Ah, June… Summer is at our doorstep, the days are (almost all of them) seeming to get a little bit longer, and for the second year in a row I am partaking in my daily blogging exercise, marginally focused along a theme I’ve simply called Those 30 posts in June. No planning. No writing stuff days ahead. Just this: each day a meanderingly vague prompt drives a meanderingly vague post… and today that post just happens to be:
June 18th // Something You Are Ignoring
Perhaps. Or at least, I try…
I could speculate on the dozens of possible reasons why I’ve had a relatively quiet and happy past six months, but if you were to ask me to nail down one of the biggest drivers behind my overall current peak in self-satisfaction with my life I’d have to credit the fact I’ve been actively — willfully, deliberately, ploddingly — ignoring drama. Oh, I’m not immune — in no way an expert at ignoring the epic spin of emotions and position-jockeying that swirls around the various groups of people currently in my life. But… well… let’s just talk about that, shall we?
So… drama. And dramatic people. Yeah, you know who you are and I can almost guarantee that you’re not reading this blog.
Drama is an interesting thing. Too often there is this sense of inflated importance around ideas, groups, and events that brings out this creep of weirdness in all of us. All of us. None of us are guilt-free. I’ve noticed that most of us, as individuals, crave some sort of status or certainty in our lives that causes us to evaluate or interactions with others in a way that fold those interactions around a kind of methodology of behaviour. You’ve seen this: someone wants to be “in charge” or held in some kind of high regard within a group and they achieve this. Sometimes the group matters, like when working with a committee or getting involved with a volunteer organization. Other times, the group is just a group, such as when we converge with others based on common goals or interests in an effort that is as much entertainment as it is anything else. We converge for a purpose, meet to work together towards a common purpose, and are forced by such circumstance to cooperate and build mature and adult relationships to meet expectations.
It doesn’t always work that way. On television, this is the stuff of prime time. In real life, this is what causes stress, anxiety, and more often, people to quit doing the things they would otherwise love to do. Sad, but true.
I don’t want to give concrete examples. That would just be more drama after all, wouldn’t it? … and particularly so if someone involved in my groups actually came along and read about it here. But if you’ve read this far you probably already have some kind of example in your mind of a personal experience with the same, so my examples will only topple much more effective construct you’re right now building in your own imagination. The thing is this: you probably just want to do good, or participate in a positive way, and — WHAM! — along comes someone who adds an unknown variable to the mix, controlling or disrupting or evoking the bad behavious of people who you never thought would spark with such reactions. Maybe it’s even you doing the shit-disturbing. And pretty soon everyone is behaving, well… dramatic: name calling, undermining, politicking, blistering, berating, passive-aggressively subterfuging… and the list goes on.
I’ve been ignoring this: willfully, deliberately, ploddingly. And it’s tough, just walking away, trying to just say “dude, whatever” and meaning it. But… hey, actively and consciously thinking this way, stepping away from drama when it emerges — and it does more often than I would have thought — is a tough gig, but so much worth it in the long term.
There are a ton of things that have made my life pretty good lately: a wonderful family, a good job, good health, involvement in a fulfilling set of hobbies and activities, and a swirling and complex set of interesting people with whom I get to spend my days mingling and participating. But ignoring the drama — at least, as much as I can, I think — adds the cherry on top.