So, it's getting time to assess the year, figure out the good, bad and indifferent of it. As much as I hated a lot of 2008, there were some very positive and important things that came out this year. And being me, I can't help but look on the bright side.
In the next few days I'll try to break it down. Or maybe I'll just do one big entry. Who knows?
Yesterday we watched the Lifetime holiday movie that was a typical 'It's a Wonderful Life' ripoff (there are dozens of these), this one a 'girl-is-unsatisfied-with-life-and-learn
s-a-lesson' flick, where the supposed protagonist (I say 'supposed,' because I couldn't stand her much) is unhappy with her not-exciting husband and two kids, the former because he's a house painter, not a successful artist, the latter because she's evidently never gotten her figure entirely back since she popped out the two girls. (I say this because the actress, Nicole Eggert, spent a lot of money on that body between the first and second seasons of Baywatch, and it's not holding up all that well.)
So she wishes herself married to her OTHER high school boyfriend, the one with the money and status. And one day when she sticks her head in the clothes dryer, she comes out on the other side of this wish (she keeps using 'Wizard of Oz' references about getting back to Kansas, maybe to distract us from the 'Wonderful Life' cliche'). Anyway, after ignoring the obvious signs of unhappiness during a frenzy of mindless shopping, she finally learns that her only real friend in this 'other' life is her hispanic housekeeper, who gives kind, sage advice despite being pretty much ignored (reminiscent of the black maid to Imitation of Life's
Lana Turner). The other women in this world are either back-stabbing bitches or possible inamoratas for the career-obsessed husband. Turns out he's finally granting her a divorce after 18 years of unhappiness where all she seemingly wanted to do was shop and sleep (and take 'medicine,' which we can assume is anti-depressents, I guess).
And naturally by the end of the two hours, she's back with her 'real' husband and kids, after doing lots of crazy things to try to get their attention in the life on the other side of the dryer.
Moral of the story? If you're not happy in one life, you probably won't be happy in another. Because happiness is about YOU, not about the husband you chose or the kids you had or the house you live in.
Now, that was MY moral of the story, not the movie's. Did this 'protagonist' get that message? No. She was just glad to be back with a guy who liked to dance, because the rich, handsome one didn't. She didn't really learn a damn thing, which was the really annoying thing about the story. I guess if the successful husband had wanted her, she would have chosen to stay in the life where designer wear and quick trips to Paris were part of the norm.
I watched because I wanted to see if she would learn anything. But I knew she wouldn't.So tonight I'm thankful to be happy
, to know the power to be happy rests entirely with me, not with anyone else who may or may not exert some kind of power or influence over me. I can still long for things I'll never have or strive for things I might, but regardless of what I get or don't get in life, I could never be any happier than I am right now, right here. Yes, I'm not in the best shape of my life, not looking or feeling my best. Yes, I'm virtually snowed in, and when I do manage to back out of my driveway, it will be in a car that's more than ten years old. Yes, I still have that hole in the wall where the furnace went in, and we haven't gotten the new carpet or TV -- and we may not get them for months to come. Yes, I have hours and hours and hours of work to do both here at home and at the office, and, YES, I'm facing another six months of special events work. But I'd rather be doing *all* of the things I get to do than most of what other people do. And I'd rather do it right here in this town than in Paris or London or even Las Vegas.
And if I wanted to change everything in my life, I could do that, too. Because it's all in my own power. Life is *not* living me. I'm living life. I just don't choose to have as exciting and glamorous a one as some people.
See, even Lifetime movies have an important message!