• Kendra Bertsch

Sometimes You Have to Be Drastic

I did something drastic in October….

I cancelled my Netflix account.

Okay, so for some that not might be a dramatic change to their life (my Dad has never been a big TV watcher so for him, it would be easy to do), but for some of you...this could be the end of the world.

“What about Season 2 of “You”? You are missing out on the next episodes of “The Crown”! “Are you insane!?”

Coincidentally, a year ago I wrote a blog post titled “My Break-up with Netflix” and discussed my cut back on watching not only Netflix but television in general. I am here to say, I had a relapse. It did not take me long after I wrote that blog post that I was back to my old habit of coming home from a long day of work and couch surf for the majority of my night. If I had to do something, I would procrastinate until the day of to get the task done and still have Netflix in the background.

So, last month, I said enough. I was falling behind on my college course, slacking on my bill paying, and neglecting my grocery shopping. The Depression Creeper loomed over me and I even would make excuses to skip my exercise programs. Definitely not normal for me and I was not happy with the rabbit hole that I created. A change was needed.

This is not the first time I did something drastic in my life. During my junior year of high school, I quit drinking soda (or pop if you prefer). I was drinking two Sunkist a day and hit my highest weight at that time. I got up one day and just said “enough” and that was it. I didn’t wean myself off soda...I cold-turkey quit that shit!!!! Needless to say, the first 30 days was the hardest part. I was not a tea or coffee drinker back then so I had no alternative form of caffeine to go to. Reflecting back on that time, I am sure I just started drinking more water or focused on homework to occupy my thoughts.

And, as it so happens, I still am alive!!! It did not kill me and to this day I still do not drink or buy soda. I may have had the occasional Crown and Coke during a night out over the last few years but I cannot tell you the last time I tried to drink a can or bottle of soda. I can say the last time I took a sip of Coke, it tasted like straight acid in my mouth and I could tell my gut was going to roll the rest of the day.

Back to my new drastic change, I cancelled my Netflix account mid-October and it stated I could stream through October 31 since I was paid up through the month. After that, no more streaming until I renewed my account. Talk about a scary story just in time for Halloween….

It has been over two weeks since my account vanished and it has been the best decision I could make. The first week, I tried to supplement my couch time with watching YouTube and a few of my DVDs (yes I still have a DVD collection and a DVD player). I found that I could not binge watch YouTube like I could binge watch Netflix and I grew tired of my DVDs just as fast. By week two, I was picking up books from my to-read list, catching up on house-cleaning, working on freelance stuff, and recipe researching.

Not only did I find other more beneficial things to do with my time, I also decided to try block scheduling. I took my Google calendar and started blocking out work, exercise, freelance work, class study time, and even tasks like grocery shopping and dealing with financials. I have only been block scheduling for about a week but I could write a whole different blog post about that….

You might be thinking that I watch funny animal videos while YouTube surfing (I add a few into my Watch Later list of course) but most of the stuff I watch is self improvement and professional development type videos. This last week, I found and started following a couple of new YouTubers that talk about goal setting, entrepreneurship, and personal growth.

I also re-introduced myself a holistic nutritionist I have been following for awhile and rekindled my idea of changing my food habits. I researched holistic deodorants, soaps, lotions, and ways to lower my carbon footprint. I even started listening to podcasts while doing tasks around the house and grocery shopping. I am loving podcasts and considering starting one myself (send me a message or email if you agree).

I cannot say that I will never renew my subscription to Netflix or find another streaming channel. With the #StreamingWars happening right now, I think it is a good time to stop and think about the value of television and streaming services. If you tallied up all the streaming services you pay for each month, it is probably just as much as DISH and DirecTV is right now (well over $100 per month).

If you are someone like me who gets sucked into the habit of watching tv, almost to the point of addiction and self destruction, then it is a good time to think about your priorities and where you want your $12.99 to go each month. I don’t know about you, but I have too many things on my plate at this point in my life to worry about reruns of “Friends” or what happens next on “How to Get Away with Murder”.

Sometimes you have to be drastic.

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