Helen Mirren, winner of the Oscar for Best Actress, was asked by Barbara Walters how she felt about her long and successful career. She summed it up in one word: “grateful.”
One can imagine that is an understatement. But we have also heard people asked similar questions who rattle on about their next project or how many failures they have had until finally succeeding.
Mirren went on to say that at the age of 61, she has learned to take life as it comes. She said she would welcome doing another nude scene if it appeared in a script. She is grateful for the person she has been. She is glad for who she is. She is looking forward to who she will become.
Britney Spears gets enough good and bad press, but I cannot help but think of her as the opposite of Mirren on this issue. Spears seems to be haunted by her celebrity and success. She seems unhappy about something and not grateful for it all.
It is a case of when too much is not enough. In great abundance, people live in the pain of want.
Gratitude is an amazing healer. To spend time celebrating what we have and who we are can dispel anger, anxiety and depression. The counterpoint, grousing about what we lack, brings us down.
When possible, a quiet recounting of our blessings can get us back on a positive track. This whole thing takes practice, as well. We need to regularly look at what is right with our lives and find joy in those things.
As for growing older and finding the fun in that, Mirren says she would not change a thing. Growing older is natural. Growing old is a gift. She says she lives in anticipation of what will happen next. I’ll admit that I am impressed. Many of us live in dread of the possibilities. We play the “what if” game far too much. We fear the next steps.
Many folks hear that we “only go around once in life” and “carpe diem.” They still sit on their prospects.
These people tip their hats to the potentials and live each day like it was a colonoscopy.
They refuse to bud and grow. In the process, they wilt.
Life is, on balance, wonderful and amazing. Look at the news in today’s paper.
It is true that some sad and ugly things occurred. There are some pretty mean folks lurking out there. Yet, there are the births and weddings to celebrate. There are the hopes and dreams of young people. There are losers at sports, but there are winners, too.
In my wife’s second-grade class, they have a writing competition that runs like a baseball game. At the end, one team has the most runs. When done, my wife always asks the same question, “Who won” The students respond, “We all did. We learned something.”
Dame Helen would say the same. Win or lose, we all learn something. We are all getting older, so why not live in anticipation of the next lesson
The winner of the Oscar for Best Director was Martin Scorsese. After so many successful films, he was asked how he felt to finally get the award. His reaction was that it came at the right time. If it had been earlier, it might have changed him and his career. He likes where he is in life.
Mirren and Scorsese are two folks that have found happiness as they are. Too many folks spend their precious energy wishing to be someone else.
This is not to say that we should not have goals and dreams. On the contrary the future becomes better when we start being grateful for what has been. It is an adventure when we work toward what it may become.
An old story that is still good is about two different people and syntax. The first one wakes up and says, “Good morning, God!” The second wakes up and says, “Good God! It’s morning.”
Who will be the happiest at the end of the day