40 Days

What to give up? 40 days in the wilderness without television – that's what I've decided. Wish me luck.

Every year at Lent I try to give up something that I really crave, something that I will miss, something that's absence will create an obvious void in my life. That's the purpose right, to suffer?

In years past I have given up sweets which ultimately helped me cut down on my craving for sugar. However, I'm right back on the sugar train again, stealing candy out of my kids' goody bags left over from birthday parties. I've given up caffeine which hardly seemed worth it because I turned into such a b--ch on wheels. I've given up chocolate (hell hath no fury like a woman who can't get her chocolate fix). I've given up french fries and soda. But the truth is that I could always find something just as unhealthy to substitute for what I gave up.

But this year I'm going into the wilderness with Jesus unarmed and there's no turning back. In fact as soon as I post this it's official (that's why I'm doing it). Here it is, hold onto your seats, I'm giving up television.

Clearly, this seems like a pretty odd thing for a television reporter like me to do. But it's time. The television spends far too much time distracting me from doing other things. It's unconscious, I flip it on for background noise and the next thing you know I'm knee deep in mindless reality television.

My goal is that I will find more time to write, read, do puzzles with my kids and simply "be" without all of the noise. Unlike the other things I gave up, I plan to substitute healthy things for television, things that just might stick. I will get my news from the internet. I will wear my iPod on the treadmill, and I will read a magazine in the tub, and maybe, just maybe, I will talk to my kids in the kitchen while I make dinner instead of watching one more story about Anna what's-her-name.

I may be a little shaky after a few days – but I'll keep you posted.


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