Friday, June 29, 2012

Nora got it right

Over the years I’ve read several studies that attempted to determine why some people considered themselves happy even in unpleasant circumstances and others were unhappy when everything was going great for them. It’s the glass half full or half empty point of view that some studies say is inherent in our personalities, not learned or acquired. It’s something I’ve been thinking about this week after encountering a person whose anger has taken over her life.

Coincidentally, in reading tributes to the late, marvelous Nora Ephron I came across two of her quotes that really struck a chord on the subject.

"My religion is 'Get over it’. And I was raised in that religion. That was the religion of my home — my mother saying, 'Everything is copy; everything is material; someday you will think this is funny.' My parents never said, 'Oh you poor thing.' It was work through it, get to the other side, turn it into something. And it worked with me."

I love that religion! One of my most miserable adventures involved snowmobiles, wilderness trails and a severe case of the flu. It’s now one of my best cocktail party stories. But I also think how sad when I hear adults decades past majority wallow in self-pity over injustices of their youth, or people who can’t let go of their rage and resentment toward an ex-spouse or lover. Their emotions poison any chance of happiness. Getting over it is healing, rebirth, a chance to start fresh. Nora had it right.

"You do get to a certain point in life where you have to realistically, I think, understand that the days are getting shorter, and you can't put things off thinking you'll get to them someday. If you really want to do them, you better do them. There are simply too many people getting sick, and sooner or later you will. So I'm very much a believer in knowing what it is that you love doing so you can do a great deal of it."

She did what she loved and loved what she did. So as a tribute to a witty, wise woman, do what you love today and tomorrow and the day after.

For more, check out an interview and article on called 'I Remember Nothing': Nora Ephron, Aging Gratefully which includes an excerpt of her book.


Louise Behiel said...

great reminder. thx so much

Sheila Seabrook said...

Those are two great quotes, Lark. I especially love the "get over it" one and wish I'd learned that one earlier in life!

Last year, I put Nora's books on my TBR list. She has done so many great movies, I imagine her books are wonderful, too.

Thank you for a lovely tribute of such an admirable woman.

Pat O'Dea Rosen said...

I also know someone who let anger take over her life, and it's not easy to be around her.

Your attitude (and Nora's) is liberating. Lark. Who wants to tote around old hurts and grudges?

You WILL tell us the snowmobile story one day, won't you?

Lark Howard said...

Let us know how you like her book, Sheila. It's on my TBR list but I'm woefully behind and unlikely to get to it soon.

Lark Howard said...

The snowmobile story requires wine at the very least, Pat. Let's just say a sane person doesn't agree to a hard paced 180 kilometers on ungroomed mountain wilderness trails on a snowmobile if she's never driven (or even ridden)one before. And is coming down with a miserable case of the flu.