Where’s the Beef? (and how a really bad movie can be a really great tool for checking in with yourself)

I’m always on the look-out for good Adventure Diva movies, and when I stumbled across “I’ll See You in My Dreams” on Netflix, I thought I’d found one.

I was wrong.

Clinging to the familiar and fear of the unknown, even if things have gotten stale, is relatable enough, and I was encouraged by the promise that Carol was about to push way out of her comfort zone and shake things up.


The premise was a woman named Carol confronting her age, and realizing her life had become predictable and mundane. With a husband who had been dead for twenty-years, and a handful of friends pushing her to get out there and date again (while simultaneously pushing for her to move to a retirement community), Carol is reluctant to change, until a set of chance encounters turns that on it’s head.

So far, so good. Clinging to the familiar and fear of the unknown, even if things have gotten stale, is relatable enough, and I was encouraged by the promise that Carol was about to push way out of her comfort zone and shake things up.

 

What went wrong …

It insulted my intelligence, and when I got around to unpacking exactly why, it came down to this: the only thing that completes us is a man. That wasn’t just lazy, it was wrong.


It had potential, until it slid straight into a quagmire of clichés: the exciting younger man (the pool boy — yes, they went there); the sexy, wealthy older man (it was Sam Elliott — I had to cut myself some slack here); and even a gaggle of bridge club friends smoking pot as if it was some sort of revelatory, rebellious reclamation of a more carefree youth. The list goes on and on. By the time the “Aha!” moment arrived, when these gals were finally getting it (hey, you mean there are adventures out there that don’t depend on a man to complete us?), and ready to grab it with both arms, it was less than 5 minutes from the ending, and then drove it straight off a cliff back to buying a dog for comfort.

There were times that I went from groaning to nearly standing on my chair yelling “are you effing kidding me???”.

It insulted my intelligence, and when I got around to unpacking exactly why, it came down to this: the only thing that completes us is a man. That wasn’t just lazy, it was wrong.

 

Expectations of Adventures

When I think of adventures, I think about those things that I crave that are uniquely me; those things that I’ve wanted forever, and that somehow felt out of reach.


I’ve been single again for nearly 5 years, and while I may choose to share my life again with someone down the road, it absolutely, positively does not define my value as a person. AND, the notion of spicing things up in my glory years certainly doesn’t depend on it.

When I think of adventures, I think about those things that I crave that are uniquely me; those things that I’ve wanted forever, and that somehow felt out of reach.

Whether I was too scared to go after them, didn’t think I was worthy, or thought they cost too much: those things were the imagined barriers, a safety net, really, that I put out there to protect myself from wandering too far outside of my comfort zone. This is a gut-check that is becoming more and more apparent as I become restless. It’s time for a change!

 

How awful can actually be great …

Anything that shakes you out of your comfort zone, that gets you questioning what’s important to you, that moves you to want to take a step, make a change, is a tool to be grateful for.


I wanted this movie to be great, and while I found it predictable, completely implausible (the sexy, wealthy older man wanted to marry her in just 2 days), and definitely disappointing (our protagonist was a wine-soaked whiner, self-centered, and just plain mean to her daughter), it served a wonderful purpose: it made me check in with myself every time I complained. If it made me so damned mad, what was it that I thought should have happened instead? I was cheering for these women. I wanted them to be brave. I wanted them to get off their asses and go out there and grab a hold of life and shake the hell out of it.

And that’s what made it great in an unexpected way. Anything that shakes you out of your comfort zone, that gets you questioning what’s important to you, that moves you to want to take a step, make a change, is a tool to be grateful for.

 

What’s YOUR perfect happy ending?

Let’s put our elbows on the kitchen table and talk about it! Let’s plot our mad schemes and be each others’ greatest enablers.


So I ask you, sister Adventure Divas, what is the perfect happy ending? What is it out there in the wild blue yonder that calls to your Adventure Diva soul? What will your life be incomplete without?

For me, it’s chasing tornadoes; and writing the Great Canadian Novel; and running away to Carmel-by-the-Sea, and maybe a little Tuscan villa to write for a summer; and finding a little piece of land in the woods on Bone Lake to build a teeny, tiny house with a big-ass garden.

What calls you, know matter how crazy it may seem? And more importantly, what’s stopping you?

Let’s put our elbows on the kitchen table and talk about it! Let’s plot our mad schemes and be each others’ greatest enablers. For at the end of the day, we really are a network of Fairy Godmothers on our own behalf, and can move mountains if we just say the word.

Bibbity Bobbity Boo, bishes! Let’s make some magic …

 

Sue

 

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