View from the new floating dock (July 1015)
I haven’t watched television or listened to commercial radio for a month. No news. No sports. No movies. And, no top 10 pop countdowns. I do have wi-fi (via my Personal Hotspot), so I’m able to work. Stay in touch. And, public radio. The CBC (Canadian Broadcast Corporation). It’s informative, Canadian focused, intellectual, entertaining, and commercial free. But no TV. I missed the Stanley Cup Finals. The drama in Greece. Negotiations with Iran. The US Open. The Tour de France. Wimbledon. The Pan-Am Games. And I haven’t watched a movie in over a month.
Do I miss it? No. Not at all. I read more. Write. Work. And, cycle. Read. Write. Work. And, cycle. If I am not work-working, I am working around the cottage. Building a laundry room and a third bedroom. Gardening. There is always something to do. Something in need of repair. I am more active, eat less, and sleep more.
I have also been alone the entire month. No guests. Just me, and the boys. Chas and Lou. I have people to talk with, if I want. Neighbours. The young woman that operates the swing bridge at the end of the road. Clerks at the food store. Staff at the building supply store. And the women at the coffee shop where I sometimes stop on the return leg of a ride.
Time alone, without commercial interruption, is enlightening. Empowering. Stimulating. You focus on what is important to you without compromise. Without conflict. It is just you and your thoughts.
The cottage used to be a family place where Mom, Dad and I would spend weekends and holidays. When my father passed away, my mother continued to use it regularly with her girl friends. She said it became a girls place. When she passed away, I initially thought about selling it. I live a continent away. But I began travelling to Toronto on business regularly and would steal long weekends and shortened holidays here. Usually alone. Sometimes with family. Slowly, it became my place. My retreat. A place to relax, unwind, and refocus. A place to train and cycle. A place to momentarily escape. I like that. Momentary escape. Isn’t that what a bike ride is? A time when the when the worries of the world melt away. That’s what this place is.
This is all about to change. My son and 13-year old grandson are arriving next week for a holiday. There will be a lot of fishing, swimming, and boating going on. It won’t be so quiet. No. It won’t be quiet at all. But it will be fun.
We have a TV, but don’t have TV. I mean we have no cable/satelite etc. Our TV set is not the new stuff with the high def technology. We use it only for movies. We get our news online and sometimes public radio. Most of the news isn’t worth bothering with. Sensationalism for too much of it. Truth is so hard to find.
I made the mistake of buying a large hi-def flat screen TV and found I enjoyed watching it too much. When I am away from the house, I realize how much TV I sometimes watch. Too much. Mostly movies. When I don’t have it, I don’t miss it in the least.
I made the decision not to have a TV when I moved into my current home 6 years ago. I still watch programmes and films via my laptop but like the fact that I can determine when and what I watch according to my own schedule rather than that of the broadcaster. Nowadays I tend to have a ‘TV’ night once a week where I choose a few programmes, sit back, relax, and enjoy. For me it’s a much better way of managing my viewing and means there are no more nights where I’d end up in front of the telly and end up watching hour after hour by default rather than intent.
When I purchased a large hi-def flat screen a few year ago, I began watching more TV. Too much TV. In retrospect, it was a mistake. I like you thinking and may try something similar when I return.
I’m the same as Aaron. I haven’t had TV since 2009. I do watch shows or movies on Netflix two nights a week and I get all my news via the internet. Who needs TV when you have WiFi? 🙂
Looks like you have found the inspiration you lacked. I love this post. I could use some of your enlightenment regarding the “being alone” status.
Some people don’t like being alone. I’m the opposite. I was an only child. Perhaps that’s the reason. And I particularly enjoy time alone here, at the cottage. I always have. There have been a few difficult times in my life, times when I was lost, confused, or devastated, and this is where I would come. Alone. For a month. Sometimes longer. This where I find inspiration. Direction.
I’m pleased you like the post 🙂
It’s good to be able to appreciate some alone time. I too am an only child and like being alone but… I feel I am reaching my saturation point.
Most of the work I do is done from home. I miss talking to people. Going in the outside world. Seeing people…
I can definitely tell you have found inspiration and I’m glad to see that. 🙂
That’s a tough one. I don’t like working from the house. Too many distractions. I like going to the office; I like the interaction, and the bike ride 🙂 The difference is I only go in a few mornings a week. The rest of the time, I’m either on my bike, sipping a coffee in a cafe, or writing. I’m actually quite social but I do enjoy time alone, time to myself, and search out opportunities. That may be what cycling is all about for me. Time alone.
Sounds like you have the perfect balance, PW.
I think so.
We don’t have a TV either. Well, we have a TV but it isn’t connected to anything other than a DVD player so we can only watch movies. We never bothered to connect it when we first moved here and I don’t have the time to watch TV anyway. We’ll probably hook it up when we move into our new house.