Whew! On the other side of taping & “escaping” to the future

Wow, the world seems a different place after taping a telecast!  (As I commented in a previous post-taping post.)  I do so thoroughly enjoy getting to work on the Tomorrow’s World telecast, but when I am preparing for a shoot it is truly hard to think of anything else.  And the closer the moment comes, the more dominating those thoughts are.

I suppose that’s rather normal for any large task.  But now that TV stuff has calmed down, Pre-Teen Camp will be the new dominating thought–for which I have been so longing to better devote my time.  One day I will learn to multi-task; I just hope it is on this side of the first resurrection.  So if you are having a conversation with me and you see my eyes glaze over for a moment, don’t take it personally: I’m just having a “started thinking of camp” moment…

I was just going to make this brief comment (so I can move on to working on camp!), but one more thing related to preparing for this taping comes to mind that I thought I would share.

The night before last while I was struggling to complete my last script edit and finally have the script “tape worthy,” I found myself gravitating to thoughts of future scripts.  I have a few ideas about what to do with my next few telecasts, and I had the hardest time for a while focusing on the task at hand (the taping that was going to be done the very next morning–literally in a few hours) instead of allowing my mind to drift to future tapings which were possibly months away.

I mentioned this to someone who kindly told me that he thought it was a sign of a creative mind.  While I like that explanation (who wouldn’t like to think that they have a creative mind!), I must say that I suspect that another force was at work.

At that moment, working on this script was a struggle.  It was becoming quite a difficult slog trying to craft this script into something that would be simultaneously coherent and yet within the 25-ish minute boundaries (there is no “going over” on television!).  Yet, the “future scripts” that my mind kept wanting to work on were like fresh fields of flowers and soft grass, through which I could run and frolic (yes, it’s OK for men to frolic–as long as it is a good, manly frolic…) without the burden of making them work now.  They were the imagined greener grass on the other side of the hill.

In reality, I have good reason to know how it will be with those “future scripts” once the “future” becomes the “present.”  They, too, will magically transform into “work.”  And, should the work become difficult, my mind may at that time seek refuge in additional “future scripts”–tasks that deceptively promise an easier time and a more relaxing day, merely because they still exist in fantasy land.

And, by the way, I hope I don’t paint too negative a picture of working on the telecast.  I really do love it!  Yet, as Mr. King confirmed to me concerning his own experience, it really is one of the more difficult things I’ve ever done.  I like to think that I am learning!  But learning takes work.  Still, it is amazing work to have, and I am so thankful for the opportunity, however long it may last.

But the reason I bring it up is that I think the “escape to a fantasy future” route is one that we (that is, we humans) tend to take in a variety of circumstances, because it is always an option.  If your marriage is difficult and a “hard slog,” and then you meet someone else–say, at work, which is often the case–with whom you just “click,” it can be harder to focus on the task at hand (making your marriage work) than to fantasize about a wispy “future state” with this other person, with whom you currently have none of these problems.  Yet, where you to take the sad step of actually acting on that “fantasy” you would find that it eventually introduces its own problems, if not some of the exact same problems.  And even if you never act, the mere existence of the “fantasy” does its own damage.  At the very least, it is a waste of your God-given capacity for vision and proactive imagination–wasting it on investing time & energy in a marriage that doesn’t exist, versus bringing that same time, energy, and talent to bear on the task at hand: improving the marriage you are actually living in.

It doesn’t have to be something big like marriage — it could be just your current project at work.  The temptation to spend our energies in unrelated fantasies that do not solve our problems today is strong.  When it’s not sinful (as the marriage example I gave above), perhaps spending brief moments on such unburdened “future fantasy projects” can be beneficial, either because it truly is creative time.  I think I have benefited in this way at times from such activity (though I was not that night).  Or they could even be beneficial as brief, stress-relieving, mental “vacations” — again, as long as they are not sinful.  But there is a big difference between a vacation and “wasting away again in Margaritaville”…

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