September 27, 2017

Nora Ephron's Five Words

I love Nora Ephron. I learn from her every chance I can.

I am reading Way More Than Luck: Commencement Speeches on Living with Bravery, Empathy, and Other Existential Skills. This is a snippet from her talk to the graduating class of 1996 at her own alma mater, Wellesely College.

"We have a game we play when we're waiting for tables in restaurants, where you have to write the five things that describe you on a piece of paper.

When I was your age, I would have put: ambitious, Wellesley graduate, daughter, Democrat, single.

Ten years later, none of those things would have turned up on my list. I was: journalist, feminist, New Yorker, divorced, funny.

Today not one of those five things turns up in my list: writer, director, mother, sister, happy.

Whatever those five things are for you today, they won't make the list in ten years - not that you still won't be some of those things, but they won't be the five most important things about you. Which is one of the most delicious things available to women."

Makes me think of my Top Five.

Ten years ago, in 2007, during what I might call the Blissful Before, I may have said:
New Mom. Wife. Grocery Shopper. Tired. Aspiring Writer.

Five years ago, in 2012, in my heart's endless winter, I may have said:
Sad. Widow. Single Mom. Reader. Writer.

Today, feasting on a harvest, I think this is my list:
Joyful. Wife Again. Mom. Noticer. Author.

"Whatever those five things are for you today, they won't make the list in ten years - not that you still won't be some of those things, but they won't be the five most important things about you. Which is one of the most delicious things available to women."

What are your top five?
How has your list changed?

One comment on “Nora Ephron's Five Words”

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