This past weekend I enjoyed some much-needed Real Women downtime with a couple of BFFs. While talking and catching up, we would from time to time stall out on what we were dicussing, lose our place, or make a rapid switch in topics. We decided that rather than refer to these as menopausal moments, or senility seconds, we would simply shout “plot change!” and move on. As avid readers, this made total sense to us. As Real Women, we were able to keep up with each other no matter the bumps and jumps in subject matter.
When the weekend drew to a close, my BFF headed for home and I slipped back into reality. And I started to consider the quantity, and variety, of plot changes we R.W.’s experience throughout our lives – as if we are our own walking libraries.
There are of course the edge-of-our-seat dramas, where we experience sudden and life-changing plot twists… illness, the death of a loved one, a career change, a move, childbirth, marriage or divorce. These are the big story lines that rip at our emotions and we have no choice but to move forward to see how it all works out in the end.
We also have our fill of formulaic romances and comedies, where we can’t help ourselves from being sucked in by new relationships, or juicy stories, or laugh-until-we-pee situations. We can fairly well predict the outcome, but we enjoy the ride anyway.
We’ve all experienced the slow plot, where we just keep waiting for something exciting to happen, and it takes all of our focus to slog through the pages. We have likely all had times in our lives where we feel a bit unfulfilled, like we are just plodding along the treadmill of day to day activities, hoping and waiting for the plot to pick up and add some excitement. Luckily, the story of life always delivers.
Have you ever read a book that has so many different characters, or locations, or plot adjustments, or time changes that it is confusing to read? Like you need a map or a notepad to keep track of who’s who and what’s what? Well, ladies, welcome to our daily storylines. Each multi-tasking, dynamic role-playing day, we have plot twists running constantly in our heads. Consider just a ride home from work, and all the pages that are rapidly flipping through our brains as we transition from one part of our day to the next: Ugh, I forgot to answer that last email, better do that first thing in the morning; and I gotta prep for the big meeting on Friday; what am I making for dinner tonight? What time is my son’s practice? Have to remember to take the dog to the vet tomorrow; oh, man, I think we are out of milk; oooooh, Meghan Trainor, I love this song – you gotta know how to treat me like a lady even when I’m acting crazy…I need to get out this weekend and get those extra school supplies, and hubby needs a new belt; wonder if I can get in some writing time tonight after dinner – oh, wait, that new show is on…..
Lastly, there are the stories in our lives with the engrossing, progressive plot development. They take some time, but we don’t mind because they’ve caught our interest, and we are invested in them. During my time with my friends this weekend, we did nothing wild and crazy – we had a great day together on Saturday, and went out to dinner… on the way to dinner, we laughed about not having the desire or energy to go out to any bars or clubs. We wouldn’t even know where to go if we wanted to. After dinner, we came home and sat out on my porch, sipped chocolate martinis, and talked and laughed and enjoyed the beautiful weather and peace and quiet of night. This is one of those slow and steady plot changes, where as we get more mature, our focus shifts from excitement and parties to quiet and relaxed time together. We vent and laugh about how are bodies are changing, and how our perspective on life has adjusted. What we want out of life, the activities and events and fun that we have, has changed from our younger selves in those earlier chapters.
As I type, we are on the verge of another predictable, progressive change. The last day of summer is giving way to the first day of Fall. The temperatures are dropping, leaves are changing, days are getting shorter, and I find myself staring into my closet wondering what to wear when it is 40 degrees in the morning and 75 by afternoon. The familiar sound of geese flying overhead reminds us that we’ve read this story before, many times. Yet each time, we know there will be some sort of unexpected twist, some new character, or event, that will happen in our lives to make this chapter just a bit different than the last.
So, as adaptable, wise, flexible, and strong R.W’s, we will strengthen our grip with anticipation, take a deep breathe and yell… Plot change!