Thursday, November 11, 2010

Diving Bells or Butterfies?

Most of the movies coming up in my Netflix queue right now are foreign films. Yesterday, I was so excited when I pulled the movie from my mailbox, as I always am. "What do I get to watch tonight?", I wondered. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly. Eh. I didn't recall what it was about, so wasn't totally enthused. I wasn't in the mood for a 'classic', so-to-speak. I glanced at the year the film was made in, which was 2007. OK, at least it wasn't old.

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly is the story of Jean-Dominique Bauby, author and then editor of Elle magazine, who had a stroke in 1995 that rendered him completely paralyzed. The film is based on Bauby's autobiography...which he dictated by blinking his left eye. Literally. Blinking his left eye, the only part of his body that Bauby had any control over, was the only means that Bauby had of communicating. The movie is the story of Bauby's life from the moment that he comes out of the coma that his stroke left him in. The film is extraordinary, and has had a profound impact on me.

When I look back on my life, I have to wonder: was I so busy living day-to-day life 20 years ago that I didn't take time to truly appreciate where I was at then? I know that I was a good mother, but there are so many things that I would do differently now that I'm, well...more mature. When we're thirty we think we're grown-up, that people who are 50 are old, and that people who are 70 are ancient. Now that I'm just about 50, I realize that when I was 30 I wasn't as grown-up as I thought I was, and I certainly didn't know as much as I thought I did.

The trick, I realize now, is to live in appreciation of exactly where we're at in life always, whether the times are good or bad; with regard to our children, our significant-others, our parents, our selves. The key to true happiness is not to enjoy each day, but to slow our minds down and to appreciate each minute of where we are in our lives, for to do so is the only way to conscientiously choose our path for the next minute. This is critical to happiness because we don't get a do-over.

The beauty is that, however much time has passed for each of us, and regardless of where we are at in our lives, it's never too late to be completely happy from this moment forward.

1 comment:

  1. Well said! Life is too short to miss anything!


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