Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Gaining Perspective from a Movie

I was feeling a little sorry for myself and in a little bit of a pity party funk. I could see what was going on and I knew I needed to shake myself out of it.

Changing my focus didn't come as easily as I'd liked. I tries quiet meditation - it turned to stewing. I tried active busywork - it was a distraction for a short time. The underlying issue just kept rearing it's ugly head. As I went about the day and began focusing on all that I have to be grateful for the funk eventually worked itself out. I was on my way to a renewed attitude.

It was with this experience that I took in The Pursuit of Happyness.
I wasn't sure what to expect. I'd heard that it was a movie about a homeless guy who became a stock broker. I must say it was a little tough to watch at times. Will Smith's character Chris is working his butt off and trying to be the man he needs to be to support his family. Already I liked him.

But life's not working for him. The money isn't coming in. He's making poor choices. He's conflicted. Then an opportunity for change presents itself. The cost is high. His wife leaves him, he loses his home, and he must struggle to come up with money for the most basic necessities of life while he trains for his possible new job and cares for his young son. His love for his son and his desire to provide him with the father he never had pushes him along on this journey. There is a scene where he is cradling his sleeping son in a subway bathroom while holding the door shut with his foot as someone bangs on it. Tears stream down his face. He would do anything for his son.

Well... my petty problems just slammed into perspective. I have so much to be thankful for -

  • our home complete with furniture, food, clothes and heating in a good neighborhood

  • my immediate family, who is in good health and gets along

  • my extended family, who is near and far (but basically healthy and in good shape)

  • my job, which is a nice fit for my life right now with great people financial freedom, no debt and a contingency fund that can help us through just about any rough patch

  • friends who love me and care about me

  • access to good medical care and healing medications

  • frivolous stuff like TV, quilting, good books, restaurants, reliable cars, etc.

Sometimes a good movie can really put things in perspective.

What r u thankful 4?

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Goal of Life

Oh how I wish I could "do it all." There just don't seem to be enough hours in the day. Perhaps that's because the goal is perfection not enjoyment. Is being the perfect mom, wife, homemaker, employee, blogger really what's important to me? I'm afraid to say that is what my subconscious tells me more often than not. It goes something like this - anything worth doing is worth doing perfectly (or just don't even try). In reality I know that perfection is not attainable. Yet I let its lure rob me of the joy of the moment. I need to stop that.

Recently I've been on a Food Network kick. Watching those shows - like Paula's Party, The Neely's Down Under, Rachel Ray - isn't so much about the food for me. Yes, I'm hoping to pick up a few pointers on cooking, because mine is atrocious. But I really watch them because the people have infectious, happy personalities and really seem to enjoy life.

It would seem to me that the people who have perfection as a goal don't look like they are enjoying life. They are too busy trying to live up to some lofty standard that few, if any, care about. When I think to the end of my days and wonder if I'll be able to hear the chatter at my funeral I don't want to hear people talk about my perfectly clean house or how excellently I sewed stuff or even what great shape I'm in (not). I would hope to hear them say that I was a happy person who enjoyed laughter and enjoyed life. Now that's a goal!

I'm thankful for the freedom to choose what kind of life I'll have.

What r u thankful 4?