Dude and I went to the movies last night, and before you go thinking we are this amazing couple that regularly finds time for a date night…think again! I can’t remember the last time we went out , just the two of us. But the girls had headed over to Grandmas for some ‘Minnie’ time and Dude and I decided to go out…
We need practise.
Dude lost track of the time and got home later than planned, as most business men (all men?!!) have a tendency to do. We realised that 30 minutes was just not enough time to get to, order and eat at our favourite Indian restaurant , so I whipped up ‘Breakfast for dinner’ (bacon and eggs) which we quickly gulped down before catching the 6.15 movie session. Or so we thought…
The movie didn’t start until 6.40!!! Dude!! Anyway, after a bit of fiddling around and strolling aimlessly around the block, we were finally into the movie.
Whispered conversation during the previews:
“Darling, I think I left the gas on. I’m not sure, I can’t remember turning it off…”
“No, I’m sure you did.”
“I can’t remember?…Remember I turned it back on because the eggs werent ready…….What would happen? The pan was empty.”
“Just smoke? “
“Depends if there was oil in the pan.”
“Darling, I just can’t remember. I always turn it off but I just not sure. We were in such a hurry. My New kitchen, damn , it’s really bothering me.”
“Do you want me to go home and check?” Sigh.
Such an obliging man…home he drives. 8 minutes there, 8 minutes back. Thank goodness we live close to the theatre!! And guess what…it WASNT turned on. Sorry Dude, thanks Dude. Thank goodness for the 10 minutes of previews before a movie – Now I know why there are so many…for the nincompoop who thinks they left the gas on.
Anyway, I loved the movie! The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. Funny, sad, poignant, a very clever exploration of aging.
I didn’t sleep well last night (not an unusual scenario) but I found myself pondering how I might tackle my own old age…would I be the one excited and adventurous to see a new place; to make a go of it, regardless of the problems arising. To make such a huge decision as to leave my home and go to live somewhere else, sight un seen, just in the hope and faith it would all work out ok?
Or , would I be the timid, worried unhappy old lady in the wheelchair, with not a soul in the world to look after me and only my memories to think about , not realising that I had strength within me, if I could just let go and believe it.
Or the bitter, fearful lady, seeking perfection in my surroundings and totally frozen with fear ; so much so, that I was unable or willing to see the adventure in a new journey or to step outside my comfort zone and to see anything new?
Or the lady who was just lonely. Plain and simple loneliness that made me feel the need to throw myself into any situation that might bring companionship.
I think we all have a small degree of all of these personalities…or at least, I do. Nobody is perfect.
But what I realized , is that The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel story and all of its characters, both male and female, were all about resilience. Of having the ability to pick up the pieces when some part of life gets broken or trampled on. It’s about having the coping skills when our direction in life is thrown onto a new path. Of standing up for what we believe in and recognising that we do not have to seek approval for what we want to achieve. It’s about not living in the past but embracing the future. Wow!
We talk about building resilience in our children all the time, but what about us…the adults? Already set in our ways with a multitude of beliefs, conditioning, brokenness ? How do you undo personality and learnt attitudes. How do you teach yourself to be resilient if it hasn’t been taught to you? How do you learn to be a glass half full person when your natural built-in tendency is to lean-to the half empty scenario?
Dude and I often talk about future travel plans when the girls are grown. To travel the world, for Dude to achieve his yacht in the Mediterranean; for me to paint and photograph wherever we land. These plans excite me but also fill me with fear…what if this or what if that? I’m sure we have all been there in our head space before. I guess the resilience training for me is to fight my natural tendency to allow fear into my thoughts and to learn to push myself on, through to a place of strength, where I know I can achieve and experience so much more. There are many fears and beliefs I wish I could lose and I guess this is the journey that I have been placed on, to find the strength in me. A belief system to rewrite, to feel courage instead of fear.
For me, knowing that God is on my side helps. To feel that I will mature into older age with an understanding that it’s not all about me and my plans but about accepting that the journey is already written and all I need to do is embrace it, take hold of the adventure and run with it…because I can.