Esther Williams, 91, died last Thursday in Los Angeles.
No one younger than Baby Boomers knew Williams other than seeing her aqua-musical reruns on late-night television or a clip on Entertainment Tonight.
Esther Williams was a swimming champion on the late1930s whose dreams of participating in the 1940 Olympics were dashed by WWII. She turned to Hollywood where she starred in a range of 1940-50s B-movies featuring aquatic musical numbers.
Sometime life doesn’t work out the way we dreamed. At that point we have two choices: Keep whining about the fact that it didn’t happen and talking about what we could have done…or…get a new dream.
I’m not saying we shouldn’t give ourselves time to grieve. But, we all know people who are still talking about the fact that they didn’t get a chance to play college ball, didn’t get that job that would have made them a million dollars or didn’t marry the ultimate sweetheart from high school or college.
One of America’s great philosophers, my friend David Gershenson, says in his inimitable Philly-fashion, “Hey, ya wanna little cheese to go with that whine?”
Look at it this way: Due to good planning, genes/family/place-of-birth, right-place-right-time (which, by the way, all that comes down to luck) or people who will back us, life goes the way we want it to about 20% of the time. It absolutely goes in the toilet about 20% of the time, and it comes down between the two extremes about 60% of the time.
We make choices about the 60% that determine whether it leans to the dream or the toilet.
Things didn’t work out the way Esther Williams dreamed. She took her assets—beauty, an extraordinary skill she earned through hard work, and ambition—and succeeded at a new dream.
It’s raining like a maammajamma right now thanks to Hurricane Andrea and it may rain through the weekend. This could be a great time to slow down, listen to the rain and look at your regrets and dreams.
Whataya need to let go of? I have a bunch of cheese if you need it.
What new dreams are out there just waiting for you to grab them and make them real?
Have a great weekend, stay dry and I’ll see you on Monday.
PS…Post time for The Belmont Stakes, the final race in the Triple Crown, is 6:20 pm on Saturday. Orb, winner of The Kentucky Derby is the early favorite but my money is on Oxbow and 50-year old jockey Gary Stevens, winners of The Preakness.