A dose of reality

What I can possibly say when most of us are still reeling and/or shaking our heads regarding the news this week? As of this morning, we’ve uncovered one ‘new’ serial killer — not the anti-hero, Dexter type, I’m sad to say; a bizarre kidnapping plot; and have faced the fact that not even secure facilities are secure… and sometimes the craziest ones among us might be the ones trying to heal our pain. :\ My thoughts and prayers are with all those affected by the horrors in both Ohio and at Fort Hood.

Yes, as you can probably deduce, I’ve had a bit too much reality this week. It reminds me not only why I don’t enjoy watching the news, but why we’re becoming so isolated from one another even as we spend hours on the Internet. Stranger danger has never had a more provocative meaning.

Reality is, however, something we have to face. Meet head-on at times. Even overcome or fight to change. But how do we keep our own mental health from hitting rock bottom in the meantime? It differs, I think, from person to person.

It runs the gamut of those who get out there and help to others who curl up in the fetal position and wait for it all to blow over. Then there’s people like me who simply turn off the news and grab a good book…or play a game…or connect with friends and my family. I do face reality, but in small doses… or at least until my brain and heart reach the point of saturation. Then I delve back into make-believe.

Either way, I’m one of those who likes to be in control of their world. When I can’t be — which is often the case — then I tend to get a bit overwhelmed. But I’ve figured out ways to deal with that stress so my family doesn’t have to suffer my bad moods.

Recently I went so far as to turn on TV-Land and the Andy Griffith Show. Ah, to be in Mayberry again, sitting on the porch with Aunt Bea as I eat a big hunk of apple pie. How I’d love to laze with Andy and Opie at the old fishin’ hole, just whittling the hours away in peace and quiet.

All I can say is that this week has reminded me that old-fashioned ideas and out-dated notions aren’t necessarily a bad thing. In a perfect reality, neighbors would be friends — they’d look out for each other; depend on each other without a thought and never regret it. In a perfect reality, my children wouldn’t even know the term ‘serial killer’, and that would be okay. In a perfect reality, the bad guys would wear the black hats so we’d know, on sight, who we could trust.

Ah, but reality is never perfect. Which is partly why I read fiction… and write romance. I have control over that world, at least.

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