I am obsessed with the movie The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. Every time it comes on HBO or Showtime I watch it… at whatever point in the movie it happens to be playing I stop what I’m doing and watch it to the end. I am so inspired by this movie, by its lessons.
I have recently taken to quoting lines from the movie. My Facebook cover photo is the quote: “In the end everything will be okay. If it’s not okay, then it’s not the end.” I just love the message of hope in this statement. The ideal that it will be better, no matter what, we just have to be patient. I have seen some dark days over the last couple of years. And though there are more good days than bad now, the crises keep coming. My newest coping mechanism when this happens is to recite this mantra of hope. Surprisingly, it works quite well.
All of February, and a good part of March were depressing times around my house. So many sad occasions and milestones to endure. I sought to fight off my depression with food and naps (and was rewarded with an additional ten pounds to carry around). I’d sleep in very late, and then alone at night on my sofa I would watch tv and eat brownies or cookies (or both). I spent far too many of those nights wishing for the things that had passed, knowing that it was an exercise in futility. While watching the movie yet again today I heard… really heard this line: ”There is no past that we can bring back by longing for it. Only a present, that builds and creates itself as the past withdraws.” I plan to use this quote to remind myself to be present in the moment when I find myself longing for the past.
There’s also a line where a woman contemplates leaving the hotel in Jaipur and returning to England because things haven’t worked out as she expected. Another woman states, “They rarely do, dear. But sometimes what happens instead is even better.” My life didn’t work out as I expected. No one plans to be a widow at 49. This movie reminds me that although my life is different, that doesn’t mean it has to be worse. In fact, it’s possible that it can be better than I ever anticipated. I’m beginning to believe in that.
There are many more great lines, too many to count or write, but I believe the biggest lesson of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is its message of enduring optimism. Of seeing the positive side of any situation and making the most of it. As one character, recovering from hip surgery said, “If I can stand on my own two feet, so can you.” And so can I.