I usually don’t do New Years resolutions, I’d really rather not set myself up for failure…and that’s not self-deprecation, that’s just me being happily realistic. But this year I’m resolving on a few things, not really goals or achievements, but more like mental sticky notes. We watched Irving Berlin’s 1942 film Holiday Inn for New Year’s Eve. It doesn’t get the hype like White Christmas does, but I honestly think I love it even more. Perhaps because I’m entering this year with new creative eyes since beginning the blog, but this time around watching it, the movie inspired me in ways it never has. If you haven’t seen it, Holiday Inn follows Bing Crosby as he leaves his upscale, New York City showbiz life to live on a farm and seek a quieter life. When he realizes farm-life isn’t as “slow” as he imagined it to be, he gets the bright idea to bring New York life to the country and open the Holiday Inn, an inn that offers performances only on holidays. A love-triangle, some Fred Astaire dance numbers, and a few Irving Berlin song debuts sung, of course, by Bing, pretty much sums up the movie.
This year, I identified with Bing’s character Jim Hardy: not because we share similar life-paths, although I did abandon my job to pursue something a little off the beaten path much like he did, though I have nothing like his success of opening an Inn to boast about. Instead, I think the things he learned on the way to his successes are something that I should keep in mind while pursuing whatever path I choose to go down in 2013.
Don’t be afraid of abandoning dreams. Bing’s dream when he left show business was to live quietly in the country. He dreamt of an ideal pastoral life as a farmer, far away from the stress and shallowness of city life on the stage. When he discovered farming was so NOT the ideal he imagined it to be, he wasn’t afraid to admit failure, and not give up, but drastically rethink his initial dream. Mental Sticky Note #1: I’m pretty stubborn about my dreams. When I latch onto an idea I usually try whatever is necessary to make it work. Sometimes though, letting go of dreams opens up the possibility to dream of something new that you never would have seen while you were doggedly driving after something that couldn’t work.
Don’t give up too soon. Even after Bing gave up his farm for the Holiday Inn, he struggled to make his new vision a productive reality. Sticky Note #2: I’m forever expecting instant assurance a decision was the right one or an unavoidable red flag to tell me to turn back. But, sometimes, being patient and trusting is all you can do while you wait to see where a decision has led.
Contentedness is rare no matter where you are. Disgruntled in show business, disgusted with farm life, and often distressed by the Holiday Inn, Bing is forever searching for something he doesn’t have.
Sticky Note #3: Be careful where you expect to gain your happiness, more often than not like Bing discovered, what you’re working on won’t give you much back. What will give back though are the people you’re working for. If they’re happy, you’ll be happy, and you’ll know it and everything will be worth while.
Independence shouldn’t bring solitude. When Bing attempts to keep his creative ambitions to himself and resist the encroachment of the entertainment world he fled from, he finds himself not just independent in rural Connecticut, but quite, quite alone. Sticky Note #4: Doing things for yourself are all well and good, but putting those things ahead of the people who will love you with or without success is never a good idea.
Holiday Inn is always a must-watch for my holiday, but this is the first year I watched it on New Year’s Eve and I think I’m going to keep it that way. It’s a nice reminder of things to look forward to in the coming year, and brush a little of the post-holiday blues away. Happy New Year everyone! I wanted to especially thank all of you who have been regularly visiting VMMV. Your readership keeps me motivated to keep writing, and I love each and every bit of feedback I get. I have mixed feelings of excitement and trepidation about 2013, the unknown is always a bit foreboding but I’ve got a few mental sticky notes stuck pretty tight in my mind to help me face the new year and hopefully make it a grand one.
– <3 A.
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