I may be the only one on the planet willing to say this right now...but I am not a fan of the Star Wars franchise. Sure I saw the first film back when I was a kid, but I've not seen one since. It's just not for me.
Now of course I can't help but notice the mega-marketing happening around The Force Awakens. It's been fascinating to watch the proliferation of merchandise across virtually every consumer category all carry the Star Wars brand. The movie has completely dominated our popular culture for the moment.
But I've been even more amazed by the force that is Carrie Fisher, and her contribution to our psyche. The reprisal of her role took an odd turn of events when social commentary focused not on her role but on her age and her looks. Granted, she was a beautiful young woman when she originated the now famous role, but at 59 I think she's even more intriguing.
Her response to the harsh criticism was classic: "youth and beauty are not accomplishments."
I have to say that I couldn't agree more, and in fact wrote a similar post in June 2014 called "Beauty is Earned."
What makes us beautiful, at any age, is how we use our talents to better ourselves and better those around us. What makes us beautiful is going through struggles and coming out on the other side. What makes us beautiful is how we build relationships with our family and friends over time, and help each other conquer life.
This kind of beauty only gets better with age. As we continue to hone talents, overcome barriers, and build deeper relationships, we can't help but get more beautiful. It's what makes us human.
I know from personal experience. I am a much deeper person now than I ever was in my "youth." I am much wiser in my work, I anticipate problems sooner, and am relishing in watching my now adult children start to build out their lives and their relationships.
There were years when I didn't think I could make it. I questioned who I was, what I was doing, and if I was headed in the right direction. Not so pretty. As I aged and grew in my accomplishments, I got more confident and self-assured. I grew a tougher skin and learned how to stay on a steady course of happiness for my family. That's beautiful.
As an empty nester, I now stand ready to tackle the next chapter, planning out exactly what that might be. I face this next phase of life with one truth that I hold close to my heart...
...at this age it's a beautiful life.
Thank you Carrie Fisher for the renewed inspiration. You're a beautiful person.