“I like the roller coaster…you get more out of it.” ~ Helen Shaw as Grandma in the movie Parenthood
Steve Martin’s movie Parenthood is one of my all time favorites with a great cast of characters all struggling in their own way to define what success meant individually and as a family unit. Steve Martin was frustrated because his life wasn’t living up to the standard he perceived others to be at. His kids were screwed up, his career was in the toilet and, his wife (played by the fabulous Mary Steenburgen) was pregnant…AGAIN! It was all too much for his high-strung self and he kind of lost it. It was at this point that grandma launched into a slightly deranged, but very perceptive, soliloquy. “Some people,” she said, “liked the merry-go-round” but frankly that kind of confused her…I mean, it just goes round-and-round-and-round. It’s boring…right? Every once in a while, I get a crazy thought that my life needs to just slowly laze around and around, the breeze lightly blowing my hair and then, about as quickly as that thought comes, I remember that merry-go-rounds make me sick as a dog. I like crazy ups and downs, the exhilaration, the speed, the highs, the dark places, all the things that go with riding a rollercoaster. Not everyone does and that is ok too.
Here’s to finding what success looks like for you and not defining it based on what it looks like for other people…including your family!