Every good story has a bit of drama to it. Are we adding some to our own stories unnecessarily?

The other day while vacuuming (who knew it could be such a great time to think and reflect and solve problems?), I was thinking about the TV show we had watched the night before. I know, people who are smart and intelligent and movers and shakers don’t have time for TV. But in our little box that makes up our world, sometimes TV in the evening is about all that can be managed – and so we do it together.
I was struck by how unrealistic the whole story line was. It seemed to me that the characters were specifically making choices that added drama to their situations, rather than solving the problems.
Well, duh, it’s TV.
Of course that is what they would do. Who is going to tune in week after week to watch the same thing happen over and over again and people being happy with each other? Even “Leave it to Beaver” had the difficulties that somehow always found a solution by the end of the half hour.
Certainly, our problems very, very rarely can be resolved and put to rest in the same time that a sitcom can do it.
We should be so lucky.

 

But, the converse is also true.

Does there need to be a drama or catastrophe happening as soon as the current one is over?

I think all of us would quickly answer “We’d love life to be that way, if only it could. It seems that there really is a pile up of wrecks waiting to be dealt with.”

I wonder how many of those wrecks could have been avoided if we had just been paying a little closer attention to our driving, so to speak? But just like we can’t live without our cell phones while getting from point A to point B, we can’t seem to focus on the here and now to make the there and then a little more under control.

Maybe the reason this struck me hard while vacuuming is that it hits way too close to home. I spent the greater part of my life anticipating, worrying about, and experiencing the emotion of all the potential problems that could arise.

And I usually did it long before they arose, if they ever did.

I experienced them again and again and again.

It almost felt like I would be out of control if things were under control. (Yes, we can all agree that I’m nuts.)

But, I would think that I’m not the only one out there who is a little guilty of drama production in our lives.

Anybody? Anybody at all?

With all the changes in our life, I’ve had some time to think about this very thing. I don’t think the solution is rocket science; however, we may wish it were so there would be a better excuse for not doing it more often.

We’ve talked before about being securely insecure and we’ll certainly talk about it again. Insecurity is the root of many problems.I think that there is a little insecurity that helps to push the drama forward in our lives.

Think about it: if there is drama going on, then certainly that is the focus. Everyone is looking in that direction.

And not at me.

Or if they are looking at me, they are seeing me heroically handling a horrible situation.

Win win.

But just like the driver who can’t put down the cell phone, eventually there is going to be a bad wreck where people are hurt, or even killed.

It may be pretty boring to have a story or TV show that doesn’t really have a problem to solve. That’s okay. If we can remember that it is just a story and is to entertain (or in great cases, teach a lesson), then we can also remember that our actual stories don’t need to follow suit.

The past decade has brought forth an onslaught of “reality TV”. It’s cheap to produce and for some insane reason it gets incredible ratings. Apparently we love to watch each other be horrible to other people.

Really?

Can you imagine actually living a life like what we see on “reality TV” shows? Would you be shocked to find that there is nothing real about it? The whole thing is scripted? Kind of like letting out the secret that WWE is, wait for it, fake. I know, I know, it’s hard to believe, but there it is.

The “reality TV” shows are just as fake.

Our life may not have a finished script where we know where we are headed or how it turns out, but we do have power and control over writing the next few pages at a time.

Being an HR graduate and manager, I learned that problems foreseen and proactively handled required a miniscule fraction of energy and time when compared to those problems that exploded. By being present in our present, we can resolve things while they are little and avoid many of the big things that seem to plague us.

Kind of funny when you think about it. We may in fact be handling them within the half hour of a sitcom. Who knew that “Leave it to Beaver” really could be real?

I think the point would be that I’ve learned that life can be, and should be, much closer to the old 1950s sitcoms than to the current “reality TV” shows.

Leave the drama to entertain us.

It’s actually pretty good to “tune in” week after week to just actually live the same thing happen over and over again, especially when it consists of people being happy with each other.

I think I’ll stick with the boring for every day.

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