If Only I Could “Netflix” My Life

There's only one way to discover where the path leads... follow it!
There’s only one way to discover where the path leads… follow it!

Last night I found myself in an unusual position:  it was 7pm and neither kid was watching the TV.  I decided to nab the opportunity to watch another episode of a series I started a couple weeks ago on Netflix.   Apparently, this has the same effect as when I pick up the phone to call a friend, or sit down to balance the checkbook- a few minutes into it, my younger son plopped down on the couch next to me.

“What are you watching?”

“An episode of a TV show I found on Netflix.”

After a few moments of silence.  “Is that guy his dad?”

“No, they didn’t meet until just now.”

“Why did  he call him Father then?”

“Because he’s a priest and that’s what people call priests.”  I glanced over at him.  “Did you want to watch one of your shows?”

“No, I want to see what happens.”

So we watched the show, but not in silence.  He had lots and lots of questions.  I had some answers, but not all.  See, I had the benefit of seeing the 19 episodes prior, so I knew the history.  History is good, but it doesn’t necessarily give an obvious clue as to the future.

It struck me that this is a lot like life.  It would be be nice if life were like Netflix, where I could watch the “good” parts over and over, rate the “bad” parts with one star and remove them from my watch list, and skip ahead when I just can’t wait to see what happens next.

But life isn’t like that.  Life is “old school” – I only get to see it real time, as it happens.  It seems like the difficulties and struggles linger while the peaceful times are as brief as a single breath…maybe two, if I’m lucky. I know where I’ve been, I know where I’m at, but I have no idea what happens next.  I have no choice but to meet one sunrise after another and take it in as it unfolds.  I may not like all the “parts,” but with God’s grace, surely I can frame my view so I see each moment as something to cherish.

Have a beautiful weekend!


46 thoughts on “If Only I Could “Netflix” My Life

    • jannatwrites November 6, 2015 / 1:02 PM

      Hiccups aren’t bad, Susan… it’s the complete upheaval that I’m having difficulty with 🙂

  1. Debbie November 6, 2015 / 12:44 PM

    None of us has a crystal ball into the future, Janna, and perhaps that’s God’s blessing. Planning for the future, reminiscing over the past, but living in the moment seems to be our lot. I like the picture of your younger son sitting on the sofa with you and watching something you wanted to see — he sounds like a sensitive, caring soul! Here’s hoping your weekend is delightful!

    • jannatwrites November 6, 2015 / 1:04 PM

      My younger son is a sweet one. We’ve got a good bond, but I know that one day he will be 13 just like his brother, so I will have to remind myself to not get my feelings hurt 🙂 Thanks for stopping by, Debbie. I was catching up on reading and then I got hit with another debilitating wave of ‘darkness’. If only I could skip this episode, haha

  2. Nurse Kelly November 6, 2015 / 1:00 PM

    Beautiful post, Janna! I like to think of each day as having at least one good surprise for me – sometimes there are more and sometimes there aren’t any, but I’m always hopeful! Have a great weekend, my friend! xo

    • jannatwrites November 6, 2015 / 1:06 PM

      I used to have hope, Nurse Kelly. It used to be naturally occurring in me and I really do miss that. I’ll be visiting my parents this weekend, so maybe I can find a bit of my old self there again.

      • Nurse Kelly November 6, 2015 / 1:16 PM

        I know you are a person of faith, so don’t forget that faith gives you hope… it’s all about your choices, so why not choose to be hopeful and optimistic? You can control that, unlike other things in your life… all the best to you – safe travels.

        • jannatwrites November 15, 2015 / 8:06 PM

          Thanks, Nurse Kelly. My faith is tired and weak, and has been for a time. I’m working through that though. Life is a process.

        • Nurse Kelly November 16, 2015 / 5:26 AM

          I agree… that’s a good word for it. Try to make your mind focus on positive, happy thoughts as much as you can one day at a time… all anyone can do, really. Take care xo

        • jannatwrites November 17, 2015 / 10:40 PM

          Thanks for the kind advice, Nurse Kelly. I really do appreciate it 🙂

        • Nurse Kelly November 18, 2015 / 5:19 AM

          You’re welcome!

  3. philosophermouseofthehedge November 6, 2015 / 1:19 PM

    See now yet another benefit of getting really really old: you can edit/ fast forward or pause memories as you like – and no one will correct you…they may smile over your head, but phooey on them – they’ll see the advantage sooner or later. HA HA

    • jannatwrites November 15, 2015 / 8:08 PM

      You’re funny, Phil! I’ll probably be one of those who can’t work the memory remote, so I’ll be stuck on whatever gets in my head… like a horrible tv show re-run 🙂

  4. joannesisco November 6, 2015 / 1:46 PM

    It would be interesting to be able to rewind the parts I liked the best, or to refresh my memory about what really happened vs what I’ve told myself happened. Too bad it doesn’t work that way 🙂

    • jannatwrites November 15, 2015 / 8:08 PM

      That’s an interesting point about refreshing ourselves about what really happened, Joanne. We do tend to skew things, especially over time.

  5. nrhatch November 6, 2015 / 3:23 PM

    Embrace all with joy . . . anything can be a gift of gold in disguise.

    • nrhatch November 8, 2015 / 9:02 AM

      Our vision is limited, grounded as it is in the present. When something seems negative, we want it to go away. We don’t want to deal with hardship or suffering. We recoil from pain and resist the “what is.”

      But things are not always as they first appear:

      When we look over our shoulder, and take a retrospective glance at the negatives (e.g., being diagnosed with a tumor, having to undergo surgery, dealing with a flooded basement, being swamped by a rogue wave), our perspective has shifted.

      With expanded cognition, we find that the “negative events” we resisted benefited us on our journey. We learned something we needed to know. We received a nudge in the right direction ~ a shortcut to becoming who we were always intended to be.

      May you end up exactly where you need to be, when you need to be there. Peace!

      • jannatwrites November 15, 2015 / 8:24 PM

        It is true that when we look back we can often see the ‘good’ in what we thought was bad. I really do want to get to the point where I can see that. But I guess not knowing for a time is a part of the regular journey. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and experience here, Nancy

    • jannatwrites November 15, 2015 / 8:12 PM

      That was a cool video, Nancy. Good and bad can be a matter of perspective.

  6. suzicate November 6, 2015 / 3:45 PM

    This tv scenario brought back memories, from when I was the chatterbox while my sister was watching something to morphing into my children or husband being the talker while I was “trying” to enjoy a show, ha!
    You have a good outlook on life so I know you will continue to see your every day blessings. I know God has beautiful plans for you. Wishing you many blessings of beautiful and loving moments.

    • jannatwrites November 15, 2015 / 8:13 PM

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your comment, Suzicate. I appreciate the kind words 🙂

  7. Imelda November 6, 2015 / 8:54 PM

    I guess that’s why I enjoy watching a series on DVD. That way, I can get spoilers, skip the sad/ugly episodes, go to the episode where things turned out fine, and then go back to the skipped show. Drives my husband nuts, but I have difficulty handling the bad parts. I do the same with books – I often skip the more difficult parts of the story and look for the resolution in the later parts of the book. Then go back and complete the story. That I guess does not make me the ideal reader but sometimes, it helps to know that things will turn out right before I plunge into the sad parts. Wish that can be true with real life. 🙂

    • jannatwrites November 15, 2015 / 8:15 PM

      It would be nice to preview triumph before delving into sadness, but life forces us to take each day as it comes- outcome unknown. I guess in a way, our lives are never-ending cliff-hangers because we’re always waiting to see what happens next 🙂

  8. diannegray November 7, 2015 / 9:28 PM

    I’ve been getting into Netflix lately, Janna and I’m glad I live the life I do. It may have its upheavals but at least no one has written the script so I can always change it 😉

    • jannatwrites November 15, 2015 / 8:20 PM

      Haha, changing the script – nice concept, Dianne!

  9. vishalbheeroo November 8, 2015 / 1:33 AM

    Like they say, what’s life without few share of problems. Have a lovely Sunday:)

    • jannatwrites November 15, 2015 / 8:21 PM

      Thanks, Vishal! I’m a week late in responding, but that seems to be my norm now 😦

  10. agjorgenson November 9, 2015 / 8:13 PM

    Great analogy Janna! And sometimes if I think about watching a show or movie on Netflix, I’ll fast-forward through bits of it to see where it is going. This is definitely no on in life!

    • jannatwrites November 15, 2015 / 8:25 PM

      I often end up going back on Netflix… I tend to multi-task so I miss things as I’m watching 🙂

  11. the dune mouse November 10, 2015 / 10:19 PM

    ahh life on life’s terms I’ve heard!! Thought provoking Janna!

  12. femmefrugality November 17, 2015 / 8:33 AM

    Interesting perspective! Removing the bad parts would be especially useful. I guess without those experiences it should be harder to appreciate the good ones. But the good can feel fleeting sometimes.

    • jannatwrites November 17, 2015 / 10:44 PM

      I would agree that completely editing out the bad would be setting ourselves up to take the good for granted. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts, Femmefrugality!

  13. Björn Rudberg (brudberg) November 17, 2015 / 12:22 PM

    I think films has another thing.. we almost always have a sense where it will lead, and no matter what, the only predictable thing with life is how it will end (but nor when)… around the corner there are surprises.. and some are good… and some are bad.. we just have to look for new corners when it feels too bad.

    • jannatwrites November 17, 2015 / 10:45 PM

      Looking for new corners… I like that, Bjorn. That has a poetic feel to it (which makes sense that you would come up with that, haha.)

  14. GodGirl November 17, 2015 / 1:58 PM

    Beautifully said. My son keeps asking me for a time machine for Christmas, as he thinks that would solve all his problems. I think we would all love to have more control over the events of our life, but control can seem like an enigma… Trusting in the sovereignty of God is really, really hard…

    • jannatwrites November 17, 2015 / 10:48 PM

      A time machine… that’s cute. I like the way kids think though… it’s so innocent, not jaded with life. You’ve made an excellent point, GodGirl… if we took control of our good and bad, we would rely on God less. That’s seen throughout the Old Testament. For instance, when the people insisted they needed a human ruler to follow so they weren’t unlike their neighbors, ruler after ruler led them further from God until finally God was forced to pass down judgment.

  15. Emilio Pasquale November 17, 2015 / 2:22 PM

    I’ve heard of other people having the same problem where wordpress decides to stop notifying you when someone you follow publishes a new post. That’s why you haven’t heard from me. Anyway, I just wanted to mention that, up to a point, you CAN Netflix your life. You can choose to watch the “good” parts over and over, rate the “bad” parts with one star and remove them from your watch list, but you can’t skip ahead when you can’t wait to see what happens next. I know because that is exactly what I’ve done with my own life. I used to have quite a bit of money and lost it all in a business scam with someone I thought was a friend. My wife is amazed I’m not bitter but what would that accomplish? So I write it off as a lesson well learned. I can’t let it- or the million other failures in life- get me down. Just remember the good. I know that might sound simplistic but it’s difficult and it took me a few years to realize what I was putting myself through did not affect anyone but me. In your case, though, it could affect your children.

    • jannatwrites November 17, 2015 / 10:54 PM

      That’s okay, Emilio… I know you haven’t stopped by because my writing has bored you 🙂 I think it’s awesome you were able to let it go and move on – that’s the difference between misery and peace. Sometimes letting it go isn’t easy, but for our own sake, we have to. I do think I will be able to let more things go when I’m allowed to let them go. Right now, there’s a lot of bad stuff and frustrations that I have to keep rehashing. I’m tired of the fight, but I can’t give up because too much is at stake.

  16. pattisj November 21, 2015 / 8:13 PM

    Hi Janna. I hope you had a lovely, peaceful visit home. Wow, TV, and you got to choose the program!

    • jannatwrites November 26, 2015 / 4:56 PM

      It was a nice visit, Patti. I’m resting now 🙂

  17. mindofshoo December 10, 2015 / 10:59 AM

    This is great. I love the perspective. Ron

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