Jan 31, 2017

Decluttering February | The rules

It's finally time to share my challenge for the next month! February will be all about decluttering. Since I'm kind of an aspiring minimalist, I was very careful with what I brought with me when I moved to this apartment five months ago  - however, I can already start to feel things accumulating and getting a little bit out of control... I really need to purge some stuff and create a decluttering routine that works for me.

So, what will be the rules for this challenge? The rules are very simple:

- I'll declutter at least 15 minutes each day.
- I'll share what I decluttered each day (these posts will be brief, most of the times, with just a report of what I did and maybe a picture here and there).
- If, fore some reason, I can't do it on a certain day, I'll have to compensate on another day.

Even though the minimum is 15 minutes, I hope I'll end up decluttering for longer each day (yes, I tend to enjoy purging and organizing!). And I'll start with the home office, which, at the moment, is the most critic room.

See you tomorrow!

Jan 30, 2017

January without TV | New TV rules

Today I'll share my new 'rules' for watching TV in the following months. I can watch TV (phew!), but... I'll do my best not to do it mindlessly. I won't turn it on just to have something in the background keeping me company - I won't turn it on while preparing meals, for example. When I do turn it on, I won't watch 'trash TV', and I'll be mindful of what I chose to watch. In fact, I think that my new 'rule' is simple: I'll be more mindful.

See you tomorrow :)

Jan 29, 2017

January without TV | A brief month review

Even though I still have two more days to go, today I'll make a brief review of my month without TV.

So... How did it went and what did I learn? Was it worth it?

- At first it was hard - so hard that at a certain point I considered giving up!
- Then it got easier, and easier, until I didn't even think about TV throughout my days.
- I did lose myself in YouTube world a couple of times (even though one of my rules was to not replace mindless TV with mindless internet...).
- I replaced TV watching with silence (frequently, while doing house chores), music, radio, podcasts, reading, playing with Mia, and chatting with B.
- In fact, I spent more time with B. in the evenings, which was nice.
- Simple activities became more pleasant than they used to be and the evenings seemed longer.
- However, I didn't become super productive in the evenings (as I secretly wished I would!) - because, despite the absence of TV, I was still tired after a day's work.

Well, overall I'm really glad I decided to try this challenge. I think that the most surprising thing was to arrive at a point where I no longer missed TV - that, to me, was unexpected! I also learned that TV was not the only thing keeping me from doing productive things in the evenings (like sewing) and that being tired is probably a major factor...

Next month I'll be watching TV again, but not as mindlessly as I used to. I'll share the new 'rules' of TV watching tomorrow.

Bye bye!

Jan 28, 2017

January without TV | Thinking about my next challenge

Another good day without TV.

My challenge for February will either be about decluttering or sewing... I haven't decided yet!

Night night.

Jan 27, 2017

January without TV | I'll just say...

I'm very tired, so I'll just say that I didn't miss the TV nor lose myself in YouTube.

Night night.

Jan 26, 2017

January without TV | A good sign

I feel like I'm getting very repetitive, so maybe next month I won't write every day - maybe just every other day.

In this case, I believe that being repetitive is a good sign - it means that not watching TV has become normal and uneventful. I don't even think about it!

The month is slowly coming to an end, and I have two or three ideas for my next challenge (I haven't decided yet). I'm eager to start a new challenge! But before the month ends, I'll sum up this no TV experience - and I'll share how my relationship with TV will be from the next month on.

Until tomorrow!

Jan 25, 2017

January without TV | Playing with Mia

Another good day without the TV. Podcasts were my friends again, this time while folding clothes. And I played a lot with Mia. On the days I work away from home she has all this nervous energy that needs to be released!

Now, warm shower and bed...

Jan 24, 2017

January without TV | Podcasts and books

This day without TV was pacific. I started exploring the world of podcasts - I know, I'm so late! -, so I had lunch while listening to a very interesting podcast 'conversation'.

In the evening I logged my expenses from the last 10 days - I've been doing this since I started my new job and it's really helping to manage expenses and (hopefully) save more. I had a long period of not earning any money while finishing my PhD (which was a very grueling process...), so now I'm doing my best to be careful with expenses.

Before I go, I thought I might share two books that inspired me to experiment with cutting back on the TV (I especially enjoyed the first one):
- Better Off: Flipping the Switch on Technology

Bye bye!

Jan 23, 2017

January without TV | Oops...

So, today... I did it again! I lost myself in YouTube. I was really craving some mindless entertainment and ended up watching video after video after video.

So, even though I'll try not to do it again during this month, maybe the lesson here is that we all need mindless entertainment once in a while. Right?...

See you tomorrow!

Jan 22, 2017

January without TV | My (former) small village

This has been another day well spent without the TV. We visited my parents and I had time to go for a lone walk in the afternoon. I miss my very small village and surrounding fields (I lived there until very recently). It's peaceful and beautiful. And now that I don't live there anymore I learned to value it even more... I'm now living in an area that is much more populated and, consequently, chaotic.

But well, this is where I'm living now, and I'm working on accepting it. We should try to find another (better) place in the summer.

Now it's time to go to bed. Bye bye.

P. S. I'm already looking forward to my next challenge!

Jan 21, 2017

January without TV | Mindless Internet

Today I kind of cheated - not because I watched TV (which I didn't), but because I watched many YouTube videos. As I shared before, I didn't want to replace mindless TV with mindless Internet, but I did lose myself in the YouTube world today.

Anyway, I'll do my best not to let that happen again.

Until tomorrow!

Jan 20, 2017

January without TV | Going to bed earlier

So, the TV didn't even cross my mind today.
I'm sleeping earlier, because I'm taking Mia to the the vet tomorrow (it's just a routine visit). Oddly, Mia seems to like to go to the vet :p
Anyway, going to bed earlier is definitely easier without the TV.

Night night.

Jan 19, 2017

January without TV | Stick with it girl!

Well, it seems like we (humans, in general) can adjust more easily than we think to the absence of something that we almost thought we couldn't live without. So, not watching TV is now almost a non-issue. That's interesting, because at a certain point in this challenge I felt very compelled to give up. Very! But I decided to give it one more day and then see how I felt. And then another day... So this is a great lesson for those other challenges that I sometimes face - stick with it girl, it may eventually get easier! ;p

Bye bye!

Jan 18, 2017

January without TV | Enjoying the evenings

I'm so tired today! So a very short post will be. I worked away from home and, as usual, the TV wasn't missed (I know, I know, this is getting very repetitive). I've been really enjoying my quiet evenings - I do some small house chores, play with Mia, read a little, chat with B., take a warm bath... It feels good.

Night night :)

Jan 17, 2017

January without TV | What were my guilty pleasures?

Today I worked from home, but the lack of TV didn't bother me much. I still miss it during lunch, but I've been listening to a radio program that - besides being interesting - helps me feel less lonely. It's basically an interview program with all kinds of creative people. It's certainly better than "Celebrity wife swap". Yes, sometimes I watched that!

By the way, I haven't shared the TV shows that I like to watch. My favorite in the last months was "House rules" (I've conveniently chosen a period when that show is in between seasons to do this challenge, I confess...). I like to watch pretty much everything related to houses and house renovations and decor. I also watch TV series like "Game of Thrones", "The Walking Dead", "The Big Bang Theory"... Anyway, I will go back to some of my favorite TV shows after this month - my aim will just be to spend less time in front of the TV and to be more mindful and selective when doing it.

Well, it's late now. Night night!


Jan 16, 2017

January without TV | The simple activities

Today I worked away from home and so, as expected, I didn't miss the TV. I can even say that, in the evening, I actually enjoyed folding and ironing the clothes in silence. There was something meditative about it...

As you've probably noticed, this month is not about trying to force myself to replace the TV with any particular activity. My point is just to see what naturally happens without the TV. So far I haven't done anything particularly 'special' with my time. But I've noticed that I tend to appreciate more the simple activities that frequently are done mindlessly and/or in a hurry - like simple house chores, chatting with B. (the boyfriend), playing with Mia (the cat), or taking a bath. Oh, and I've been reading more. So, so far, this has been a positive experience.

See you tomorrow!

Jan 15, 2017

January without TV | Only missed on the lonely days

This has been another day in which the TV wasn't missed. We had the one-year birthday party of a lovely cousin and were out most of the day. So I think that it is now confirmed: when life is happening and I engage with people I don't miss the TV - the TV is only missed on the lonely days...

Until tomorrow.

January without TV | The cinema

Today the TV wasn't missed. But I went to the cinema, which is a bigger and louder version of the TV. Eh eh.

See you tomorrow!

Jan 13, 2017

January without TV | Pacific

I don't have much to say today. My mood has been more stable - I think exercising is helping. And not watching TV was pacific today.

See you tomorrow.

Jan 12, 2017

January without TV | Writing to a friend

I'm still missing the TV when I have lunch alone, and this probably won't change throughout the month... Still, my mood was much better than it was on the other days I worked from home.

In the evenings, I'm not missing it as much. Today I spent a lot of time writing an email to a friend - which is good, because I tend to procrastinate a lot on replying to my friends' emails, which makes me a terrible pen pal! But behold, I'm writing, not procrastinating ;)

What else to say? I'm a bit obsessed with the idea of finding another place to live, because I don't feel very happy in this apartment. It's actually a very good apartment, but is has two great flaws: it tends to not have a lot of light, due to its layout; and it is located in an area which, despite being near a pleasant small city, is quite depressing. We basically picked this apartment because we didn't find better options in the short period of time that we had to search for a house. And speaking of house - I wanted to rent a small house, not an apartment. I'm not an apartment person - I need some outer space!

Well, enough rating. It's time to go to bed. I suspect there is no one reading this, but I'll continue writing as if someone very nice and understanding was on the other side.

See you tomorrow :P

Jan 11, 2017

January without TV | Longer evenings

Today was also pacific. I didn't work at home, which helped. But I seem to be getting much more at ease without the TV. Of course, I don't want to say this with too much confidence, because I may feel differently tomorrow.

Today I also started listening to this audio book while ironing the clothes and I really enjoyed it.

Something interesting that I've noticed is that, without the TV, the evenings now seem longer (and quieter). That is good.

Until tomorrow :)

Jan 10, 2017

January without TV | Exercise to lift the mood!

Today I can say I didn't miss the TV. I was in company, during the afternoon, so maybe that may have helped.

Before starting this job and moving to this apartment (which happened in September) I used to exercise regularly (I love this workout program). I did it for varied reasons, but one of the strongest was because exercise really helps with my mood. It's a healthy antidepressant! But with the stress and the mess of starting a new life I've been letting that habit die. It's so much harder to be motivated and to get started... Anyway, I know how important it is, so I'm trying to do an extra effort to put exercise into my daily routine, again. Today I did this workout, and it really made me feel good! Yay!

Night night :)

Jan 9, 2017

January without TV | Low mood

Today I worked from home again, and my mood was very low during the afternoon. Now I'm sure the TV abstinence is influencing my mood and, for the first time since I started this challenge, I really felt like giving up.

I didn't realize just how much the TV (which I watched while having lunch alone and sometimes while having a snack in the afternoon) was keeping me company in these days of working from home. Now I'm beginning to think that our modern way of life is only possible because we have the TV and the internet. And by 'our modern way of life' I mean lives in which, for example, a couple lives alone in an apartment in no man's land and only engages with other people (besides work) on the weekends. Could I and B. do this without these two powerful distractions? Honestly, I think we would feel quite lonely and bored. The same applies to everyone who lives alone and/or very far away from friends and family. If we did not have these artificial forms of company and distraction, probably we would desperately want to be closer to other people and engage with them everyday...

Let's see how I feel tomorrow...

Jan 8, 2017

January without TV | Reading with Mia

Today we visited my parents and arrived home late in the afternoon. I took a nap and then prepared dinner. Since having dinner I've been reading with Mia, my kitty, on the lap. I've finished reading this book and started this one. It was really nice to forgo the TV and just read quietly.
Now I'll take a bath and dive into bed.

Until tomorrow.

January wuthout TV | Busy busy

Today the TV was a non-issue. Saturdays are usually busy, with house cleaning and grocery shopping. We also dine out, so I didn't have time to miss the TV.

Bye bye!

Jan 6, 2017

January without TV | Maybe my mood is being affected

I'm not feeling very good right now, even though my mood was fairly positive during the day. Maybe yesterday I was being too optimistic. Maybe my mood is being affected by the lack of TV. Maybe not being able to turn it on on the days I'm working from home does make me feel more lonely and bored. We have to remember that one of my rules was not to use the internet to replace the TV, and my internet usage lately has been very limited (I use it all day for work, and then at the end of the day the last thing I feel like doing is to sit in front of the computer and surf the web). So, at this precise moment I'm feeling this intense craving for mindless entertainment - how do I get that without the TV or youtube funny videos? How??...

Anyway, I'll hold on strong. My main curiosity is to see where this will take me. Will boredom motivate me to do something different? (Of course, it has already, in small ways.)

Night night.

Jan 5, 2017

January without TV | A new normal

Not watching TV is becoming my new normal, so I'm not missing it so much. I seem to be replacing it with the radio - when I prepare meals, do the dishes and have my meals alone. The radio can be entertaining and informative, and it is certainly not so addictive and absorbing as the TV. I still miss it - just not as much as I thought I would by now...

But my mood today was very low throughout the afternoon. I don't think this has anything to do with my TV experience... It certainly has to do with working from home, alone. I think I must review this option. The thing is, we're not living exactly halfway between our jobs. Mine is more far away and, since it is in a very big city, the traffic makes my journey much longer than B.'s journey. But we agreed on this because I could work from home 2 days a week! So yes, I have a conundrum here...

Anyway, I will probably end up making this blog more than just a journal about my experiences and also write a bit about what's going on in my life. It feels good to write!

See you tomorrow.

Jan 4, 2017

January without TV | My old forgotten music

I had a good day of work today and, unlike yesterday, I've been in a pleasant mood.

I prepared dinner listening to my favorite radio station and, after that, I ironed some clothes listening to a playlist full of good music. Until a few years ago I used to listen to a lot of music but, for some unknown reason, I slowly stopped. I also used to sing a lot, and this stopped too. This has probably something to do with my depression (I'm better now, but I don't think I can ever say that the depression is gone forever). Anyway, I enjoyed listing again and I even found myself happily singing along. And now I'm feeling eager to search for some new music, especially of my old favorite bands/artists that have been releasing new albums in the last years.

I'm going to call my parents now. Then I'll take a shower and read a bit in bed (I'm finishing this book).

Until tomorrow!

Jan 3, 2017

January without TV | Lonely - but eager to go out

Today I worked from home (I generally do this 2 days a week). I knew that lunch without TV would be hard, since I always watch something to distract myself while I eat. And yes, it was hard. And it was also weird. Just eating... Do people still do that? I felt my anxiety and sadness (old friends of mine) louder than usual. I felt lonely. I knew that this would happen - I know how much I (and we, in general) use the TV to create the illusion of being in company. I think that TV (and, of course, the internet) really succeeds in making us feel less lonely - at least in the short term. But I also believe that, precisely because of that, it tends to make us less willing to engage with the real world. At least I know that's what happens with me. And today I really felt it. I'm living in an apartment in an area where I know pretty much no one besides my boyfriend - we picked this place just because it stands midway between the cities where we work. It's also a place that's not very 'walkable', so going for a short walk during the day is not something that I feel very motivated to do. This means that a day spent working from home is a day where I pretty much don't see or speak with anyone besides B.. So TV does create a sense of company when I'm here all alone. Not having it today makes me much more eager to go to work tomorrow - and see real life people and trees and the sky... Now this is weird! I'm an introvert who doesn't feel this kind of stuff often. But maybe this is good...

So, I wanted to see what was here, within me, below the TV noise. I knew it wasn't pretty. But I need to know exactly how I've been pacifying and soothing these feelings and if there are better ways to do so...

Jan 2, 2017

January without TV | Oh, the wonderful TV fun...

So, as I expected, today (in the evening) it was hard to abstain from the TV. I felt kind of empty and as if I was missing out on all the wonderful fun that the TV can provide. I folded my laundry in silence (I generally do this in front of the TV) which wasn't actually that bad. Then I started to organize my summer vacation photos - which I've been wanting to do for an (obviously) long time -, and that was good. I did surf the web a little while organizing the photos (I'm a bit obsessed about finding the perfect affordable house for me and B.). But I still feel like I've missed out on so much TV fun - which is, honestly, a bit sad... Can't I have a really good time without TV? I believe I do!... Do I? ;P

To be continued...

Jan 1, 2017

January without TV | First day!

My first day without TV was fairly easy. We woke up late and spent the whole day at home. I didn't really feel the urge to turn on the TV during the afternoon. I did some house chores and then did something that had been on my wish-to-do list for a while - I went through my recent photos, selected a picture of me and B., printed it, and put it in a lovely frame I bought some time ago. I also brainstormed about some home decor diy projects I may want to focus on during the next weeks/months.

When I started preparing dinner, I did feel the urge to turn on the TV. I tend to feel a bit lonely while preparing meals, since the kitchen is separated from the rest of the house. Curiously, after this initially urge I didn't really miss the TV - I was just comfortably busy with the tasks at hand.

Tomorrow will be my first day of work after a week of vacations. It will likely be more difficult to not watch TV in the evening... Let's see how it goes.

See you tomorrow!