Last night, I watched "Murphy's Romance" on TV. It's a fabulous movie starring James Garner as an older man, settled in his ways, comfortable in his own skin with a no-nonsense view of life. Sally Field is a young, single mom determined to make a better life for herself and her son. I love this movie's message. James Garner is amazing as a low key man who figured out a long time ago that the meaning of life is family, friends and being true to yourself. He can see through all the nonsense and clutter that people worry about. He calls it like he sees it. He puts a lot of importance on loyalty and honesty. He is a kind and supportive friend. Sally Field is hardworking, firm yet gentle with her son. Her main concern is raising a 'good man'. She strives to always do the right thing and stand on her own two feet. Every time I see this movie, I'm reminded how easy it is to get caught up in the unimportant things and forget what is really important. As a parent, I constantly wonder if I'm doing the right thing with my kids. Am I too strict? Too lenient? Am I instilling good values in them? Do they care about others? Am I setting a good example?
I'm lucky to have several people in my life who have these qualities. No matter what life throws at them, they handle it straight on with grace and dignity. They don't complain about every little thing that goes wrong. If someone they love is in need, they are the first in line to help. Nothing is too much.
More often than I care to admit, I fall short in these qualities. When I'm having one of those days where it seems like every little thing happens just to annoy me, I'm the first to feel sorry for myself. In reality, I've had a pretty easy life. I just need to stop and remember that when the days seems to be designed to test what little patience I have.