Thursday, June 27, 2013

The End and a New Beginning and Love, Actually

I have a confession - I forgot to take pictures last night!  I was so busy talking that I forgot to take pictures!  This will come as no surprise to you, I bet!  I am sad about it, as it is so rare that I get all the people I love (minus a few that couldn't make it) in the same room.

What I can advise: my house looks like someone died; there are flowers everywhere!!  See below:



What I can also advise:  people appear to bring flowers AND wine and now there is a lot of wine in the house, despite a lot of it being drunk last night!

What I can finally advise: I wore fancy pants and my old disco fleur J Crew sandals.

Women's new arrivals - shoes - Disco-fleur sandals - J.Crew

I was over the top, dress-wise - full on Marie Antoinette meets Gayle from J Crew.  More was more.

But now that is done.  Last night was the most meaningful of the retirement fetes; this party included my friends and family, the people who supported me through it all - through the early years, the years of hard work, the years where they hardly saw me because I was working so much.  I was lucky to have them through it all and am still lucky to have them!

The thing about life is this - we rarely know the significant moments/decisions when they are happening.  It is only with time and the filter of our own perspective of what happened that we ascribe the events with significance or meaning.

But retirements/Marriages/funerals/births/milestone birthdays are different; we know something is happening.  We celebrate and acknowledge them.  Or we hide from them, depending upon our personalities.  I've hit three of those things in the last seven months; now I am ready to turn a page.

So now I embark on the new adventure; working for myself.  Ultimately, I am hoping someone will pay me for the things that I write; until then, I will cobble together lots of things to make a living and a life.  It is scary and exciting and thrilling and nauseating all at the same time!

In my old career, I was at the top of the ladder.  I understood everything about my job and how the system worked.  I do not know how to be a writer.  I am starting all over at age 50 feeling much as I did when I entered the civil service at age 26 without knowing how to write a bureaucratic sentence or do research.  But I learned.  And I will learn this too.

What I also know to be true is that if you are open and honest and truthful, if you share your love of life and your love of people, it comes back.  The people in that room last night love me.  It is always a mystery to me how we find people and make friendships, but I am grateful for everyone.

It is also a mystery to me how people show up exactly when you need them - not before, not after - exactly when you need them.  One of the folks that visits here emailed me last night with some wonderful advice about getting published and establishing myself as a writer.  I was gobsmacked by the generosity and that someone would take a moment to give me advice.  And boy do I need it!  It just seems to me that there are people, guides, who are always available to us if we are only open to them, and I try to be one for others myself.

Every day, I try to come here and come to the rest of my life with joy and kindness and hope.  And every day, that optimism is returned to me ten-fold.  You are all so kind that it is actually quite humbling to me.  Your kind remarks about my one year blogiversary really made me feel quite good yesterday, but any enjoyment you derive from popping in here is dwarfed by my own joy in getting to know people here.  I like to think of this blog as more of a maritime kitchen party - people pop in and out, tell us what's going on, give their two cents worth and head off to the next party!  And that is just how I like it!

Last night, and this blog community on an ongoing basis, made me think of the voice-over at the beginning of the movie, Love Actually.  Yes, I am just that kind of sap - I love that movie.  Yes, life is hard.  Sometimes it is easy.  Sometimes it is crazy.  Sometimes it is humbling.  But there is always someone there to give a hand or a kind thought.  I won't "out" the person who wrote me last night, but know that I am deeply touched that you would take the time to share your thoughts and experience with someone who is a complete neophyte in their newly (and it seems to me at times, insanely!) chosen profession!

So to start our day, I'm sharing what Hugh says at the beginning of the movie.  It's not a bad way to start a day, I think:

"Whenever I get gloomy with the state of the world, I think about the arrivals gate at Heathrow Airport. General opinion's starting to make out that we live in a world of hatred and greed, but I don't see that. It seems to me that love is everywhere. Often, it's not particularly dignified or newsworthy, but it's always there - fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, old friends. When the planes hit the Twin Towers, as far as I know, none of the phone calls from the people on board were messages of hate or revenge - they were all messages of love. If you look for it, I've got a sneaking suspicion... love actually is all around."

Yup - I AM just that kind of sap....


Stay safe out there!

34 comments:

  1. You are a lovely sap WMM, here's to many more days of wine and roses for you.

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    1. Oh Tabs - that is very clever!! Wish I had thought of that for the post title! Damn!

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  2. Yay for you and your blog, Wendy! I so love reading your journey; it is so generous of you to share it. Blogging is such a powerful way of recording and, more importantly, reflecting upon life.
    Your story, as it unfolds here, is so inspirational!
    I really hope that I'll take the plunge to do what I really want to do one day!

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    1. well when you do it, I want to be in downward dog at the first class!

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  3. TREACLE CUTTER Well WMM, in prep for your sitcom script I am going to go all low-brow from the British PM (his speech w/ Pres Billy Bob "David Beckham's left foot" is actually one of my all-time movie excerpts.) And do a Billy Mack:

    "I feel it in my fingers,I feel it in my toes, potential is all around you, visit here as Wendy grows."

    Three cheers for blogger generousity. And, while you are at it, make the most of your Flower Power shoes...

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    1. Hey, just realised, for this week at least you have gardens outside and IN (and not because of a sad occasion.) How wonderful is THAT?! A bouquet for every room, except maybe DH's.

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    2. Ha! My God, we will have Bill in my sitcom, I promise! He may play my dad!

      There are flowers everywhere now - could hardly find my watch this morning around the massive bouquet on my dresser!

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  4. Love Actually is one of my favourite movies as well, I own a copy and I watch it at least once a year!
    Bless you Wenders, every day you put a smile on my face. And Maritime Kitchen Party, I love it!

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    1. Hi Dani! We watch it ensemble every December! It even has Bilbo in it, doesn't it, in a decidely un-Bilbo-like role....

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    2. One of best-ever ensemble casts and soundtracks. Still weirds me out to see crush on married Keira Andrew Lincoln in Walking Dead tho'.

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    3. I know!!!! I think she married the wrong man - I think so every time! But the last scene with Colin Firth in Marseilles - I could sob just thinking of it, the whole town following him to the restaurant!

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    4. We watch it every December too; one of us distracts mom during the part with the 2 porn stars.

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  5. I love that movie! Your kind spirit is evident in your writing! You are truly an inspiration to me.
    Have a beautiful day:)

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    1. Oh thanks A - right back at you!

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  6. I am usually not big on romantic comedies, most of them bore me to death (I know, I am an old cynic), but I enjoyed 'Love, Actually', sappiness and all.
    I am so happy for you that you took a plunge into writing and I am rooting for you! We always admire people that do what they love but to be there you have to take the risk and it is scary at times. To have your family and friends surrounding you with love is the biggest blessing of all, so glad you have it in abundance :)
    You cracked me up again with your funeral comment, lol.

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    1. It is so true though _ i got so many flowers when my dad died - such a relief to get them for having a midlife crisis instead!

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  7. Confession.
    I could be VP of your sappiness club.

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    1. I am so glad there are other saps out there!!!! Saps of the world - UNITE!

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  8. Hi Wendy - how kind of your blog friend to give you some tips. I get the impression that having work published is not an easy thing but you are now forewarned and forearmed.

    I also love Love Actually - it's an annual Christmas date for me too (I have to watch it alone as none of my menfolk will watch that kind of movie more than once).

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    1. Patricia - maybe we'll have a virtual viewing party! "Oh look - see how Hugh gives his secretary the look?", etc, etc!

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  9. I think I'm too much cynic/not enough sap to reply, but it takes all kinds to make the world go round, right? :) I am forever an optimist, however, and I always relate to your writing on that level. I don't remember Love, Actually that well, but there are some sappy movies I like (The Notebook, for example, help, why?! lol). There are others, too. I probably liked Love, Actually, actually, even if I can't remember it!

    I'm glad your last get-together was so good!

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    1. i love this "Love Actually, actually" - that is brilliant!!! And the Notebook - Cate - that's a no-brainer - two canadian actors fall in love on screen and then one goes on to have alzheimers - its the age old story..

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  10. You are already a writer so I think the strange thing is to actually call yourself one when you travel and you write that down under "occupation" in those immigration forms!

    I am not that sappy but Love Actually gets me as I left home and my home country at 16 so it was decades of tearful hello and good-byes...

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    1. All in Heathrow???? Oh lord, I am choking up now! As for occupation, I think I will go by "Bon vivant and Authoress" - what do you think?

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  11. I recently introduced Love Actually to my husband (not the other way round) :-) and he LOVED it. I'm not much of a sap, but since turning 30, things are slowly starting to change. My husband is a sap in disguise, and now has joined me in my unconditional love of "rom-coms."
    I have no idea how to get published in "the real world" so I am anxious to learn from your experience. In academia, it's a process, and if it is a peer review one, you see a lot of egos collide. It's not so fun to watch people decimate your work out of jealousy, that's why being an editor appeals to me, I think my process would be very different. Like CWS said above, it's quite interesting to watch people's reactions when I tell them what I do for a living. "So you write novels/movies? Are you an author, a screenwriter?" people reply when I tell them I write about movies/TV and popular culture. It's a hoot.

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    1. SO interesting! WHen I defended my thesis I was blown away but how some of the other professors just seemed to want to take shots at my thesis advisor!!

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  12. I hope your books get into the right hands to be published. I can only imagine that they are terrific. You put your heart into what you write, and that makes it real and wonderful.
    My sap quotient is pretty high too

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    1. HI Jennifer! Thank God Cate is around to keep us in check!!! The older I get I don't mind my sentimentality. It has usually held me in good stead! note the word "usually"...

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  13. I adore Love Actually - so quirky and hilarious! I watch it every Christmas.

    Yay for the extra flowers and wine! You deserve it.

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    1. Thanks LR! It is a great movie and one can never have enough wine and roses!

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  14. We are all getting autographed copies, don't you think? This is a memorable time for you.

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    1. well i will autograph SOMETHING for you.... memorable and scary!

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Kindness is a virtue...