Note: This post is part of a series. Please scroll down for other posts and introduction.
One of my family's biggest obstacles to keeping a clean house is not putting things away after we use them. Instead of taking the few seconds then to put the item away, I end up spending hours on it after things have piled up for a while! This is something I am really trying to work on. I think the reason that I struggle to keep up with organization is my lack of time management. One key culprit that has to be included in this calculation is the biggest time waster ever invented: the television! I have friends who have given up on cable TV and gotten rid of it, which is kind of the direction that I am possibly headed in the near future.
I can't help but remember the days when I was a college student, living with my mom, working part-time, and planning my wedding... there was no time for TV! I never even turned the power switch on. My life was full, busy, and rewarding... which it still is, but somehow I have made time to watch television... too much of it in my opinion. I also remember even earlier days when I imagined what my life would be like when I had children of my own... they would be extremely intelligent and they would not watch TV. My, how things change when your dreams become a reality! I am now grateful for the few minutes that my 16 month old actually spends in front of the television, because then maybe I can use the bathroom alone or wash dishes while she is occupied! However, I remain wholeheartedly against using TV as a babysitter for hours during the day. Any TV that my child does watch should also be educational and age-appropriate. As she gets older, I know there will be many more activities she can do alone as well, and I won't have to use the TV as a "crutch" to keep her engaged in something.
I have really realized the power of turning the television off. Even now as I write this, the window is cracked and I can hear the birds singing outside.... which is an even more precious sound to my ears now that I live in the city. In today's society, silence is something to avoid because then you are forced to deal with yourself, your mind, your heart, your existence... so there is always noise. I am convinced that most New Yorkers have probably never experienced true silence.
As my family decides whether to get rid of cable altogether or at least put serious limits on how much and what we watch on TV, we will enjoy the joyous sounds of our daughter, meaningful conversations, and silence (or as close as we get to it). Preparing for Passover takes a lot of time, and so it is a very appropriate season to improve our time management. We are all given the same number of hours each day, so we are responsible for how we choose to spend those hours. Let's redeem our time.
"So teach us to number our days, That we may present to You a heart of wisdom..."