The Hub (husband) and I decided to, a couple months ago, cancel our subscription to Netflix. Now, this was not because of the absolute stupidity of the people in charge, it wasn't because of the price hike, it wasn't because there was nothing good on it, no it was because watching television was sucking the life out of us.
I would come home from work, wait around for the Hub to be done working, maybe exercise, kind of throw dinner together, and while we ate we would sit on the couch and begin the netflix. We had all sorts of stuff on our instant play and we watched our way through seasons of Mad Men, Breaking Bad, and so much more. We would finish eating, throw the dishes in the washer and then sit down again and continue watching. Until we had to go to bed. Wash, wince, repeat. This was my life. Downtime on weekends would be spent watching movies.
We would discuss and dream about a time without Netflix but we were reluctant to give up this luxury. We don't have cable, we don't buy DVD's (not anymore, I will do a post on my mini-quest with minimalism eventually) and we only have rabbit ears for the TV that don't work well. To get rid of Netflix was to forgo television itself. Could we do it? Did we want it bad enough?
Looking around the house and at ourselves we found things being neglected, our dog for one, laundry, fixing things, putting things together, dishes, our hobbies, and ourselves. We sent back our last disk and hit the cancel button.
We haven't looked back.
Let's start with some unimportant things... my dishes are getting done (they are still the biggest pain ever and I wish my morals would allow me to buy paper cups and plates to throw out but I just can't do it!) laundry is actually being put away when clean, my garage has been organized and cleaned, and the bar my parents bought for us, I put together myself (Hub helped at the end holding the doors for me to screw on, thanks Hub!). I feel as if I have time to actually get things done, Hubby actually cleaned out a lot of the detritus from past projects that was in the yard, even going so far as chopping wood. There is still more out there but every week it gets more and more cleaned out.
As for our hobbies and ourselves, things are going so much better. I have been working on the webcomic more, I've even started drawing my own things again slightly, and I've been a lot more active physically, with training for a marathon. I'm running three days a week and I'm trying to do something else at least two of the days I don't run. I also became a meet-up planner for the Geek Girls here in AZ and now plan something fun at least once a month. So I am also more social because of this! I'm also reading, I have two books I'm currently reading and just finished a graphic novel series. Das Hub is also improving himself trying to get a business started on the sidelines and is working out with me and rollerblading with me when I run. He's also playing Skyrim (and loving it). We also go on walks with the dog. We cook more too.
So as you can see we filled our time with LIVING, not just numbly sitting on the couch as the box spewed entertainment at us.
Now don't get me wrong, I'm not condemning Netflix at all. I have bought my parents a year subscription for the past three years, they love it (my dad especially, he was telling me all about the near Oscar winning film: "Hobo with a Shotgun"). My friends all have Netflix or cable and if there is truly something I want to see, like "True Blood" then I ask a friend if I can come over and we make it a social experience too. So Netflix works for a lot of people, television works for a lot of people, it just doesn't work for us. Not having it also forces us to think of additional things to do, like today I was bored and didn't feel like drawing, didn't want to go to the gym, and didn't want to read...so I went on a two hour bike ride. I could have zoned out in front of Netflix if I had had it (and most likely would have) but I chose to take a relaxing bike ride instead.