When I was growing up, I wanted to be Scarlett O’Hara. (Yes, I know, last week I told you I wanted to be Mary Poppins. I also wanted to be Catwoman, Mrs. Peel and Peter Pan). Scarlett was smart, strong and went for what she wanted, without apologizing. She made horrible decisions when it came to her love life, but who hasn’t?
I learned important life lessons from Scarlett:
- Self-confidence is a gamechanger. As Margaret Mitchell put it, “Scarlett O’Hara was not beautiful, but men seldom realized it…” Scarlett might not have been the prettiest girl in the room, but she behaved as if she were. There’s nothing more attractive than a person who’s comfortable in their own skin.
- It’s ok to go after what you want. Scarlett didn’t sit around waiting for life to happen – she plotted, schemed, manipulated and chased down opportunities.
- Tomorrow is another day. Scarlett knew that no matter what happened, things always looked better in the morning and that tomorrow is a chance for a fresh start.
- Sometimes people need to be slapped. Yes, I know that Sean Connery got it trouble for saying it, but it’s true. Sometimes, it’s the only way to get a person to focus.
I’m older now, and I’ve come to the realization that Scarlett was wrong, and not just because she chose Ashley over Rhett (WHAT was that woman thinking?). Ok, maybe not wrong, just misguided (especially about the Rhett Butler thing.. #scoundralsareyummy)
I still think self confidence and the courage to go after what you want are important. I also think it’s ok (when all else fails) to slap someone who is hysterical (I would know – I slapped a drunk friend years ago, and it’s the only thing he remembered from the night he came thisclose to getting arrested). I’m no longer certain about #3. I mean, yes, tomorrow is another day, but why wait until tomorrow?
We spend so much of our lives waiting. Waiting for things to change. Waiting for things to get better. Waiting to meet that special someone. Waiting for tomorrow, when things will look better.
I won’t say I’m old (as Mark Twain tell us, “age is an issue of mind over matter“), but I have reached a point in my life where I cannot afford to wait. Instead, I’m learning to focus on the present. I’m focusing on the present and on finding little gifts in the moment because the stresses and strains of Life can be overwhelming. I’m focusing on the present because Eckhart Tolle stresses the power of now. I’m focusing on the present, because, as recent losses have reminded me, we’re not guaranteed tomorrow.