Over the weekend, I watched one of my favorite Christmas movies – While You Were Sleeping. The one from the mid-nineties with Sandra Bullock, Peter Gallagher and Bill Pullman. And yes, I realize it is not actually a Christmas movie . . . but it is set at Christmas time and I watch it at Christmas time, therefore I consider it so.
I’m not typically a movie re-watcher. There are very few movies I can think of that I’ve seen more than once, and usually then only because I watched them a second time with someone who hadn’t seen them (my husband, for example, had never seen Four Weddings and A Funeral or Bridget Jones Diary before he met me – unbelievable, right?). I actually keep thinking one year I’ll put the movie on and then decide ten minutes in that I simply can’t watch it again, but this never happens.
Maybe it’s because I think of it as a holiday tradition or maybe I just really like the movie that much. Or maybe it’s because the first few lines draw me in every year. In the voiceover that starts the movie the main character is remembering her father telling her as a child that things don’t always work out as planned in life. She goes on the say that she wishes she’d realized then that he was talking about her life. At the end of the movie she reflects again, this time on how glad she is that things don’t always work out as planned.
When I think about the things in my life that were unplanned, they are often some of the best. From the little things like coming home yesterday to find unexpected packages from far away friends on my porch. To big things, like meeting my husband at a wedding. Or going back to graduate school seven years after swearing I was done with education forever. Or taking a writing class on a whim and finding my passion.
And sure, I know there’s lots of tough, icky, ugly stuff that pops up unannounced in life too. Just like I know that that the plot of While You Were Sleeping is pretty unfathomable. But I still choose to believe that good things can come when you least expect them.