Watching The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel movie for a second time in the last few weeks, I was struck anew by the import of its message that it is never too late to grab the brass ring. The story centers on a group of senior citizens who find themselves at a delapidated hotel in India on the heels of disappointments and regrets. The writing is fine. The music is upbeat. The acting inspires.
In one scene, a high court judge announces that "today is the day" for a new beginning. He promptly retires and heads off to India to search for a childhood friend. In another scene, a widow left with debt and memories of a shallow marriage offers that failure is not trying. Yet another of the film's characters announces that companionship with a local lovely has taken him to the top of the mountain because he is lonely no more. One character finds herself needed once again as she assumes a managerial role to get the rundown inn in good enough shape to attract paying customers. By doing so, she gives the young owner a chance to realize his dream of being successful, marrying the woman of his choice and making his mother proud.
At a time when so many are living longer than ever before, thinking about the possibilities of tomorrow is an important thing to do.
In "Boomers Get a Life After Retirement" (Psychology Today, February 2, 2011), Dr. Nancy K. Schlossberg describes six different categories of boomers with respect to life after retirement.
- "Continuers" apply skills and interests that served them well before retirement but in a new way.
- "Adventurers" retool for the job they always wanted but never had.
- "Searchers" take a trial and error approach to identifying what works best for the golden years.
- "Easy Glides" take it easy.
- "Involved Spectators" apply what they learned during their respective careers to be helpful volunteers or develop hobbies.
- "Retreaters" ponder what's next, removing themselves from social interaction, at least for awhile.
Wherever you are in life, whatever category of boomer you are or aspire to be, take a few minutes and see "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel." You will laugh. You will cry. You will think about how important it is to keep moving forward. As the film's young hero says, "Everything will be alright in the end so if things are not alright, it is not the end." What a lovely sentiment.