I experienced a unique and piercingly beautiful film yesterday! Based on Peter Turner’s memoir, this film follows the playful and passionate relationship between Turner (played by Jamie Bell) and the eccentric Academy Award-winning actress Gloria Grahame (played by Annette Bening).
I loved the way this film skillfully intertwined their budding romance in the late 1970s, with Ms. Grahame’s death in 1981.
What starts out as a vibrant and totally unexpected love affair between a legendary femme fataleand an unknown fellow actor in Liverpool England, quickly deepens into a passionate and caring relationship. Thus her decision to spend her last days on earth with him and his great family.
This 2017 film so skillfully and seamlessly takes the viewer from their early days of lustful romance, to Turner’s present uncertainty about how to handle Gloria’s obviously serious illness. Seeing her again brings back so many exciting memories for Turner as he watches her slowly fade away.
The skill of director Paul McGuigan in taking us back and forth in these characters’ lives, explains everything about their love for each other, so much so that Miss Grahame pushes Turner away when she realizes she is very ill. She hopes to spare him some degree of pain, but pain cannot be avoided in death, not when love is involved.
I’ll bet you didn’t know that around half of single Americans have an online dating profile up somewhere. But for me, this brings up the biggest mistake most make when it comes to looking for and finding love later in life. If you have not dealt with your baggage from past relationships, if you have simply moved on after past romantic disasters, your luck at love will never change. Yes, you may find another victim to fall in love with. It may even feel wonderful for a year or two, but if deep inside you are filled with shame and doubt about yourself, no one else can decide to fix that but you.
If nothing changes within you from one relationship to another, than the results will be similar… and you know you don’t want that!
And if you are one of the millions who say, “Yeah, but people can’t change,” than I feel sorry for you. Because if you believe that, than it is true. One well-kept secret in our world today is that midlife is the perfect time to change your life. And when I say life, I mean everything about it!
No matter how miserable you may feel about your life up until now, if you are perfectly clear about wanting something completely different and are willing to commit to that goal, your life will change.
And in that process you will find the life you were meant to live, just as I did around age 50. If anyone had said to me, when I was in the worst of midlife slumps back in 2004: “Your life will change and in thirteen years you will be happily married, retired and living in a fantastic solar home in rural southern Colorado!” I probably would have slapped them and said “Get real!”
But I have learned how to get past all the exterior nonsense and focus like a laser on what means the most to me in each moment of my life. I saw that I needed to find a way to believe I was worthy of genuine, lifelong love from a wonderful human being, and then I met him. Then I saw that I was worthy of a safe, comfortable, efficient place to live, and Mike and I manifested that dream recently.
My frustration is in how few people believe and achieve their most important life goals because they do not realize this is all within reach. When I discovered how much I could personally change myself and my fate, I wanted to share this knowledge with others, but most ignore me.
Knowing and speaking our truth is the most powerful tool we all have!
To celebrate the 12th anniversary of the day Mike and I met, I decided to run this popular post from my now defuncted “Midlife Crisis Queen” blog. This is one of the first posts I wrote after starting a blog in 2007:
“Love is lovelier, the second time around. Just as wonderful, with both feet on the ground…” — Sammy Cahn
And so it is. Falling in love later can be quite the challenge, but when it does happen, it feels just like a miracle. To me it felt like winning the lottery, and in a way it was! When I think back to all the reasons why Mike and I should not have met, it boggles my mind that we did. Although we only lived ten miles apart, without the Internet we most certainly wouldn’t have met.
Our backgrounds were very different, and we shared no social networks. I was also getting plenty gun shy from meeting new men online. The men kept vaporizing after our first date.Yes, I was beginning to feel mighty hopeless.
Then there was the fact that we didn’t really match up on paper. I came from a background with an emphasis on academics, and Mike went to the Navy instead of college. His specialty is mechanics and electronics, mine is counseling, research and writing, but what we had in common turned out to be much more important!
Mike and I felt an immediate camaraderie of spirit, which I have never found in another human being, a feeling we had both been seeking forever, but had somehow missed until that day.
From the very beginning our souls spoke to each other in a unique and unusual way, a spontaneous familiarity, a synchronicity of body, mind and heart. And even more amazing, we both realized and appreciated that fact immediately. No backing away from it, no denying it. We both decided to trust our inner wisdom and simply go with it.
We spoke for ten hours on our first date, and then took a short trip together less than two weeks later. Reminds me of that great line at the end of one of my favorite romantic comedies:
“When you finally meet the person you want to spend the rest of your life with, you want the rest of your life to begin as soon as possible!” – ‘When Harry Met Sally.’
We both had been through so much, and so we recognized immediately when something unique and wonderful fell into our laps. I also learned about a key component of compatibility that I had never thought about before. Besides the usual requirements, the deal breakers, etc., I learned how important it is that your partner process information at the same rate. Mike and I think at the same rate, and often come to the same conclusions simultaneously. This is quite a gift in a long term relationship!
My own theory of love and attraction came through loud and clear when I first met Mike, that is you get what you are in love. As much as you have worked on developing into your best self, that is the kind of person you will attract to yourself.
So keep working on self-love and self-respect, feel daily gratitude for the life you now have, and read good blogs and books. Why not try mine? How to believe in love again.
Never give up on love if that’s what you want!
My favorite poet Marge Piercy said it best:
“Love is plunging into darkness toward a place that may exist.”