We did it!! We survived one week without Netflix. Shocking as it may seem, the week wasn’t that bad at all. There were definitely some unexpected pros and a few cons we encountered. But the week was much more full and enjoyable than we thought it would be.
The first two days were definitely the toughest. We like to take some time on Sunday afternoons to rest, relax, and recoup before the next work week starts. This time usually involves some Netflix during the afternoon between our church services. Starting our week without Netflix on a Sunday was tough. We read some good books, worked on a few of the weekly blog posts for our website, but that still didn’t fill all of our afternoon free time. We realized that it had become easy to fill our free time with Netflix. It took effort to find things to do.
The other difficult times came during our evening meals. It is a challenge to hold a conversation and eat at the same time. Mind your manners. So we usually watch some tv while we eat dinner. The danger comes after we are finished eating and we continue to let the tv drone on. Before we know it, our evening is gone.
This week we purchased our first ever dining room table. And we actually ate meals at the table. I know, it was definitely weird at first. But each meal became increasingly special. It was a brief 20- to 30-minute date. We may not have rambled on throughout the entire meal. And there were a few awkward moments as one of us tried to finish a bite before speaking. But setting aside some specific time to sit, eat, and focus on each other was wonderful. It made dinner special, and a little romantic.
We were also able to accomplish several projects throughout the week leading up to our open house on January 12th. We painted the basement, tore up the carpet runner, cleaned the steps, and applied new carpet rectangles to our staircase. We had so much time for organizing and cleaning. We also took time to unpack some of our moving boxes. We used that time to select some items to donate and throw away other items that were cluttering up our space.
In the beginning of the week we talked about our free time as if Netflix had held us captive in the past, almost forcing us to watch the content. We almost didn’t want to admit that we struggled with time management. We would say, “Yeah, we can take care of that project tonight because we can’t watch Netflix.”
By the middle of the week we weren’t blaming Netflix. We were excited to work on projects together. Those moments were so much more fun than any time we had ever spent watching tv.
Moving forward we want to continue to be more intentional with our free time, Our week without Netflix really showed us how little we actually NEED the shows. It is fine to watch a show here or there. But we never want to let it get to the point where Netflix is taking priority over our time together, projects we are working on, or fun things we could be doing. As we move out of the restriction from Netflix we want to be more intentional. We plan, discuss, and prioritize the things we want to accomplish.
We had a snow day on Sunday January 13th. We were able to stay home and relax all day. We could have watched Netflix all day with the extra free time, but we were able to make time for reading, a few smaller projects, an adventure out into the snow, some writing, and other fun things. It was one of the greatest snow days we have ever had.
We challenge you to try a week without Netflix. Let us know what pros and cons you see. There is a stigma associated with people our age (or just people in general) about how much Netflix we watch, how we lose track of time, and the like. Sometimes it makes a funny meme. Sometimes it’s a painful reminder of how little self-control we have. Be intentional. Pause the show, turn off the screen, and make the most of your time. Life is short. We realized that we CAN be productive in the evenings; it’s just easier to veg and do nothing. We CAN get up and move or make things or read; it’s just easier to sit in front of a screen and not engage your mind. Do hard things!
Follow our #52weekwithout challenge here on our website or over on our Instagram page. This upcoming challenge may seem easy, but Joshua is already struggling and it is only day 2.