I was reminded today that a movie I had seen years ago was filmed in Florence. The movie titled “A Room With a View” was released in 1985. I saw it a year or so later on TV. At that time in my life, I was working with my father to get my career as a tax accountant off the ground, while trying to keep the household together of four young children and a husband who was working on his own career advancement. Oh yeah, that was also the time that we were fighting with the school district to get an appropriate diagnosis, educational label and placement for Nick. I remember that the film seemed exotic and the plot unbelievable to me.
I found it hard to believe that Lucy could decide to turn away from her responsibilities and choose charming George. It seemed very irresponsible.
Over 30 years later, I have spent the last week walking the same streets portrayed in the movie. The same exotic spell has overtaken me too. There is something about this city that creates the desire to just go with the flow, to experience life each day whatever comes. Plans are very loose. For example, today our dinner was delayed because we ducked into a small shop to avoid a short rain shower and learned about Florentine mosaics from a local artist. With his broken English and our limited understanding of Italian, we had a delightful time. Our small purchase seemed inconsequential compared to the conversation we shared.
In spite of over 41 years of marriage, this past week, I have found my charming “George.” Lucky for me I am already married to him. Everyday Arden and I have talked for hours as we walked the streets of Florence. Stopping at benches along the way, we have taken pictures, watched the crowds, listened to street musicians, and had gelato. Oh I can’t really begin to describe the gelato. Yes I did attend, and present at, the conference here. However the highlight this week for me was the chance to reconnect and have meaningful conversations with the man that I love.
In the movie, Lucy chooses George because he knows her completely and accepts her as she is without believing that she will fulfill some preconceived expectation of his. She realizes that this is exactly what she wants in her life’s companion.
While I have not read the book, I do understand that there are many sub-plots and diverse themes in the novel. This blog is not a discussion of those, rather just a statement that I felt a connection with the main character as Arden and I experienced Florence together, I rediscovered a passion for life that I had been missing for awhile, as my home and work responsibilities have increased over the past decade.
Arden and I will not always have the opportunity to set down all of our responsibilities, as we did this past week. We will return home on Sunday and step back into the full time care of our son Nick. We have missed him, and have talked to him every day. He has been lovingly cared for and is happy. For Arden and me, the break has been glorious.
I recently read an article concerning how important it was to unplug while on vacation. Even though we have the ability to work from anywhere doesn’t mean that we should. This trip did take a little fore-planning and I needed to come to the realization that no one is indispensable, but I can attest that prioritizing time off creates the opportunity for positive change. This is a life-course I know I need to continue.