CLICK: Fast-Forwarding Through Life
Copyrighted by Lorna Tedder. Originally published in Third Degree Tilt.
The movie I saw yesterday struck a nerveâ€”it was a comedy that Â had me in tears, and that surprised me. It reminded me of something Â I discovered Â when my dad was in the Intensive Care Unit several years ago and I got to see a lot of dying patients and see what was important to them at the end of their lives.
In an effort to spend some fun time with my kids be- fore they left Â on their trip, I took Aislinn to see Adam Sandlerâ€™s new movie, Click. We both liked the movie but walked out with very different perspectives. As an adult, I found that it meant something far more personal to me than I expected, largely because the first review/synopsis online Â seemed Â to Â misunderstandÂ Â a Â few Â of Â the major points I noticed.
Adam Sandlerâ€™s Â The Wedding Singer with Drew Barry-
more is one of my guilty pleasures, largely because of the great 80â€™s soundtrack and because I lived so many of the references in the movie. So I was hoping for a little of a repeat, based on the movie trailers, and I loved the premise of a â€œuniversalâ€ remote control that lets you â€œcontrol your Â universeâ€ Â by Â reversing Â and fast-forwardingâ€”and freezing time (geez, donâ€™t we need that for the office!). I often like to be spoiled for Â movies and wasnâ€™t for this one, and I admit, I didnâ€™t see some of the things coming in this one that I should have (like Mort-y), likely because of my own emotional Â state at the time. Itâ€™s billed as a comedy, Â but Â I Â found Â it Â oddly Â familiar Â in the Â universe around me.
The sole review/synopsis Â I read allegesÂ that the re- mote control starts Â programming Â the protagonistâ€™s Â life, but thatâ€™s not true. In fact, Â Morty (Christopher Walken) says that, point blank. You canâ€™t lie to the remote, even if you lie to yourself or to your family. It just follows the pattern you set. If you program it to skip things, it does. If you program it to fast forward, it does. It makes its future choices based on your past Â choices. But ultimately you direct your own life, whether or not you have James Earl Jones commentary or theme music.
Basically, Michael (Adam Sandler) is a dad who canâ€™t manage his busy life and needs a little help. Heâ€™s working like a dog, missing weekends and holidays with his family and friends to try to impress an unimpressible Â boss, always doing extra in search of that elusive promotion and prosperity and ignoring the things are really important. So when he gets a universal remote from Bed, Bath, and Beyond Â (in caseÂ youâ€™ve Â always Â wondered Â what Â â€œbeyondâ€ meant), he soon finds that he can watch a scene from his past or fast forward through the bad and the ugly parts of his life…or just the inconvenient.
This is Â where Â two Â premises Â in Â the Â movie Â became oddly familiar.
1. During the time Michael is fast-forwarding through the job drudgery or the unpleasant parts of family life, he is physically present but his mind is elsewhere. Â I guess I found out whatâ€™s wrong Â with Â men who are â€œemotional distancesâ€!Â Â Morty explains it as physically Â being Â on auto-pilot. Getting the work done, taking care of all the physical requirements, but never there emotionally.
I see Â so Â many Â people Â everyday Â who Â are Â on Â â€œauto- pilot.â€ So many. Â And thatâ€™s exactly what it seems. Just totally disconnected so they donâ€™t have to experience the emotions Â of Â the Â moment, Â they Â donâ€™t Â have Â to Â feel any- thingâ€”good or bad. Theyâ€™re going through the motions but not the emotions.
2. The Â sense Â of Â fast-forwarding. Â Maybe Â this Â isÂ just something that Â happens Â anyway Â as Â you Â get Â olderâ€”the sense of time speeding along. Â But Â I do know that there have been events in the future that Iâ€™ve set my sights on and not noticed Â enough Â about Â what Â was going Â on between where I started and that goal. I lived it, yes, but was running toward the Â goal Â all the time. Once there at the goal, it was like, wow, yes, it took a long time to get here and this was what I wanted, but where did the time go?
So okay, thereâ€™s not a need for me to rush time. It will come plenty fast on its own.
This is a different lesson for me than the live-in-the- moment Â discussions. This isnâ€™t about filling up life with garbage just so I can say Â itâ€™s full or Iâ€™m not waiting on anything/anyone Â or sleeping with every man who comes along because thatâ€™s someone elseâ€™s interpretation Â of living in the moment. Itâ€™s about not rushing.
Strange that this would hit at the same time Iâ€™m still getting Â messages Â from Â my guides to â€œprepare, Â prepare, prepareâ€ for something Â thatâ€™s coming. All right, already. Iâ€™ll keep preparing but Iâ€™ll stop rushing toward whateverâ€™s coming.
I wonder Â if Â those Â menÂ I met Â Â in Â the ICU with Daddy felt theyâ€™d rushed through their lives. Their families had not been to see them in the ICU and they knew theyâ€™d likely never Â see their Â children again. Without Â an exception, Â they Â all said Â they Â wished Â theyâ€™d Â spent Â more time with the people they loved and with doing the things they loved.
Not a one of them wished for more time pushing paperwork at the office.