I’ll admit it. I’m crabby. I am feeling really frustrated about insurance, and cars and claims, and deductibles, and how life costs money. When I’m crabby, it’s hard to focus my attention on the beautiful in life. However, if there is anything this journey this year has taught me, the search for beauty is a choice, one we get to select over and over again. So here I go, choosing it.
This week we watched The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
. Did you see it? I think it got mixed reviews – maybe three out of five stars. I can see why it wasn’t blowing reviewers socks off as the story line was a little slow, and there was not a lot of plot development. However, I found the main message, or at least my interpretation of it, to be a beautiful thing.
(SPOILER ALERT – I’M GOING TO TALK ABOUT WHAT HAPPENS IN THE MOVIE)
I think our culture does a fabulous job of telling us each day that the ordinary is just not enough. We go to our jobs, are frustrated with our bosses, and are told to be quiet or squash our ambitions for fearful reasons. This is where I love the character of Walter. He’s quiet, he’s reserved, and to others, somewhat odd, but he has these great moments of daydreams that he keeps to himself. I can so relate. Maybe it’s an introvert thing. Walter spends time imagining how he would react to situations in wonderful ways even when the mundane, the frustrating, the obnoxious all creep in. He spends too much time beating himself up because he hasn’t done anything noteworthy by his own definition which heck, don’t we all do. Maybe you don’t; I do.
Then, however, through a series of events Walter gets some courage and goes on an adventure seeking a solution to his work woes – climbs a mountain, beats up a shark, sees a volcano erupt – all to return to the fact that the thing he was seeking was right in front of his own eyes. The best part is that Walter’s own hero actually views Walter’s contributions to life as extraordinary. I can’t fully explain it, not really, how beautiful it is to be reminded that your contributions are enough. That maybe self fulfillment can come to you in the mountains of the Himalayas, or by moving across the country, or taking huge risks. Or maybe, instead, self fulfillment can come in the reminder that the key to my being enough is saying, “Hey, you are ok. Your contributions matter”. Perhaps I have more answers in my own pocket than I could ever find in the great “out there”.
Walter’s hero says a line in the movie that I had to write down, “Beautiful things don’t ask for attention.” Isn’t that true. Things are beautiful just because they are, because I slow down to appreciate them, because they are in our backyards, on our toes, near my desk chair, in movies that I watch on a Sunday night. The ordinary can be extraordinary if we let it. See the movie. It’s great.
I found two other small nuggets of beauty this week. The first is fruit.
Peaches from the Western Slope
Each year my parents buy big boxes of fresh peaches from a lady who comes up from the Western Slope and sells the flats of fruit out of the back of her van. I count down to August because these juicy treats are to die for. I was at my parent’s house last night and stood over the sink eating the yummy fruit with juice dripping all over my face and hands. I intended to slice it up, but one bite in and all the sudden there is no time. So delicious. I can’t wait to bake them in puff pastry and eat them with vanilla ice cream, or put them in a smoothie, or commit to standing in front of the sink each morning eating a peach for breakfast. I will have to adjust my morning routine accordingly.
And this guy – check out this sweet older gentleman who refused to let a physical disability and age hold him back. I know nothing about him except that his epic dance moves have gone viral. I love the video, I love his attitude, I love his choice in this moment.
Thanks for letting me rant and rave and focus on a few good things. I feel better already. What is in your life that feels ordinary, but maybe, just maybe has a glimpse of extraordinary? Do you like summer fruit?
I LOVED The secret life of Walter Mitty, but some of my family members were lost so I’ve had no one agree with me! So glad that you loved it and picked up on that line at the end. “Beautiful things don’t ask for attention.” Beautifully written. You are extraordinary and your words are valuable. Thanks for sharing!