Netflix and DVR. Two wonderful inventions that save us from watching commercials and having to wait impatiently. In regards to consumption of whatever we deem to be entertainment, this is a luxury. We can do it on our time, opposed to real-time. We are not bound by the constraints of regularly scheduled programming.
If we’re honest with ourselves, we’re also trending more towards dealing with our emotions in a similar fashion. We push them down or aside until we feel we have the time to deal with them. We attempt to binge-process our emotions. The trouble here is that as our emotions pile up, they get harder to fathom how to deal with, like a pile of laundry spilling out of the hamper onto the floor. It gets overwhelming, so we continue to avoid. And, how do we avoid? We seek to be entertained. There’s an escapism attached to entertainment. We look to be entertained to take our minds off what’s bothersome to our lives. It’s indeed another attempt to avoid dealing with ourselves. It’s a vicious cycle.
We’ve all experienced moments in our lives when our performance has been optimal. When we are on top of our to-do lists. The times we attack our days like a dog attacks a squeaky toy: we break the neck! And, it feels good to do so! When we are in these modes, we feel powerful. We feel unstoppable, because that positive momentum is fueled by dealing effectively with each moment. Emotions don’t muddy our focus. What typically derails us? In a word: disappointment. Something or some “thing” blocks our path and causes an emotional reaction we choose not to deal with in the moment. It begins as a few pairs of socks, but not before long, the hamper is overflowing once more.
The more we choose to deal with our lives in the here and now, the more we choose to process our emotional responses as they arise, the less likely we’ll need to seek refuge in escapism. Where we hope that the laughter, tears, horror, disgust, or interest we seek from the hours of our uninterrupted entertainment consumption will be a fitting cure for what ails us. The reality is that the commercial breaks offered in real-time entertainment are the best time to get some laundry done.