A Good Year

Yesterday I was so overwhelmed with all the work I need to get through, that instead I watched a film. Yeah. I know. No gold star for me on the productivity front.

The film was A Good Year. Nothing groundbreaking. A sweet tale of the good things in life triumphing over the trivial things we all think we want. Russell Crowe was ever charismatic, and Marion Cotillard was charming, demanding and very french. And there was a surprise appearance by Australian Abbie Cornish.

It has kind of thrown me for a loop though. I thought I was getting my head sorted - focusing on the priorities at hand and working through my very handy (and ever present) to do list. Trying to remind myself not to get caught up in the bigger things I want to do, and ignoring my growing bucket list. For now, at least.

But watching Russell (aka Max) live out my lifelong dream - settling on an old chateau in Provence to make wine - was like poking an almost healed wound. It has brought my wanderlust rushing back, it made my crave some quality time at our farm (permanent if possible), and it made me mentally start reconfiguring my to resemble Russell and Marion’s fantasy existence.

I can’t even explain how this feels.

I know reality is never like it seems to be in the movies, but it reminded me in a very real way that there is an alternative to feeling like a hamster on a wheel or whatever the saying is.

I remember a while ago now, when I told my very conservative businessman father that I wanted to leave my job to work on projects I was passionate about, he said to me “I don’t see how that will make you any money”, and I wanted to scream at him, “That’s not the effing point!”

And it isn’t the point. For me at least. It seems there’s a generation gap here. And it probably has to do with the fact that we’ve always had it good, and our parents have always wanted us to have it good, so they’ve always wanted to provide for us financially. In essence, we’re spoilt. We’re also more socially and environmentally aware, overqualified and underexperienced, and hyper connected to the way the global economy works. In a sense, it is inevitable.

And now, my dad tells me he’s not longer enjoying work. He wants to retire and become a farmer. Isn’t it funny how things come full circle?

There must be a balance somewhere. Is having a personally and financially fulfilling life a figment of our collective imaginations?

Am I deluded in thinking, that as soon as Marcus and I are married (less than 2 weeks from now), we can happily make ourselves at home on our farm, grow vegies, drink wine and be happy? Why is it that this simple life is so unattainable for so many of us? What else is there that’s more important?