Monday, March 19, 2018

I Cancelled My Cable



I cancelled my cable today. Well, last Thursday. You'll be reading this on Monday. I should feel liberated from the excessive cost and stale offerings but, honestly, I'm scared. Like, really scared. How sad is that?

I'm scared because I won't be able to turn on the TV and have at my fingertips a myriad of ridiculous channels with nothing on them to speak of. Good lord. Yet, they kept me company. The people on them....the voices I heard. It was like someone else was there. A blanket against the silence. I pushed the power button every time I got home like Pavlov's dog.

If I had nothing to do I would waste away time with some dumb movie on that I'd seen a hundred times while I watched Instagram stories ad nauseum. The same recipe would also work when procrastination was on the docket and/or occasionally when there was adulting to be done. Sometimes spacing out is good. Our brains and senses are so overloaded we need a break. A crutch on the other hand? Not so much.

Growing up we didn't have cable. My mom refused to get it. We didn't have video games either. Looking back I'm forever grateful but at the time I felt lame and envious of my friends. I still watched tv and movies all the time though. There were five local channels to be had which explains my extensive knowledge of shows like Mama's Family and In the Heat of the Night. When Star Trek Next Generation came on Fox it was like Christmas.

After college cable became the norm and I couldn't imagine life without it. Number three on the obvious list of things to do when I bought my house nine years ago was "call and get cable hooked up". It didn't even dawn on me not to do it. So much has changed since then. I know I'm way behind the times to still have it anyway. I don't know why but I tend to always take the long way around.

I first started thinking about cancelling it a couple years ago because frankly it was freakin expensive. But in conversations with people no one could figure out what other service would give me MSNBC and at the time not starting my day with Morning Joe seemed a fate worse than death. I think most of 2016-2017 I always had the news on in background. First for positive reasons, then to somehow make sense of it all, and finally to just be upset and commiserate.

One day this fall I realized that I'd been slightly depressed for the past year. It was because of a lot of things. Big life change. Injury. Confusion and powerlessness. Anxiety. I felt like my photographs and my words here, once a place of such personal fulfillment, had become a broken record devoid of any creativity. I mean how many times could I post that it had been a busy week of travelling see ya Monday?

Can I also talk about how sick I was of people reaching out asking if they could use my photos and or hire me for a job but then say they couldn't pay me but oh didn't I want the exposure? No, just pay me for my work! It just all became too much and I put my camera down.

And there it sat.

Cable news on in the background all the time didn't help during any of this and one Saturday morning a little voice said to turn on another channel. I didn't watch cable news all weekend and by Monday I felt so much better. I kept up to date on the news of course but I didn't feel nearly as stressed.

One of the good things about getting older is that you realize more often that you want to feel good you don't want to feel bad and that only you have the power to make that happen. The crappy part is it sometimes requires hard decisions.

Sans 24/7 news coverage I've noticed my anxiety reduce and other things settle inside me as well. I don't think it was some type of panacea, but rather I was ready not to be sad anymore and this was one of those little steps along the way to getting there.

A couple weeks ago I didn't turn on the tv all weekend. I did watch a movie on my ipad and of course I watched my Instgram stories. I said I was feeling better but I'm not ready to give up my stories, oh no!:)

Today, I called and talked to two people. They both tried to politely tell me about other packages available but I said no. It was honestly way easier than I  thought it would be and in less than five minutes I no longer had cable.

I'm scared. Writing this makes me feel better.

I realized very early on in my blogging career that even if no one read anything I wrote or looked at any of my pictures it made me happy to post them. It made me feel good to create something. It made me feel good to share how I was feeling. I hope it can again.

I still haven't figured out what to with this site. The name doesn't feel right anymore and there's more things I want to incorporate but I'm not sure how to yet. I'm reaching out to friends and trying to get a game plan going. Baby steps. When you haven't done something in so long,  even though a time ago it was as easy as breathing, starting again can seem insurmountable. But today. I picked up my camera (with the arm that isn't broken). Today, I wrote something. Today, I cancelled my cable.


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