I’m too young to say this… but today I’m 50 years old. Cincuenta ~ Spanish for fifty ~ sounds so much more civilized don’t you think?
I’ve put some thought into this turning 50 thing. You see, I remember when I turned 39 I got all philosophical about it! If “life begins at 40” as so many said then I best get ready for the best years of my life. Well, to be precise, shit happened, I had a few very personally tragic years and actually I’d have to say 40 – 50, were for me, bittersweet and definitely the toughest years. Forever one to focus on the positive and as a screenwriter, it occurred to me that life is like a screenplay. I plan to live to around 100 years old, just like my Granny so that would put me at the midpoint of my life right now.
My Nana and her mom, my Granny. Miss you both.
However; based on current events I believe I’m going into Act 3.
In screenwriter lingo, there are 3 acts to all movies. If, I were to use my age in terms of minutes in a movie; I wondered how it would fit the ‘beats’ of a movie? My mentor, Blake Snyder, may he rest in PEACE, had a clear plan of how to attack a screenplay, based on beats. Just for yucks, I thought I’d attack my life like that and see how it relates.
It would be a love story ~ well if you know my hubby it would be a romantic comedy!
Act 1 – Ages 1 – 25
The opening image must be dramatic, go way back and be primal.
My mom wanted to abort me, that fits the drama part… she didn’t and I most definitely thank her for that!
I had a chaotic, first few years so there aren’t many pics, this is the only one I have as a wee one.
The thematic premise of a movie happens at about 5 minutes into the film;
Around age 5, I actually remember believing that if I wanted something really badly all I had to do was focus on it and God would always look after me. Pretty fair assessment, I’ve become the queen of positive thinking and I still visualize my goals and desires and I must say my life is pretty, gosh, darn, good!
My mom, Grandma, my brothers and me.
In ‘Blake speak’ pages 12 – 25 are the debate of the movie.
Hello! Ages 12 – 25, for my life anyway were most definitely the debate of my life. High school = peers pressure + I’m helping raise my brother and sister pressure + parent pressure + work pressure + getting good grade pressure + working to get money for college pressure + graduating pressure and then I went to college, pressure, pressure, pressure!
I got my first career job straight out of college. Thanks Tom/Kate/Stuart. Then life seemed pretty steady; I got married, was self-employed. Oh ya, somewhere in there my parents split up. Yup, I’d call all that a debate.
Act 2 starts with a bang on page 25.
A month before my 25th birthday, I left to go backpacking around Europe for 6 months, came back to lots of work, built my career, traveled some more, bought waterfront property, worked the yard, renovated and created plans for a new house on the property, hired staff and became a boss.
The B story as it’s called in the movies starts around page 30.
Yup, I was starting a new story that was for sure; my first husband and I split.
Then we have what Blake called the ‘fun and games’ from page 30 – 55. This section isn’t always fun and most definitely is not game playing but in a movie it’s what has the audience on the edge of their seat.
Referring to a movie being a metaphor of my life, yup, edge of the seat stages of life that’s for sure.
At 33, I met the love of my life, Chris (and 2 little loves of my life Kate and Joe).
Joe when I met him!
AT 35, married the love of my life and his – now our – kids.
Isn’t Kate adorable!
My brothers and sisters at my wedding at Kelly and Lucie’s bar. Thanks Kelly and Lucie.
There was lots of trauma in there, but not now, K?
Both of our kids graduated and are awesome adults!
We had a wedding;
Our daughter married a man, who, not only do we approve of, we LOVE, cherish and adore!
I’ve created great relationships that have empowered my life more than words can, ever, say! I’d love to include photos of all my friends and family AND I’m so BLESSED! I have too many friends and family to include here, you know who you are.
My husband and I have overcome the ‘tough’ years of our marriage; the times when we truly learn all that there is to know about each other and we still like each other, a lot!
Then I closed in on what Blake would call the midpoint ~ False Victory or false defeat.
I turned 49, I thought this time I’d do it right! Without getting into details, I’ve spent much time over the last year contemplating and planning the journey to 50 and beyond. My husband and I were in Mexico, on sabbatical, when I turned 49. We had two couples from home come visit and it just might have been the best birthday of my life! Thanks guys!
Very quickly after that, I made changes. I/we had a plan. Have you heard the one;
Wanna make God laugh?
Tell him you have a plan!
Well, Chris says to me “Let’s move to Mexico”. I should insert question mark there but really he stated it more as an exclamation, excitement, delight.
I responded “Let’s wait until we retire”.
With even more excitement he exclaims “This is the perfect time to see if we like it. The kids haven’t had grandkids yet and our parents are all healthy”.
So indeed, we made a plan.
That would be false Victory.
Bad guys close in.
My daddy got sick, really sick. Dad got sicker and sicker until they told us he had only a few days to live.
All is lost
My Daddy died. We heard he was sick and one month later he was gone. There’s really nothing worse. For those of us left on earth… for Dad it was a blessing, not too much suffering.
Dark night of the soul – In a movie, this is when it can’t get any darker for the hero.
That’s how the last few months have been for me but I don’t cry everyday anymore and I have more up days than down days and OMG – honestly; as I write today I hear the song by Beyonce ‘Halo’, movies have to have irony!
I sob and sob. OH my gosh, if I could sing I would change ‘baby’ to ‘daddy’ and I would sing this song to the heavens and pray dad could hear me! This would be inserted to this part of the movie ~ even though the screenwriter has no say in music… but HEY! It’s my movie and I say, that’s the song.
Act 3 I don’t know what’s going to happen and heck I’m not going to write it… but Blake would say “Snip the ends” meaning make sure the final scene is opposite the opening image.
So, I hope the final scene of my life is that I’m surrounded by people who love me and want me in there lives.
Other than that I have goals:
I’m working to be better.
I pray my kids know I love them more than… anything!
I hope my kids love me.
I trust my husband knows I love him, so much more!
I hope my husband keeps loving me.
I love my friends and family and I hope they know it.
I pray I am healthy and fit to the very end… I’m working on it!
And feisty too, this is my Grandma Nielson!
I intend to always give more than I receive.
I commit to be a ‘net add’ to the world.
I commit to try to always be more positive than negative so I’ll end with this:
From sobbing to chuckling… about 10 years ago, Dad suddenly didn’t call on my birthday. He always called on my birthday! The on May 6th, he called and said Happy Birthday! I laughed “Thanks Dad, uh, you’re 3 days late. He argued that he wasn’t, haha! The past few years my sister would phone and remind him, love you sister!
Sorry for the diversion, all roads lead back to Dad these days! I miss you dad! I’m thinking of you today and on May 6th… and always!
Blake always said movies must be have irony. So ironic it is, today, Blake’s best friend in the whole world posted this of me. It probably says all I’ve said above a little more concisely!
Thanks for letting me ramble! Tonight I party! Now, it’s off to a gorgeous beach with my loving husband! There may be a margarita involved.
May your life be filled with fun and fireworks and love!
Inspire someone today!Not feeling it? Be kind, be generous… be love!