Everyone loves Meryl Streep. She’s beautiful, talented, has great kids, a loving husband, and is a 20-time Oscar nominee. If I didn’t love her, I would hate her for being so perfect in everything. So how does she do it?
Prioritize, she tells us. Know what is important to you. Time and attention to the things and people you love need to be a priority. For her it is 1) Husband, 2) Children, 3) Career, and 4) Learn to laugh!
Priority number One: Husband Don Gummer
At a recent academy award ceremony she said: “First I am going to thank Don (her husband) because when you thank your husband at the end of the speech they play him out with the music. I want him to know that everything I value most in our lives you have given me”.
When I think about what Meryl said, I could say the same thing about my husband. We have been married over 35 years and so have Meryl and Don. I have spent more of my life with him than without him. That’s quite a thought. More with him than with my family. We have created our lives together, we have children together, have supported our careers together, so I guess I could say, “I want him to know that everything I value most in our lives you have give me”. He is my best friend. He is the first person I want to tell my good or bad news to, so he can celebrate with me or hand me the Kleenex box and listen with concern, compassion and console me. I imagine from the way Meryl talks about Don, he probably consoles her when she feels upset about one of their kids, a movie role she didn’t get (I don’t really think that ever happened), or being out of town so long working on a movie. Just like Martin and I talk about our lives, our kids, politics, the grocery list, who’s cooking tonight, what movie would you like to see, I imagine the same holds true for Meryl and Don. When she travels to movie locations and is gone for a few weeks, he might not like it, but he understands the spirit of an artist because he is a sculpture and is an artist himself. On the other hand, when my husband travels out of town (I rarely travel without him) I don’t handle it with the grace and forbearance that Don obviously does. But in defense of myself my husband isn’t bringing home an Academy Award and a $2 million plus check like Meryl probably does. Not to mention that my husband doesn’t get the “celebrity” treatment and the best tables at restaurants like Meryl is able to do for Don. Just like Don is tall and handsome so my husband Martin is tall and handsome AND has an English accent (not to be petty, but Meryl’s husband is American and does not have an English accent 😉
Priority number two: her kids
Meryl and Don have kids that are grown up. Martin and I have kids that are grown up. We have survived the sleepless nights of babies, diaper rash, teaching them to walk, getting all their shots and immunizations, steering them through grade school, junior high school and college and each of Don and Meryl’s and our children have turned out just fine. One of Meryl’s kids even made it into one of my favorite TV shows “The Good Wife”, where she played a lawyer, did a fine job and won her case. My daughter played a small role in a play at Milton Academy (she played a princess who was able to detect there was a pea under her mattress because she was such a delicate person). I know it wasn’t anywhere as important or watched as Meryl’s daughter’s appearance on The Good Wife, but I bet we were just as proud of our daughter as Don and Meryl were of theirs.
I think Meryl has given good advice on what is important in life. We should listen to her. Love your husband, children, take care of your career and learn to laugh…..and realize in many ways we are not so different than Meryl and Don after all. She just gets paid a million times more than I do….but I think she’s worth it!
If you like what you’ve read, head on over to Amazon to buy my book with further teaching on how to get the best from life.