How Downton Abbey Rocked My World

PLEASE READ: I decided to give myself a fresh start. Read more about that here.

For the past couple years I’ve had to put up with “Downton Abbey this” and “Downton Abbey that” all over social media.

And just a couple months ago, I watched my wife get sucked in by it, as she was glued to her laptop watching episode after episode.

Heck, we even published something on Copyblogger about Downton Abbey — and I’ll admit that I had no interest in reading it when it was posted.

To sum things up, I had prejudiced the show as something that I personally wouldn’t be interested in and wanted nothing to do with it.

Downton Abbey is a historical British show taking place in the early 1900′s. Not one ounce of that sounded fun — in fact, I would have said that making me watch it would have been painful and torturous.

Expect the Unexpected

Unless you live under a rock, you would know that this past Sunday night was the season premiere of the show. Blah blah blah.

I got tired of listening to the hoopla surrounding this show, so I decided to enter the world of the unknown and bought the first episode.

My wife Shelly, who knows me better than anyone else on this planet, was terrified that I was going to hate it. I could tell she wanted to start watching it together, so I figured I’d give it a shot.

Five days ago I started watching, and not even ten minutes into it I knew that I had been wrong — terribly wrong.

So I downloaded the entire first season and watched it that night. Which led to a full blown Downton Abbey marathon.

Last night I finished the third season, and today Shelly and I will watch the season premiere which aired on Sunday night.

I’m hooked … and I fancy that I love the show.

The Underlying Question

I could go on and on about the number of reasons I’ve taken to it, but I don’t want to focus any more on that — there’s a more important point.

I want to focus on the fact that I thought I wouldn’t like it, so I nearly deprived myself of the experience. Now think about that for a moment.

I resisted for many years, and stiff-armed something that in the end really was quite pleasant. But was this the first time that I’ve ever done this?

Without a doubt, the answer is no.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve avoided things in life because I thought I wouldn’t like them — or even worse, because I feared them.

Irony at it’s Best

Yesterday I read something that my friend Allison Vesterfelt wrote and it goes a little something like this. Don’t avoid anything.

I’m not talking about television shows anymore, rather life in general — mainly how to stop becoming the person you hate.

What if I stopped paying attention to what I don’t want to be, and started paying attention to what I do want to be instead? I wonder if that would make all the difference in the world. ~Allison Vesterfelt

Even though the example of Downton Abbey is a bit superficial, I want to point out that I think each and every one of us struggle with avoidance.

How often do you deprive yourself of something enjoyable?

Or how often do you deprive others of joy because you don’t think they’ll notice, or are fearful that your efforts won’t be recognized.

Take a chance next time you’re at the crossroads of doing something that you think might make you feel uncomfortable. Because who knows …

… you just might become a fan of that show you swore you’d never watch.

Flickr Creative Commons Image via Gary Bembridge