I recently watched a movie called “The Intern.” Robert DeNiro plays a 70-year-old retired widower who is lonely and bored, so he applies for and gets a position as a senior intern to Anne Hathaway in a fresh, new start-up internet clothing company. The employees are young hipsters dressed in “super casual” clothing, shirts untucked, hoodies, some unkempt with messy hair. They are all “chill.”
And there’s Ben (DeNiro) completely comfortable in a suit and tie, impeccably groomed and standing out like a sore thumb in this workplace. Always saying and doing the right thing…honest, trustworthy, reliable and self-confident. These are the kind of men I worked with way back when. Gentlemen. Professionals. People who ran companies with compassion and treated their staff with respect. The movie rekindled memories of some of them. John Murphy. Al Carlton. Gene Smith. The best of the best. The cream of the crop. Men who respected me as an employee, treated me fairly, complimented my efficiency, leaned on my business support and valued and appreciated my knowledge and skills. They made me feel like somebody.
I’ve struggled in the past few years finding that echelon of workplace integrity. I’ve come across leadership that is shallow and self-centered. Interactions are mostly technology-based. People stare at their phones as they walk by to avoid eye contact. There is an aloofness and a disconnect. Yes, I’m getting older, and it’s hard to fit into this new business world, let alone find a place in which to belong.
I miss my old bosses. I miss the way things used to be. Ben eventually worked his way into the hearts of his co-workers with his old-fashioned ways. Some began to emulate him. It was heart-warming for me to reminisce. And I still hold out hope that people like these still exist in our business world.
I’m a quote-aholic. I can’t help but think when I hear something poignant, that the universe must be talking to me.
Take, for instance, this afternoon. It’s just another cold winter’s day on a lazy Sunday afternoon. I’m trying to learn how to relax, which has never been part of my nature. So after spending most of the morning running around, going to the park with Bella, etc., etc., I force myself to sit and watch a movie mindlessly, but instead, start to write this blog. Far be it from me to sit and do nothing. 🙂
The movie is one of seen a number of times…“The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.” It is about a group of older people who travel to India to live out the rest of what’s left of their lives. Each has a story of growing older, feeling useless in retirement, feeling unlovable through divorce, feeling tossed aside, washed out, used up. They’re hoping that India will be a place for them to make a new life with what’s left of theirs.
The movie is chock full of quotes, life lessons and the stuff that makes you rethink everything you’re doing in your own life. I am impacted again and again throughout the two hours of a movie so beautiful and idealistic that I want to cry.
And so, I’d like to share these treasures with you:
- Can we be blamed because we feel like we’re too old too change? Too scared of disappointment to start it all again?
- We must get up in the morning and do our best. Nothing else matters.
- Nothing happens unless we first dream.
- There is no past that we can bring back by longing for it. Only a present that builds and creates itself as the past withdraws.
- The only real failure is the failure to try.
- He who risks nothing; does nothing; has nothing. What you could have done should have been more than nothing.
- Don’t you know that you can have anything you want? You just have to stop waiting for someone to tell you that you deserve it.
- Initially you’re overwhelmed, but gradually you realize it’s like a wave. Resist and you’ll be knocked over. Dive into it, and you’ll swim out the other side.
- The measure of success is how we deal with disappointment.
- Your future will be different. Your fear is that it will be the same.
- What’s the use of a marriage when nothing is shared?
- Most things don’t work out. But sometimes what happens instead is the good stuff.
- I know you’re off you game…lost your footing…lost your confidence maybe. But you are a thorobred. You’ll be back.
- When someone dies, you think about your own life. And I don’t want to grow older. I don’t want to be condescended to. To become marginalized and ignored by society. I don’t want to be the first person they let off the plane in a hostage crisis.
- Don’t just cope…thrive.
- If I can stand on my own two feet, so can you.
- Prepare to be amazed. Take my offer of a vision of the future.
- Celebrate change.
And my favorite:
- Everything will be all right in the end. If it’s not all right, then it’s not yet the end.
Take just one quote (or all of them!) to heart and let it/them settle in and take root as you journey through this labyrinth called life. All will be well in the end.
Yesterday afternoon was chilly and stormy, and I got to do what I love best on a day like that – curl up on the couch with a blanket and watch an old (1995) romantic comedy. Honestly, nothing is better than that for me. I’m very low maintenance.
I was lucky enough to come across one of my old favorites. I hate to call it “old.” I prefer the word “timeless.” The movie was “French Kiss” starring Meg Ryan (of course – she seems to be in all my timeless favorites) and Kevin Kline (as opposed to the usual favorite Tom Hanks). In this movie we have a headstrong, conservative “have life all figured out and organized the way she wants it to play out” Kate and a scruffy, rough-around-the-edges, living life on the edge Frenchman, Luc. Kate’s planning her wedding as her fiancé Charlie flies off to France on business. While there, he meets and falls in love with a sexy little French kitten, and a monkey wrench is thrown into everyone’s plans. (I love animal metaphors.) When Kate flies out to win Charlie back, she meets Luc and is instantly repulsed by him, of course. Well, this happens and that happens, and one thing leads to another, and yes, you know the ending…her life is turned topsy-turvy, and she ends up falling madly in love with Luc and living in a stone house on a hill with a breath-taking view of the French wine countryside where they live their lives in the end cultivating their own vineyard. Heavy sigh….
I love crap like this…I really do. Nothing warms my heart more than watching the intricacies, however predictable, of human nature where life doesn’t work out the way you planned but love conquers all in the end. It’s what I live and breathe for. I guess I can be labeled as one of those crazy, hopeless romantics. But I just can’t let it go.
Life hasn’t worked out the way I planned, indeed. But I know my twisted turn of fate is coming soon where I’ll meet “the one” across a crowded room (I’m obsessed with that scenario), and I’ll live happily ever after. Until then…there’s always the Hallmark channel…and I think “Sleepless in Seattle” is on this weekend. 🙂 Time to grab my blanket!
If you have a moment, take a listen to some of the songs in movie, including my theme song by Van Morrison, “Someone Like You.”