Uhhhmmm ok wow! When I first saw this movie I was 25 years old. Times sure have changed as I viewed this film today digitally through Amazon Video, but back in the day I owned a VHS copy of it and I’d watch it regularly like it was a tv program. I cracked up through every scene, laughing at the whimsical characters, those mid-40 year old women who were attempting to rebuild their lives after being abandoned by their husbands, who had taken much younger wives. Well fast forward 20 years and my view of this lovely and funny story is very different. I am now that mid-40 year old putting her life together post divorce. As much as I adored the movie then, seeing it today was much more than a revisit to this comedy that I love. I relate to these characters on a completely different level now, with a few important differences of course. I am not white nor wealthy, which all the main characters in the film are, so there’s that. But I do relate to this ageism thing of what to do with your life if you are no longer such and such’s wife. And if such and such goes on to marry someone who is young enough for you to mother, then that tends to add insult to injury. Although I’ve been mistaken for much younger, (blame it on the melanin), in reality I am what I am, and I am who I am. And that is a mid-40 year old who holds every memory and experience from her past. I ache in my joints on a second by second bases and manage regular extreme pain. I have the energy level of someone recovering from surgery, with the metabolism of a pregnant snail. I have found that my favorite recreational activity is a good nap, or posting on Facebook or Pinterest after waking from a good nap. I have more responsibilities than I can balance in my own strength as I attempt to put myself and my life back together, while raising a young boy by myself…. oh who happens to have Autism. I’m exhausted even writing all of that because it just makes my real life all the more real.
So when I get inspiration to move out of this place that I’m in, I try to take it. This movie gave me just the inspiration that I needed. I am more than a little moved as I watch the women in this film reclaim their own power. Now of course this is a fictional story, but it is a reflection of art imitating life as divorce numbers are at an all time high. The reality of women piecing their lives back together in their 40’s and 50’s and older is amazingly common. I’m taking this motivation and am going to hold on to it. I’m going to take this moment to set some goals for myself, because you cannot you move out of a rut if you never take some steps to do so. We recess, draw back, fall off, loose ourselves, let ourselves go when there is no movement. Mentally, emotionally, physically, spiritually, financially, there must be movement.
So instead of sitting around and wallowing in self pity while I’ve been home nursing an injury and my car is not running properly, I’m dedicated to movement. I’m setting some goals and am going to act on them, but this time I’m going to be smart about it, as in setting SMART goals. Those SMART goals will be Specific, Measurable, Agreed, Realistic, and Time Bounded. Specific goals that are measurable. Ones that agree with my core values and are realistic to my real life, and schedule and responsibilities. And lastly ones that have a time frame on them. Now speaking of time, it’s a thing. Later in life you reflect on the time you’ve spent, the time you’ve wasted, the time you have left. We respond to that feeling with either hopelessness or urgency. Hopelessness sets in when you assume that you don’t have any options, that your best days are in your rearview and that nothing will ever get better than where you are today. But today I’m choosing to believe the alternative, I’m going to take this sense of urgency as motivation to do something new. I do not have the luxury of wasting time like I did in my youth. If God blesses me with life, I have a limited amount of it remaining and I have to use it wisely. Sitting around eating chocolate while I blow up is no longer a reasonable option for my life.
One of the main areas of my life that I have allowed to sit somewhere between dormant and aborted is my entrepreneurial spirit, but it got a big kick in the butt watching this movie. It is not too late for me to do the things that I’ve dreamt of that will set up a legacy for my child. That’s the key phrase, it’s not too late. It’s not too late to get healthy and pain free. It’s not too late to start my businesses, it’s not too late to make a difference in the world, it’s not too late to one day have the love of my life. And it’s not too late for you either. All of this pivots on hope, and this movie just gave that back to me. I’m going to wipe the tear marks that the closing dance scene to You Don’t Own Me just left on my face, and begin my movement. This movie will be a regular pit stop for me again, but with a greater meaning than just for laughs. Thanks Bette, Diane, and Goldie! I hope that your residual check balances increase and that this film is revisited by those who love it, and seen by those who’ve never had the pleasure. Hope renewed.