Sunday, January 3, 2010

All good things must come to an end...

Well, its day 16 of my 16 day vacation, and that means that today is a bit of a sad day for me. While I love my job, and am excited for the year ahead, I also love doing nothing…and I mean absolutely nothing…for extended periods of time. My husband had the nerve to say the other night that he was looking forward to getting back to work so that we would have a routine again. Can you believe that? Who needs a routine? Why can’t we spend our lives eating dinner at 10pm if we want…going to bed at 4am…waking again at noon. Shopping at Walmart at midnight is a happy occasion, free of the crowds and morons you typically have to deal with - check out if you need to be reminded of those special folks. And spending days on end thinking of nothing but which movie on the pile of rentals you’ll watch next is about as much stress as I’m happy living with.

We have talked about the (long-shot) possibility that if my someday-to-be-finished novel is ever published, we would be able to be anywhere in the world as we lived off the money from it, and the advance that I’d be paid for my follow-up book. After all, my laptop will allow me to write anywhere from a comfy deck chair in PEI, to a comfy deck chair on a cruise ship or a comfy deck chair in the tropics somewhere. In any eventuality, I think my next novel will be written in a deck chair.

What’s so wrong with that picture? We’ve worked hard for several years. We’ve both lived what some might describe as bumpy lives. We always eat our vegetables. I think we deserve a life of peace and tranquility and sleeping in until we’re not tired anymore. I guess that means I should be writing a chapter right now instead of a blog entry! Oh well, I guess the dream can wait one more day. Who wants to think about moving in a blizzard anyways?

The one thing that hubby and I were able to do this holiday that we haven’t done in a while is catch up on some of the movies we’ve wanted to see. We even made it to the theatre to see a newly released movie, which is a rarity for us lately. All four movies we’ve watched in the past week or so have been pretty powerful stories with the ability to make you stop and put yourself into the main character’s situation. What would you do? How would you react? What would you do differently?

The most powerful of the four, and really the most heart wrenching movie I’ve seen in a while is My Sister’s Keeper. The story is about a young girl who has been diagnosed with a form of leukemia, a family struggling in their own ways to deal with their daughter and sister’s illness and, in a twist from the standard sad movie formula, a sibling who was conceived for the specific purpose of providing ‘parts’ (cord blood, bone marrow, even organs) to her sister when she needed them.

The movie held my attention from start to finish – an impressive thing these days – and made me think all the way through about how I would feel if I knew I was created to save someone else’s life…and how I would feel if I knew someone else was created to save me. But more importantly, it reminded me, as so many things do, of the brave kids I’ve worked with throughout the past 10 years who find themselves dealt such unfair hands, yet who make the most of their moments by choosing to live rather than waiting to die. The movie also has one of the sweetest love stories I think I’ve ever seen. It’s a must rent…trust me.

Our first movie of the week was another powerful movie for me, but in a whole different way. The movie was Julie & Julia, a two in one story about both Julia Child and how she became the goddess of French cooking and Julie, a woman who decides to start a blog to chronicle her adventures as she cooks her way through Julia’s book “Mastering the Art of French Cooking”. The film was very well done, and I was just as interested to watch Julia Child’s transformation from doting housewife to highly successful chef and author as I was to watch Julie – who reminded me a little bit of a skinnier, perkier me – find her voice and her passion as she watched her blog audience grow. (And for the record, my blog hits are over 430 now, so thanks for helping encourage my passion too!) I would highly recommend this movie to anyone who just wants to see a well made movie about finding who you are meant to be.

The still-in-theatres movie we caught was Up in the Air, starring everyone’s favourite ladies-man and lifelong bachelor, George Clooney. And guess what? He’s a ladies-man and lifelong bachelor in the movie too! Only the life his character, Ryan Bingham, lives isn’t one of unadulterated joy and pleasure. I mean, sure, there are the obligatory sex scenes with the fellow frequent traveler he meets in a hotel bar (and as an aside, why does nudity in movies always take me by surprise? Every single time, I’m tempted to look away when I see nudity, like it’s something I’m not supposed to see. Maybe it’s just jealously because women’s asses always look better than mine, but I swear, one of these days I WILL see a nude scene without blushing! Anyways, I digress). The moral of this story…or at least the moral I took from it…is that love and commitment sucks, so why bother? Truly…that’s the theme I took out of the movie. I’ve never quite been as bummed out at the end of a movie that I really thought was going to turn into a syrupy love story than I was at this one. The story didn’t go where I expected – or where most other movies would have gone – and frankly, I left the theatre longing for a Hollywood fairytale ending instead of the real world one I got. Excellent movie now that I look back on it. Very well acted and really, the story is intriguing, but don’t see it on a day you’re looking to be uplifted. The nudity doesn’t involve George Clooney, so you won’t even have that to look forward to.

And finally, we saw Funny People starring Adam Sandler which was another one of those ‘evaluate your life’ kind of movies. Adam’s character George Simmons is a successful stand up comedian and actor who is diagnosed with a form of leukemia – wait, haven’t I already typed those words once in this blog?? – who has to make peace with his life’s actions and decisions. Part of the realization that he makes is that he really doesn’t have any real, true friends. He has professional friends, casual acquaintances and many people who come in and out of his life, but he doesn’t have someone to share his struggles and successes with. He decides to take a young, still unknown comic – played by Seth Rogen - under his wing in exchange for companionship and having someone to talk him to sleep at night. He spends time making amends with those he should have been closer to including his family and the true love of his life who he cheated on and lost. And again, the ending isn’t a Hollywood fairytale…its real life, and sometimes that’s what you need to see to remind you that everyone faces challenges in life and that how you handle them determines whether or not you will have a fairytale ending of your own.

So after two weeks of laziness, or as I prefer to call it - self reflection – it’s back to the grind tomorrow. And you know, maybe that isn’t such a bad thing. After all, if my life is ever turned into a movie, I’d hate for people to see the pajamas I’ve been living in since Christmas Day, the hair that hasn’t been straightened, the face that hasn’t seen make-up and most importantly, the lack of motivation that I’ve had to change any of the above. But boy, would it make a great commercial for Sleep Country and their FABULOUS Simmons pocket-coil bed! Because I could talk for hours about the benefits of a soft, warm bed…that I will be missing so much at 7am tomorrow.

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