Flatland Mountains

The area around the small town where I spent the first 12 years of my life is flat.  And by flat, I don’t mean just a little hilly; I mean FLAT.  There are very few trees, and the few that are there are short and bushy.  Once you leave town, you can see out forever in every direction.  The same goes for the area where I went to college.  On clear days (and let’s face it–they’re nearly all clear), you can see the curvature of the earth at the horizon.  Yes, it is that flat.

I remember how much fun we used to have going to the park in my original hometown.  The drive there was dramatic because it boasted the only hill in town.  All four of us kids would get reverently quiet as we approached the hill, then squeal as we coasted down it.  “Mommy, I think we left my tummy back there at the top!”  The drive and that monstrous hill were much more exciting than the lame park itself.

Looking back, I highly doubt that hill could be any taller than about fifteen feet.  Hardly worth the dramatics, wouldn’t you say?

Well, that’s my life.

I have a wonderful marriage.  We are rarely at odds with each other, and when we are, it’s usually hormone- or blood sugar-related.  Conflicts are resolved within about an hour of occurring.

The same goes for my job.  My boys are pretty normal, and even when PJ is about to drive me insane, I still can’t help but love him.

My family?  They’re quirky but lovable.  I swear we were trying to be the Brady bunch or something when we were growing up.  Now we’re the Brady bunch with potty humor.

Even M’s family is pretty normal.  Yes, they clearly have their issues, but it’s nothing like I hear about from many of you.

With my life so “flat,” it’s no wonder that every little hill in the way seems like a mountain to me.  I look for drama in every situation and attempt to make even the most minor conflicts into ones worthy of any soap opera.  I know that sounds silly, because who really wants that kind of drama in their life?  They’d be much happier if life didn’t hand them this drama–and here I go making my own.

It is this phenomenon of making mountains out of road bumps that leads to things like tiffs with a neighbor over taunting my dog, or one-sided arguments with my brother over stolen gift ideas, or frustration with the in-laws for overspoiling my kids.  Sure, they’re worthy of a reaction, but not to the extent I have devoted to them.

And you know what?  I’m okay with that.  As long as I recognize this tendency and keep these one-sided issues confined in my own head, never letting on to the other people involved that I’m upset with them over nothing, I’d much rather be in this situation.  Creating drama of my own is much preferable to taking whatever drama life chooses to hand me.  After all, yes, I do realize just how lucky I am.

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