Opting Out

The older I get, the less tolerance I have for drama. At age forty-five, I feel like I should have seen it all. By this time, not much should surprise me. After all, haven’t I heard multiple sad stories? Haven’t we all watched the evening news in horror? If I had a dime for every time I heard a jaw-dropping story that starts with, ” You aren’t gonna believe this….” I could buy The Mister that shiny new truck he has been eyeing.

Instead, I still managed to be taken aback by people. Their responses to life, their perspective is fascinating. Sometimes nauseating. It occurred to me recently that I have the option to opt out. There is a saying that you don’t have to attend every argument you are invited to. The same can be said of drama of all kinds. You know, you can opt out. Even The Mister is learning about opting out. He has entered the predominately female field of nursing. Poor guy is learning about drama of all types and he chooses to opt out most days. His advice to me? Just opt out.

I can opt out of your emotional meltdown. I don’t have to rescue or fix anything. It’s not my job to make other adults act right, I’ll just opt out.

I can opt out of your rudeness. It’s not my job to justify why an adult acts the way they do or offer other more optimistic, gracious perspectives, I’ll just opt out.

I can opt out of your isolation tactics. Do I really need the attention of someone who punishes me with silence? Perhaps the greater message is the peace your silence brings, I’ll just opt out.

Opting out is not copping out. It is a conscious decision to turn the other cheek, to do no harm. Opting out does not mean that I condone bad behavior, it means I don’t have time for it. There are other more important things to do. There are other more important ministries to tend to. There are other people worth far more of my attention.

Step aside please, I don’t want the ugly stain of your bad behavior to spatter my hair or shoes, I’ll be moving along in life, I’m opting out this time……


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