Just a thought… Birthdays are good for you. Statistics show that the people who have the most live the longest. [Larry Lorenzoni]
First of all, I want you to join me in wishing Olivia Newton-John a happy 70th birthday. As you probably read recently, she’s fighting a new battle with cancer. If anyone can win, it’s Olivia. Please send love. I’ve always remembered her birthday because I happen to share it. Oh, and statistically? This is the most common birthdate on the planet. I’m afraid my parents were just a bit predictable….
Here’s a favourite picture from last year when I had a chance to meet Olivia, along with my friend Amy Sky and Beth Nielsen-Chapman in Tacoma, WA. They have compiled an album of songs about death, strength, coping, recovery and hope called Liv On and the opening track, “My Heart Goes Out to You,” was inspired by Lauren’s passing. So it was a special meeting. Again, my best wishes to Olivia – such a special lady on her 70th birthday. Lots of Love, Liv. xox
Another amazing woman who is truly one of a kind turns 81 years old in December, and there’s a documentary about her that I am so looking forward to seeing. What I love most about her is her take on life and that’s what we get to experience in Jane Fonda: In Five Acts, which just became available this past Monday on HBO. You can click on the photo below to watch the trailer.
Jane Fonda appeared recently on The View and I had to stop the PVR and write down her words. Since I happen to be marking another trip around the sun today, the issue of aging has been a little more top of mind than usual. (My stance is to do it as gracefully as I can, get help when and where possible and to live my remaining years – hopefully plenty of ’em, as I’m just 56 – in a way that would both honour Lauren and maybe delight/bug the hell out of Rob.)
There are people who still just despise Jane Fonda and she is most apologetic for some of the misguided things she has said and done. About others, she is still proud and I respect her for her convictions. So she was asked about the documentary and what she hopes people will come away with, what realizations they’ll have. Here’s her response and I just LOVE it:
I don’t care what they understand about me. What I hope they take away from the movie is, it’s never too late to become who you were meant to be. Live an examined life. Keep saying, Can I get better? Can I learn more? Can I grow? Is this a situation that can move me forward? If not? Leave. Keep moving. I know it’s not always easy – ’cause I’m white and I’m privileged and it’s easy for me to say – but I wish that I had seen a movie like this when I was younger, ’cause I maybe wouldn’t have made the mistakes I made.
That’s another thing: own it. Take responsibility for your mistakes. Learn from them or you can’t grow.
Jane went on to add that late blooming is advantageous, in that we live so long (her awakening seems to have come in her 70s when she says she realized she didn’t have to make her life all about pleasing men and meeting their expectations).
I just loved the message behind what she had to say. “It’s never too late to become who you’re meant to be.” What a wonderful way of looking at things! I took it to heart because, like so many, I’m in the process of a rebirth. Things I never thought possible (for reasons I cannot have imagined) are on the precipice of becoming reality. Doors that I did not even know were there are beginning to open.
And it’s a wonderful thing. I will not grouse or complain – not often, anyway – about aging. Every cellulite bump, every sag, every unwanted hair (even the invisible one from your chin that threatens to catch in your airplane seatbelt) has been accompanied by a lesson or a little bit of wisdom.
At least, that’s what I hope. Have a lovely day and I’ll be back with you tomorrow.