Writer’s brain can be a blessing and a curse. I tend to view everything through the novelistic lens, which doesn’t always serve me in good stead. Last week at the day job I was participating in a class on resilience. So far, so good. I regard myself as extremely resilient!
But one of the exercises involved scoring yourself against a set of 18 one liner situations. Would you assume the situation was caused by you or someone else? Is it permanent or temporary; does it affect your whole life or only one area? Most of the class zipped right through this. I, on the other hand, was stuck on the first question, something about a friend asking me to help solve a problem and I said no. Which friend, I pondered? Why wouldn’t I help them? That’s not like me! Was I sick? Overworked? On a deadline? Was it a personal problem? A work problem? A relationship issue? Male or female friend?
You can see the plot line developing in my head, right?
I tore myself away from that one and moved on to the next one. I meet a friend who acts hostilely towards me. Oh, wait now, is this that same friend from question #1? The one I wouldn’t help? Or did I break down and advise them in between question #1 and question #2 and my advice made things worse? Is this a new friend I’ve now alienated? Okay skip this question and come back to it.
I’ve been invited to the party of an acquaintance. Have I run out of friends and have to scrape for invitations from strangers? Are my former friends there? Do I meet a really interesting guy at this party, only to find out he’s involved with my hostile friend? Was he the one my other friend wanted advice on? And hmm, sneaking a peek at the questions ahead (since this isn’t the SATs), situation #13 says I get married. Is this the The Guy I Will Marry? Do we date a lot or is this a whirlwind romances?
And on through the questions I went. I got a raise, I contracted an illness, bought a home, got fired, won the lotto, and my relationship ended. Felt a lot like playing the old board game LIFE!
The rest of the class and the instructor are now waiting impatiently for me to finish the test so we can move on. I’m pondering how to arrive at the HEA ending. Was the guy at the party maybe the Hero but I foolishly went and married someone else in the intervening ten questions? Oooh look, there’s a question about a friend complimenting me on my appearance. Here we go, he must be the Hero!
My score? You will be relieved as I was to learn that I’m generally pretty happy go lucky and optimistic. I mean, look at all I endured in those 18 questions and still managed to pull the HEA ending out of my hat!