Sunday, December 4, 2011

My Mundane, Ordinary, Wonderful Life

by Amanda Forester


I intended to write this blog post earlier tonight except "It's a Wonderful Life" was on TV, so naturally I had to drop everything to watch it. No, that's not procrastination it's inspiration! Truth is, I love watching that movie every year. It always puts me in the holiday spirit.

But what makes this holiday classic so "classic"? In watching it again, I realized the movie had several problems. For instance, most of the movie is actually back story - a huge no-no for writers today. Also, the pacing was a bit slow at times, and the plot kept frustrating the viewer by not letting the hero, George, explore the world like he wanted to do all his life. You have to endure a bit a pain with the hero to get to the "happily ever after", and I don't want to ruin it for anyone, but George never does go on that world tour.

Much of "It's a Wonderful Life" is a story about an average guy who quietly goes along doing what he thinks is right, but will never be the one getting a parade or a medal for his service. Often I feel this way. My life is a series of routines, I get up, get the kids ready, go to work, take care of kids, do the chores, try to write, go to bed too late, and then get up the next morning to do it all again. Far from wonderful, my life can feel mundane, ordinary, and even dull. I think this movie speaks to people because it whispers that we are more important than we realize. As Clarence the angel says, "no person can be a failure who has friends."

At the end of the movie, George is shown that he has had a much greater impact on his community than he ever realized, and that everything that's really important he already had right there at home. So when I think of what I want to see under my tree this year (other than what Terry Spear posted a few days ago - have mercy!) I know I already have everything I truly want. My husband, my kids, friends and family - sure nothing is perfect, but I know I am greatly blessed. It is truly a wonderful life.

So what are your holiday traditions that make your spirits merry and bright?

Here's wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

14 comments:

  1. Violent storms are knocking out my internet, so I'm trying to slip in while it's working for a second! Kids and parents and husband are gone, so now I can indulge myself with special Christmas helpers, Amanda! :) Although they'll have to be totally dressed before the kids and their new mates all land in for Christmas! :) I always loved this story! Thanks for sharing! May your holidays be the best, Amanada!

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  2. Amanda, you hit it out of the park with this post. If we can respond to your post, we're wealthier than much of the world simply in terms of education and technological know how, and thus in a position to have a significant positive impact on those around us. The trick is to keep a sense of that wealth close at hand when the bills, the fatigue, the dead-ends in life try to make us forget it.
    Thanks for the reminder.

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  3. Thanks for the lovely post. This has been an ultra busy month for me but it all came together this past week and I got the best present ever when our editor, Deb, called and said, "You nailed it!"
    May your holidays be wonderful!

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  4. Amanda, thanks for the post! We're really blessed to lead the ordinary lives we do. So many people can't afford even the simplest pleasures this year.

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  5. Terry - and thank you for sharing! I'm sure your "special helpers" will help you weather the storm!!

    Grace - you are so right. It is easy to get dragged down by the missed opportunities in life and the things we don't have. It is certainly a challenge sometimes to focus on the positives, but well worth the effort! We often miss how much of a positive impact we have on those around us.

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  6. Carolyn - that is a great gift!! I would like a little of that too!! Wishing you a wonderful relaxed Christmas now!

    Joanne - sometimes an ordinary, "boring" life can be a HUGE blessing! Have a wonderful holiday!

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  7. Today my husband and I will be spending the day shopping for gifts for underprivileged children as he contributes to a charity at work every year. That means a trek to Toys R Us and the wonderful abandonment of our wallets to all they offer! We spend a lot of $ on these trips because we try to get some cool stuff and since we have no kids of our own we can more freely help others' out! I am always amazed at my husband's generous heart during these outings, and it makes me very happy and honored to claim him as my own. To me, that is gift enough!

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  8. aOrdinary can be extraordinary. I try to keep the real reason for the season at the forefront of this very special holiday. ;o) Christmas Eve with my side of the family with homemade bread, pies and chili -oh! and my moms famous hot ham salad!--is one of our traditions. As long as I have my husband, kids, grandkids and family, I've got all the riches in the world. ;o) I wouldn't trade this life for anything (well...maybe an hour or two with the hottie that was posted the other day! lol) Life's what you make of it. There are no do overs. ;o) Merry Christmas to all!

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  9. I totally agree--I'm extraordinarily blessed to have an ordinary life with a happy and relatively healthy family. All my dreams have come true. Now I'm going to help DH and the kids decorate the tree! Have a very happy holiday!

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  10. Marianne - what a wonderful thing to do! You are certainly giving some needy kids a very bright Christmas! Your generosity is probably helping in ways you may never fully know, but I bet it feels good to giv. Enjoy!

    Suzan - mmmm, sounds delicious. I love all the food we have at the holidays we never have any other time. I make a apple brandy bread pudding that I look forward to all year. Of course it is family that truly makes it special. Have a wonderful holiday!

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  11. Robin - a healthy family is one of the greatest blessings! Have a great time decorating your tree!!

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  12. It's a Wonderful Life is one of my traditions too. I love that movie. We're starting our new traditions this year since my daughter is finally old enough to kind of get it.

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  13. Shana - it is so much fun to pass down traditions to our kids and watch them experience it for the first time. Enjoy the holidays!

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  14. What a memorable movie, Amanda! Thanks for sharing. :)

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