Several years ago, my friend and I were chatting by the baby pool, lamenting how difficult it was to find good babysitters. Her favorite had just moved out of state; my favorite had just gone off to college.
“I had a sweet girl come sit for us a few times,” my friend said, “and my kids liked her, but there was too much drama in her life. Some people just attract it, you know? I don’t want to hire a drama magnet to spend time with my kids.”
Huh, I thought. I’d never thought about it like that before. Her theory stuck with me, and I began using it to screen my babysitters. (And my kids’ friends, too, now that they’re a little older. But that’s another story.)
When I recently read Stephen Pressfield’s The War of Art, I was surprised to see him say the very same thing. Nevermind that Pressfield was talking about the writerly life, and my friend was talking about babysitters: it’s the same concept.
Pressfield writes, “We get ourselves into trouble because it’s a cheap way to get attention. Creating soap opera in our lives is a symptom of resistance. Why put in years of work designing a new software interface when you can get just as much attention by bringing home a boyfriend with a prison record?”
If we don’t have the guts to commit ourselves to long-term growth, health and integrity, we can always go for the cheap thrills of a soap opera instead. And many people do.
But I don’t want drama magnets (or makers) around my kids, and really, I don’t need self-dramatists around me, either. Because in Pressfield’s words, a stirring soap opera means one thing: “Nobody gets a darn thing done.”
I’ve got too much work to do to invite drama into my life, and I’m pretty sure you do, too.
Do you have unwanted drama in your life? How do you deal with it?
Don’t Be a Drama Queen, and Other Lessons in Friendship from Anne of Green Gables. The persistent popularity of this post tells me that tons of people have unwanted drama in their lives.
What I’ve Been Reading Lately, and A New Reading Resource. This post contains blurb on The War of Art and the concept of resistance.
The Modern Accomplished Woman…Has Positive Relationships. This post from the “redefining the accomplished woman” series discusses the importance of meaningful relationships in our lives.