Jumping the Shark

Jumping the Shark is a term used in Hollywood to describe when a TV show or a movie begins to decline in its evolution. It originated when the Fonz literally jumped over a shark on the popular 80s show Happy Days. Critics felt that Happy Days had once been a clever, funny show and that jumping the shark was just too far. 

This is exactly what I do. I take something that is a healthy instinct and carry it too far. I like to have things organized and neat. I label drawers and containers to make it easier to remember where things are put away. Labeling my own drawers might be a little excessive, labeling my husband’s drawers is jumping the shark. It’s important to notice this kind of thinking is usually born from a good idea or something that’s working. Sometimes all that’s necessary is to dial it back a little. This kind of thinking is innate to perfectionists because we are always trying to top ourselves or make improvements. We want to do a little better or a little more. 

I am especially prone to this with my time. I just keep wedging in a few more things to do until I’m exhausted. Managing and over-managing my time leads me to feel overwhelmed. The fear of missing out on something can also be a form of this kind of thinking. I need to recognize doing many fun, exciting things can be good but it can also be too much. I can notice that resting might be the best thing for me. 

To combat my tendency to jump the shark I try to notice when the idea of MORE comes up and notice if I really do need more. It’s surprising how often I’ve had enough when I stop to consider for just a moment. I often use the mantra “I have enough. I do enough. I am enough.”Sometimes all it takes to overcome some of the most problematic thinking is awareness. Just noticing it and beginning to work with it can be healing.

PS. Since it's summer I thought I'd mention that Jaws is still a great summer read, although you'll probably never want to swim in the ocean again... I set it up so you can you can buy is here.