A Life Worth Binge Watching

S1 E7:  Grit with a Side of Gratitude

One of my all-time favorite movies is My Cousin Vinny, starring Joe Pesci as Vinny Gambini. A famous scene from this hilarious film is when Vinny cross-examines Mr. Tipton who witnessed the crime in question while cooking his breakfast.  Here’s an excerpt from Mr. Tipton’s testimony.

Mr. Tipton : No self-respectin’ Southerner uses instant grits. I take pride in my grits.

Vinny Gambini : So, Mr. Tipton, how could it take you five minutes to cook your grits, when it takes the entire grit-eating world twenty minutes?

Mr. Tipton : [a bit panicky]  I don’t know. I’m a fast cook, I guess.

Vinny Gambini : I’m sorry, I was all the way over here. I couldn’t hear you. Did you say you were a fast cook? That’s it?

[Mr. Tipton nods in embarrassment] 

Vinny Gambini : Are we to believe that boiling water soaks into a grit faster in your kitchen than on any place on the face of the earth?

Mr. Tipton : I don’t know.

Vinny Gambini : Well, perhaps the laws of physics cease to exist on your stove. Were these magic grits? I mean, did you buy them from the same guy who sold Jack his beanstalk beans?

In an earlier scene, Vinny has his first experience with grits at a breakfast diner and is curious about what they are made of, and how they are served. Since I am from the South, I found this quite humorous.  It’s a great movie.  I’ll post the video clips on my column’s FB page.

So how do you take your grits?  I love mine creamy with butter and sugar.  My daughter likes hers with cheese.  I can bet some of you like them with salt and pepper or mixed with your eggs, while others may gag at the thought of them in any form.  It’s all good.  We are all different and have unique taste palettes. If you are a grits fan,  I’m sure that you can at least concur that the preparation is most important, and good grits take time to cook. 

Why am I talking about an old movie and grits this week?  Well, I wanted to make a comparison between “grits” and the new buzz word “grit” as it relates to the determination and perseverance needed to win in the game of life.  A couple of years ago, I was introduced to a book by Angela Duckworth entitled Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance. 

If you are looking for a motivating read, I encourage you to pick it up. Grit, like grits, takes time to cultivate.  If you rush, you might miss out on the best result.  In this world of instant gratification, we want everything right now and refuse to exercise patience.  It’s in the waiting that we gain the most knowledge and perspective.  Additionally, the more effort and time that we invest in something, the more we appreciate the success at the end of the journey.  On the other hand, when faced with failure, it is our grit that makes us persevere, to keep going, to never give up.  This is where your individuality defines the ingredients that go into your unique recipe for grit.  I’ll ask again…how do you take your grit(s)?  Will you add a spoonful of grace, a side of gratitude, or a dollop of persistence?  It’s your recipe, add whatever you like.  When life or current circumstances are not what you expected, put the pot on the stove but don’t watch for it to boil.  Revel in the waiting.  Be kind to yourself while you persist.  There are no failures, only lessons and opportunities to rise.  Be grateful for the experience and celebrate the small victories along the way!

This weekend marks a big milestone in my life as I turn the big Five-O. 

Am I where I thought I would be at this stage in my life?  No. Not at all, but I am enjoying the ride.  Does anything ever really go as we planned?  Probably not.  If your life has been perfect, please share your secret with the rest of us! I definitely don’t have all the answers.  I can’t fix your life or tell you exactly how to “do grit”.  You have to just figure it out yourself and that’s part of the process.  You all have the right ingredients, think slow cooker, not microwave.  Trust me, it will taste better and you will savor every bite!  

As one chapter of life leads to the next, it seems appropriate that this should be the Season 1 Finale.   Stay tuned to next week’s column for the premier of A Life Worth Binge Watching, Season 2: This is 50.

Melodye Lewis is a Friday columnist for Flagler News Weekly giving you something to talk about over lunch. Follow @ALifeWorthBingeWatching on Facebook.