Because periods of grinding poverty are the lot of the grad student, there are certain points in my year when I am really broke. Thanks to an unexpected root canal, right now is one of them. This month the only things that got paid were my rent and the minimum amount of money the electric company needed so that they wouldn’t shut off my power. So my cable company had every right to shut off my cable on Monday when I was unable to pay the bill (note to cable company: you will get some money as soon as I do, I swear). And yes it sucks being without cable (and internet as well), but I’m finding that it’s really not all that bad.
I have a lot of really cool dvds that I almost never watch because there’s almost always something on the vast array of channels I get. Last night I had fun picking out the specific Disney movie references that Disney stuck in Enchanted. Apparently, I know my Disney movies. And I’m not able to check my email as often (note to my students: I swear I will answer your emails as soon as I get to school in the mornings) but I have a bit more time to work through the really cool novel I’m reading right now. (It’s called The Monk, and it’s very salacious) And best of all, I’ve unchained myself from my laptop and given my lap over to two very cuddly and friendly cats who are thrilled for the extra attention.
Now what I really wish the preceding paragraph had been about was how I used my cable-less and internet-less state to get massive amounts of work done on my dissertation. But alas, I threw my back out on cable-outage Monday, and I’ve had to spend a lot of my time at home laying down, which isn’t terribly conducive to my writing process. However, I’m quite certain another period of really brokenness will descend at some other point this year and I fully intend to use that time to get loads and loads of work done on my dissertation.
And even though I may moan about my poor pitiful poverty stricken state, I realize that in life even sucky things like having one’s cable cut off has its advantages. And, dare I say it, it's been kind of fun. I'm enjoying myself. In the end I have a roof over my head and food to eat, so despite my lack of cable and internet, I’m in pretty darn good shape.
Post Script: The paycheck gods came through with their monthly deposit; I've paid my past due balance and welcomed cable and internet back into my life. But in the end this experience was a good one for me, because I learned that sometimes the sucky things that happen are really not so sucky after all.