Josh and I spent New Year’s Eve rearranging our living room and den in accordance with a decision we’ve made about our lives. I guess you could call it a New Year’s resolution, but the connection to the New Year is strictly coincidental.
We are striving to downplay the role of television in our lives. To be honest, we’re not even that bad when compared to the “average American family” when it comes to time spent in front of the tube, but that isn’t saying much. Miss Mouse doesn’t watch TV at all now, and as she grows up, we want to keep the tube time to a minimum.
But previously, our house didn’t really represent these values. We had a good-sized TV in a big entertainment center smack in the middle of our living room, where we spend the vast majority of our leisure time. Whether we intended it to or not, that simple truth of furniture arrangement sent the message that television was at the center of our lives. And we both felt like that non-verbal message was having an impact on us and was bound to come through to Miss Mouse.
So we moved it.
We didn’t take the truly radical step of getting rid of the TV all together (we’re way too fond of watching movies and TV shows on DVD), but we did relegate it to the downstairs den. The entertainment center was too big to move, so we added some bookshelves in the middle. It looks a bit odd, but I think it’s kind of funky — like a window looking into Bookland.
An added benefit to this rearrangement is that, when we didn’t have to have all our furniture pointed at the TV, we were able to expand to fill the available space in our admittedly-very-large living room. Now Miss Mouse and the furball both have more room to ram around and be silly (which they both do frequently) and we also have more seating space for guests.