Saturday, April 25, 2009

A Listing Life

During the past month several people asked me why I was no longer writing in my blog (I went from March 31st to April 22nd without an entry). The truth is, I wasn’t writing because I was working on being more organized and productive, yet, somehow, being productive did not include producing anything written.

Once the trauma and “must do’s” surrounding my mother-in-law’s death had settled down, I decided that it was time to get back into a more normal routine. I also needed to catch up on several projects; I know myself and I know that the best way for me to stay focused is to make a list of what needs to be done. So, early this month I started making a daily To Do list for myself. I was thrilled with the results: tasks were getting done, I wasn’t wasting time, I felt a sense of accomplishment throughout the day every time I was able to cross off an item. The problem was, my life of lists was listing – I had not been including time for fun, creative “tasks” (like writing this blog). I found myself feeling a sense of accomplishment over all the tasks I was getting done, but empty from the lack of enrichment. So, to borrow a phrase I’ve heard, I put myself back on my To Do list and do you know what happened? Not only did I write a blog earlier this week, but my mental attitude improved in all areas – I exercised more, I ate better, I felt more settled and happy. When my To Do list includes activities I enjoy, my life no longer lists; it comes back into balance.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

P.S. I Love You

Last year, on our anniversary, my husband and I watched the movie, P.S. I Love You. I didn’t know anything about the movie beforehand and, had I known about it, I’m not sure I would have watched it. I sobbed throughout the movie; not just a little tear here and there, but full-blown sobbing. I had never cried so much during a movie. The movie haunted me for days, but, eventually, I realized that I had really enjoyed it and I was left with a very positive feeling about the movie. Since then I’ve watched it several more times, never again sobbing as I had with the first viewing. Recently, we watched P.S. I Love You with a friend who does not like sad movies. Now, let me assure you that I, too, do not like sad movies! Marley and Me? Never! As I expected, this friend cried throughout the movie, though not quite as badly as I had a year ago. Afterwards she asked me how I could possibly like that movie; she thought, perhaps, I’d become numbed to the sadness. I’ve thought a lot about the reactions this movie elicits and why my own feelings about it changed from haunting to positive.

This movie is definitely a love story and the chemistry between the two main characters (played by Gerard Butler and Hilary Swank) is electrifying, but it’s also very, very sad (it won’t ruin the movie for you to know that Gerard Butler’s character dies fairly soon after the movie starts). While there is great sadness, there is also great love. When I first watched the movie, all I could think of was how devastating such a loss must be; how horrible to lose your soul mate. Remember, we were watching this on our anniversary – it was tough! But later, what I realized is that, although Hilary Swank’s character goes through some really, really hard times, her life does go on; she does forge ahead to do those things she was meant to do. So, I guess the reason that I now see the movie as being positive is because it offers reassurance that great love is okay; that even if tragedy strikes, it is still okay to have loved thoroughly. This movie gives my heart permission to love.