I do.  And, the funniest thing is when the sales clerk laughs when I tell her I have dementia…Seems there’s a lot of people going around using that word very loosely these days, and laughing about it.  If they only knew the drama, the horror, behind the word, they would whisper it…or maybe not say it at all.

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    Lent has begun for the Christian world, a time of penance and repentance.  In the past, I’ve given up sweets for the forty days and been an utter failure.  God help me.  This year, I decided to give up TV between the hours of 9 AM and 3 PM.  Now, that may sound like, so what’s the big deal?  Well, if you work during the day, it isn’t a big deal…but for those of us who are home, the TV often acts as a substitute for friends and interaction.  I hadn’t fully realized how hard it would be to go without TV for six daytime hours…When I decided to do it, I was thinking that it was something that I could most certainly handle…though I’d like not to.  What will I do?  How will I fill my void?  How can I live without the bantering of The View?  Will Ellen be able to continue dancing without me?  What will happen to the world if I’m not up to the minute with the news?


    This is my third day WOTV (without TV).  I can’t tell you how many times I walked into a room on the first day and automatically picked up the remote without thinking—and quickly put it down, mumbling, “Lord, please help me.  I am weak, but with you I can be strong.”  The second day was a little easier.  And by today, I, well, am feeling the effects.


    What do I do WOTV?  I must admit I start the day with local and national news until 9 AM.  The rest of the day I work with my email, talk with family and friends, read, pray, play with my dog and two cats, and eventually do something connected with housework and daily chores.  I can see how turning off the TV during the day will enable me to get to projects I otherwise wouldn’t have thought of , like working on my photo journal or organizing any of the many areas in need.  Granted, my mind still wanders, and I go off on tangents throughout the day, but I’m hoping with all this extra time that I’ll be able to get some things accomplished.  I want to spend more time reading the Bible and maybe writing some poetry.  I need to keep exercising my mind in as many different ways as possible.  And then there’s the old…I gotta exercise my body, too.  Haven’t been doing that lately and my elevated blood sugar shows it. 


    Activity, then, must be one of the blessings that this Lent is bringing to me.  It is bringing me closer to God, to my friends and family.  It should help to prepare me physically for upcoming Spring season.  I should begin new projects during these forty days.  And I expect that I will refocus on past interests: painting, poetry, crochet…  And, thus, I guess this Lent is renewing me, I am being reborn…like a rose whose petals are beginning to open.  It holds great promise.   I may not be able to reverse the dementia, but I don’t have to lay down and die, either…


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    Who would have ever thought that giving up TV from 9 AM to 3 PM could have such abounding effects?  God bless you all, my friends.

Published On: March 02, 2009