Sally Field — Wise Woman



Sally“At 70, Sally Field Navigates Aging In The Spotlight” (NPR Weekend Edition Saturday, March 5, 2016) Interview with Lourdes Garcia-Navarro.

Sally Field has become a genuine wise woman. In this interview she says three great things: (1) life is process and we’re always passing from phase to phase; (2) you earn your years by living them; and (3) we carry a whole chorus of influential people with us along our way through life.

Lourdes Garcia-Navarro: What attracted you to playing this character Doris?      SF: It’s such a unique story and it looks at so many things. It looks at age, I mean, what is age? It looks at transitioning, you know, human beings; our task in life is to constantly transition from one stage into another whether it’s toddlerhood into childhood into adolescence and then young adulthood and then middle age. It’s just constant movement. . . .   I’m an old woman, 70 is old, and that’s OK. … I’ve gathered strength behind my years, I owned them, I’ve earned them, I’ve deserved them, I have a right to have them.

LGN: Are the characters you’ve played over the years like people that you take along with you?     SF: You know, they are. I’ll be walking down the street or cleaning the house or in the market and a vision, a memory will just flash through your head the way they do. You know, you’ll see the oranges or something and something will flash through your head of an experience that you had or something, and sometimes I stop myself and say, “Wait a minute, that wasn’t my experience, that was a character’s experience. It was Norma’s experience or Edna’s experience or Celeste’s experience,” and it wasn’t mine. But I portrayed it so it registered in my head as an experience that I had, so it’s an odd thing that actors do when you have the opportunity to really work on a character that you somehow have to plant inside of yourself. They stay in me and they have always changed me in some way.

Open a Personal Account

If you want your experience to be of value to you you have to think about it. You have to pay attention, to mind it. You have to mark it, say “This is important.” You want to remember it and remember it as accurately as possible. Memory is important if you want to get real value from your experience.

The best way to keep up with your experience is to document it. Keep records. Take a lot of photos. Capture all the detail you can. Keep receipts, cards, ticket stubs. Put names and dates on everything so you can always know when events occurred. Write notes of what was important to you at the time, keep a journal of some kind, comment on the photos and whatever else comes to your mind.

Use something like a star system to rate importances, give the super highlights five stars, the days that turn your life in a new direction, whether up or down, those times you discover you’re not the same person you were before. Make some notes on how the new you differs from the old.

I know it sounds like a lot of work, but down the road big payoffs await you when you take your chance to look back over where you’ve come from and wow yourself.