Rom-Com, Chick Flick, Fluff Piece. All nicknames for that genre of movie that is a little romantic, usually scenic, kind of funny/kind of cute and infinitely entertaining. At least to me. I saw a charming movie this evening - "Letters to Juliet", probably inspired by the catchy little song by teen country cutie-pie Taylor Swift. I loved this movie in every way, predictable as it was, from the eye-popping Tuscan countryside to the moonlit nights to the pretty people who played the characters. It was a two-hour getaway. Lovely.
The movie inspired me in many ways - even (dare I say) made me think a bit. That's not usually the reaction one would have to a typical romantic comedy, but this one touched a few nerves for me personnally. I could see myself as one of the "Secretaries of Juliet", writing responses to the lovelorn who'd left letters on the famous Juliet's wall. What a cool job! And I could see myself in the main character, Sophie too. She knew she had a talent but was afraid to use it, afraid to show it off, yet eager that someone recognize her. Folly! And I recognize her lonliness too, living with a man preoccupied completely with his own life and business, unable to really "see" her. Finally, I thought about Claire, the woman searching for her Lorenzo from 50 years prior, and that it's never too late to go after a dream, whether that be a lost love or building a dreamhome or finally writing that story.
Lately I've been thinking about what I want out of life. Of course, daily living isn't like the movies. We still have to clean our houses, do laundry, pay bills, dig in the garden - do the stuff there is to DO. It's just that sometimes I long more for the fluff than the stuff. The easy-breezy moments like sitting in a Venetian palazzo sharing an ice cream with my spouse, or just a Diet Coke in the back yard at sunset. Falling in love is easy. Staying in love takes focus, committment and attention to the fluff times - because they don't come around often enough. The ones we do share have to be savoured. I wonder if my spouse thinks of these things in this way too. (Clearly I need to ask. )
In the Chick Flick type movies, girls have perfect hair and great, supportive friends, interesting jobs, handsome-if-aloof suitors, great living spaces and even better vacations. How fun would it be to live that every day? The "if money were no object" scenario. I think of this sometimes. If I had the cash, where would I go? What would I be doing? What would be different in my life? Who would I help? How would I spend my time? (And I mean SERIOUS cash - the kind where you aren't worried about the next taxbill or even the next Visa bill after the vacation, for that matter.) I guess I have to adjust my thinking. VERY FEW people fall under the "if money were no object" category. The majority of us still pay bills and worry about money, don't have enough time TO vacation, have multiple home-projects in a queue and don't look tousled-fabulous when we get up in the morning. So much for the movies. Not real life. Too bad. I guess that's why these movie are so popular and why they call them "escapes".
So I'm left tonight thinking about these characters and what their stories mean to me - how I can apply their lessons learned. How to turn the fluff/getaway feeling into the stuff of everyday living. Man, I've got to think it would take A LOT of work, courage and fortitude to just boldly follow your heart. Aren't most folks FAR more cautious than that? But what the heck, why not? Why SHOULDN'T we (and by we, I mean me) live our best life? Doesn't Oprah talk about that nearly endlessly? She's right, which is why she's always talking about it. There is no reason to be stuck in any kind of way.
Life is about choices. I think I need to go and live mine without my own boundaries getting in the way. Do I DESERVE my best life? Should I be spending my time in other ways to please other people? Am I good enough? Will others approve of me? Should I care? I'm 51 for heaven's sake, isn't it time to put these questions to bed once and for all times? Hmm - that's what therapy is for I suppose. I have to say - I AM on the path though, not just thinking about being on it, which is a huge difference. I can recognize in myself the need to make changes - decisions, and I'm starting to do that, if only in baby steps. Fluff is attainable. I want to go for it!