A couple months ago, my mom brought over some DVDs. Her coworker had a grandchild who had outgrown them, and knew my mother had some freaking adorable grandkids that would enjoy them. We’ve worked our way through a few of them, and the other day we hit on Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium.
A little while ago, I wrote about ways to find inspiration when you need it. One of the major things I do is keep a quote book to draw on when times are rough. As I was watching this painfully kid-movie-like kid movie, there were a few lines that hit me like a bolt of lightning and made it into the book.
The movie goes like this (forgive any inaccuracies or oversights as I was watching between loads of laundry and lunch cooking):
Dustin Hoffman plays a magical toy-maker that’s 200-some-odd years old. Natalie Portman manages the store. There’s also a kid and an accountant played by Jason Bateman, but I missed their part of the storyline.
Dustin Hoffman has decided it’s time to die, and because he’s magical he has control over or foresight into when it will happen. He gets a chance to say goodbye to everyone. As he’s saying goodbye to Natalie Portman, he tells her, “Your life is an occasion. Rise to it.”
After he dies, she gives up on the store because she doesn’t know magic like Dustin Hoffman did, and ends up playing piano at a fancy hotel for a living. (Because that is such a horrible thing?) I’m pretty sure she rediscovers the magic and brings the store back to life, literally, but I can’t be positive. The DVD started skipping. I’ll have to get on that.
But that line. That line hit me. “Your life is an occasion. Rise to it.” Off the bat, my mind went to fancy dresses. Milestone birthday parties. Celebrations.
Our lives are celebrations. How awesome is that? But how seldom do we live that way?
I looked up the definition of occasion, and it turns out that is one of them. But I think this is the one that the saying they manipulated for the screenplay was referring to:
So our lives are a convenient time. They’re an opportunity. They’re a juncture. That’s equally as awesome as a celebration, and so true. How short of a time are we here at this juncture? And how amazing is it that we have to opportunity to be here at all? How many little things had to happen in concert for us to have this opportunity at life? Our circumstances play a huge role in our lives, but we can rise to those challenges. We can take those opportunities. We can be active participants in our lives, or we can watch those opportunities fade away with regret.
I know this is a money blog, but the only correlation I can make for you today is that money isn’t the actual object of money. Happiness, freedom, and fulfillment are the object of money, which is only a tool. So on this blog, where money is our topic, I want to tell you that I hope you live today towards money’s goals. I hope you seize opportunities, whether they be to spend time with your kids or take on a really fulfilling assignment at work. I hope you celebrate life. I hope you are able to make decisions that lead to happiness, and that if you aren’t afforded that luxury, you’re working hard to get to a place where that option is available to you.
I hope you know that just like Natalie Portman’s, your life is an occasion, and you, too, have the ability to rise to it.