I have made a number of small changes in my life in the last few months possibly worth reporting here. I’m happy with each and every one of them, and they’ve started me thinking about other small changes that I might make with similar effects.
- No more TV. I stopped watching TV in August. I was on a trip and, when I got back, I just said, “I don’t think I’m going to watch TV any more” and I didn’t. Occasionally, I will watch something with Becky (less than once a week). And we had one houseguest with whom I watched many hours of TV. (Each night after Charlie and Becky were in bed, he plopped down in front of the TV. It seemed that barricading myself in my office would be rude. It was a good reminder of how little I’m missing, actually.) Other than that, though, nothing. I’ve tried to convince Becky that we should cancel our DirecTV subscription, but I haven’t gotten far with that one yet… (We can even get the top level NetFlicks subscription, dear!)
- No more soda. I tried several variations on this before I found one that worked. Around mid-October, I gave up carbonated sugar water. I was addicted to Coke. Not in the crazy 6-pack-or-more-a-day way that some people are, but I had at least one and often two every day. This bothered me — lots and lots of empty calories — and I wasn’t about to switch to diet soda. (It tastes gross, contains chemicals that may cause cancer in laboratory animals, and actually tends to increase your caloric intake by making you crave more sweet stuff. Yum!) The no soda rule allows me to still get my sweet tea fix on occasion but moderates the number of liquid calories that I am sucking down. (Also, I’m not likely to get as addicted to sweet tea. It’s not as readily available as soda — the kind that comes from vending machines is usually nasty.) I have cheated a couple of times when I wanted a caffeine hit and there was no sweet tea available, but I’ve been pretty good.
- Cloth Diapers. For the first year of Charlie’s life, we used disposable diapers. We weren’t particularly mindful about it — that’s just what most people do and we assumed that cloth diapers would be a huge hassle. When Becky started campaigning for us to try cloth I was a massive skeptic. But there is a program through Jillian’s Drawers where you can try cloth for three weeks. If you don’t like it, you return the diapers and it only costs $10. And what I found was that cloth was dead simple. Modern cloth diapers are just as easy to use as disposables (no pins or anything like that, just velcro) and washing them is no big deal, either. Just plop them in the washer, run a cold rinse and then a hot wash, and into the dryer they go. It is good for the environment, will help with potty training when the time comes, has reduced Charlie’s diaper rash, and is cost effective, too.
So, those are the things I’ve done to improve my life lately. How about you?