Monday, July 7, 2014

Living in the Twilight Zone

Rod Serling,the creator of the brilliant Twilight Zone TV series was from small town upstate NY. For those of you that know the Twilight Zone series, you are aware of a reoccurring theme about escaping back to an easier time, to child hood, to simpler things, to remembering what is important, to quiet joys, to slowing down. Rod loved his childhood. He talked about it all the time. He was stressed out by the pace and rigors of TV and his memories of small town NY helped him deal with the stress. He understood that a lot of us are searching for the same thing. That was me. I loved my life in the big city. I loved my career and it was important for me to be good at it. I worked hard and it was exciting. But I was constantly looking for something simpler, slower, more joyful. Finally at some point - the small town life was all I wanted. There are two particular Twilight Zone episodes that used to really affect me. They spoke to that need for change, to finding more joy in everyday simple things. They are not happy episodes - so I was determined to learn from both of them and make my ending a happy one. A Stop at Willoughby. Stressed out advertising executive realizes that he is not cut out for the high pressure life. He wants a place where "a man can live his life full measure". He sees Willoughby in a dream. Friendly small town - where if the biting is good, a man can go out fishing with the locals. A band plays in a gazebo in the small town square. Willoughby is a place in his mind only - and the way he gets there is not joyful. But for me, the Journey Inn is Willoughby - and I made it a happy ending. The Bewitching Pool. OK - the premise is not something I relate to.....two kids, divorcing parents, escape to a place at the bottom of their pool. What I do relate to is the wise words of Aunt T. Aunt T takes care of these children whose lives are so unpleasant they found her and the life she created for them. Of course it is an idyllic world of perpetual summer, swimming holes, fishing, playing, and...and here is the key: chores. You see, chores teaches you, "the dignity of work and the joy of labor". The Journey Inn offers for me an idyllic surrounding and the dignity of work - and a rewarding job everyday. Yes, I am living in the Twilight Zone, in Rod Serling's wonderful upstate NY, creating my own happy ending. I hope everyone finds their own Twilight Zone.