Wednesday, October 29, 2008

summer's end 10-09-08

Summer’s over. As I sit here, I’m shivering & my toes are cold as ice, even with socks on. I despise wearing socks but I’ll deal with it rather than be cold.

I had a fun experiment this summer: No couch & no t.v. In fact, I just acquired a kitchen table & chairs last weekend. Before that I had an open, empty house. Only beds & dressers.

No, I’m not crazy. Ok so that might be debatable… but here’s why I came to this decision.

I’ve been living in Fort Wayne since October of 2006. Before that I was in KY for 5 years. I have many family members & high school friends in the Northern IN region. During the 5 years that I lived out of state I saw more of my friends and family up here than I have for year & half since I moved back up.

It seems like the less distance between us, the more we take for granted the ability to spend time together. The excuse is ALWAYS “I’m (We’re) too busy.” Busy doing what? Oh, sitting on the couch, watching t.v. “Relaxing.”

I ditched my couch. And every t.v. in the house. I have a 7” portable DVD player on hand for emergency use.

So, yeah, maybe I missed out on a few good t.v. shows, or watching the news in the mornings. And there were a few nights where I simply craved curling up and watching a movie before bed. But the rewards have been far better than those few losses.

My oldest two kids are 8 & 9. They have learned that they don’t HAVE to have t.v. to keep entertained; that families can still go on bike rides together, play card games & board games together, or play basketball together. We’ve had two on two soccer games, days of Frisbee & disc golf, long nights of Clue & Yatzee, Phase 10 & Uno! We’ve made regular visits to family & friends – and made it more interesting by bike riding there. Some nights we spend the last 30 minutes before bed each curled up with a book.

We have taken the time to ride our bikes to the grocery store & library, among other places. We have walked to & from school just for the fresh air & exercise. The kids pick out at least one fiction & at least one non-fiction book every time we go to the library, which is nearly every other day. We’ve attended many live concerts (free!) at Jefferson Pointe & the downtown library and danced until we laughed too hard to carry on.

Most importantly, they’ve learned that life is NOT too busy to make time for the significant people in our lives. You can’t get time back. Spend it wisely.

We still bundle up & enjoy outdoor activities, and we still play games together or spend some time reading, but I am going to bring a t.v. back in. The reason: because my mom’s staying w/us & she’s constantly complaining about NOT having one. I’ve made her “suffer” for over a month thinking that she’d see how much more fun it is to not have the damn thing in the house. I lost that battle.

She says her eyes hurt too much to read. Games just aren’t interesting enough for her (when she’s here by herself). Her body hurts too much to go bike riding or playing any sports. She doesn’t want to visit my friends as much as I like to & doesn’t always like to visit the rest of our family without me (family politics – aren’t they wonderful).

I gave in. I can keep my kids quiet without a t.v. … but not my mother …

No comments: