Friday, December 31, 2010


Making changes isn't so very difficult. Once one decides that one is going to do a thing, the doing of it is rather easy. Even if that thing goes against the grain of what is considered normal, once the decision has been made to do a thing, doing it is easy. Like the old Nike commercial used to say just do it.

Which is the irony of our current situation.

The other day, we spent the whole day rearranging furniture. What was the "living room" is now an "office" for Deus Ex Machina and me. What was "my office" is now our living room, and we moved his desk away from the front door and out of the dining room (putting the former television armoire - which will have a new life as a closet for coats - where his desk had been).

It made more sense to do it that way, because the woodstove is in the (new) living room/dining room area, and we all spent our time in there anyway, which is good, but difficult when I'm trying to work (I work as a medical transcriptionist). The worse part was that, since our desks were in common areas, they were often not treated as the personal spaces that they should have been. Being next to the door, Deus Ex Machina's desk would often end up as a catch-all for whatever was brought into the house and needed to be put somewhere. With my desk where it was, my office chair would often been a convenient place to sit, and I'd find people sitting at my desk, which is not a good thing. There is a lot of personal and sensitive information on my desk.

Both desks have needed to be moved for a very long time.

Now, we have a nice, comfy couch to sit on in the living room, and our desks are out of the way of our common areas.

The other part of the makeover entailed getting rid of the television. Not just cutting cable, this time, but actually, physically, moving the box out of the house. We gave our old television set to MamaDaughter and Mr. Field-and-Stream.

I didn't think much about it at the time, but then it struck me ... we have no television. I mean, there's no television in our house. Not one set. I haven't lived in a house without a television (or two) for a very long time. In fact, since I reached adulthood the only time I haven't had owned a television was for a very few months just after I arrived in Germany.

What struck me was how insidious the television is, how much a part of our culture it is. Like my quoting a Nike commercial. Television is such a huge part of what and who we think we are. It's almost impossible to have a conversation with someone without the inevitable question Did you see [fill in blank of television show name]? For the past year or so, Deus Ex Machina and I have answered no, and added that we don't watch television.

But we still had a television, and so we weren't, like, weird or anything.

Now, we don't even have a television, and for a minute, when I realized what we'd done, it felt weird. But only for just a minute.

And then, it was like ahh! More storage space! Mr. Field-and-Stream asked if I was going to fill the television cabinet with books. No, I'm not, but would it be such a bad thing to get rid of the television and put books where it had been?

I like the new arrangement, and even though he really didn't want to help me (there was a lot of non-verbal grumbling and a few words, like, "badgering" were used to describe my behavior), I am so thankful that Deus Ex Machina was home this week to help me. I could not have done it by myself.

Of course, I'm convinced that once we get things sorted and put away that our house will be a bit more organized (if not a great deal neater), and since we don't have a television to watch, getting organized shouldn't take too long ;).


  1. Welcome to the "No TV" Club! Not only is TV insidious in our entire culture, it tends to run people's lives. Well, maybe not so much now with Tivo (whatever that is - I've never really looked into it), but people used to always be in a hurry to make sure they were home in time for their favorite shows or the game or something else on the tube. How much more stuff could they get done, or how much more fun could they have, if the TV was outta there lives?!

    Love the assessment of living space use and rearranging. I'm currently sitting in our "master bedroom" which is used as my office and our exercise/yoga room, while we sleep in one of the little bedrooms. :)

  2. Congratulations on taking the plunge! I haven't owned a tv for almost 20 years, though we did lease one while we lived abroad. Still, I haven't watched commercial television, nor paid for cable in all that time. That said, we did buy a dvd projector about six years ago. We can watch movies on the old projector screen my husband has had since forever. (He was into slide photography, back in the day.) The projector plus the screen take up very little room compared to the typical tv, especially since the screen is put away between uses. An uncluttered white wall would work just as well as the screen though. Not sure we'd buy another projector when this one gives out, but it is nice to be able to borrow dvd's from the library and have some free entertainment, sans commercials.

  3. When I first gave away my tv, folks I know thought I was crazy. Now, they're quite comfortable with it. I may not be up on Dancing w/the Stars, but I converse on the news and sports like I always did.
    I even surprised them by knowing all about the Jersey Shore group ;)

    It's wonderful not to have that constant push from commericals in my life.

    Enjoy your new "space"!

  4. While we have a tv, it's a regular one, not one of the new high-definition, flatscreen, whatever the latest thing is. And our children watch Teletubbies on old VHS tapes. Eventually, these will break, and they won't be replaced.

  5. Welcome to the No TV club from me, too.
    Haven't had a TV forever.

    I need to do some room changing around too. Currently I use my bedroom as a bedroom and an office where I work all day long. But now that the kids moved out I have 3 bedrooms. So I could actually have a bedroom that was just a bedroom. And an office that is just an office. And a guest room. Can I borrow Deus Ex Machina for a day to help me shove the furniture around? ; )

  6. The idea of getting rid of a tv sounds appealing to me, but I know that right now we're not quite ready. We did cut out cable, so we use the tv for videos as well as to watch things like the news, jeopardy, or PBS shows that are available locally.

    We certainly have cut our tv watching WAY down. We do try to catch Jeopardy each night - it's a fun time for the family to get together to test their smarts against the contestants, and so instead of eroding our lives, it is another 'together time' that is a learning opportunity rolled into one for us.

    We spend much more time talking, playing games, reading and/or listening to lectures or NPR.

  7. KUDOS!!! We still have our set for watching DVDs since for some reason my computer is moody about playing them (it has a mind of its own, ha). But I'm SO ready for the TV set to be a thing of the past if we ever get the ability to see the DVDs on the computer. Releasing ourselves from TV reception of any sort (we just use the set for DVDs) was FREEING and now I can't STAND being elsewhere where there are TVs and being bombarded by so much commercial fact it truly puts it into perspective and how very VERY silly some of those commercials are as they try to convince people to buy some of the most inane products. The quieting of the TV was the advent of the USING of our time and brains in such a better way :)