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Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Reel Life: Scenes from life's movie.

I'm sure this is a common feeling, especially among people as their years start to add up.  But, sometimes I feel like life's a movie.  Yes, I know I've heard "Life's a Dance", but with all due respect to John Michael Montgomery, I'm right, not him.  But, I digress.  Life's a movie that we are releasing scene by scene.  As we live out our life, the 'audience'--which includes us--is seeing that section of the movie for the first time.  Our memories and reflections effectively are scenes from previous parts of the movie.  We may be able to somewhat anticipate the next set of scenes in the movie just like we can plan and anticipate our future.  However, just as in a movie, life is full of unanticipated plot twists and unexpected turns.  Just like the protagonist in a movie, we are usually able to overcome or face the plot twists and turns.   However, just like sometimes protagonists in a movie don't always survive the plot twist and turns, sometimes we are not able to effectively overcome the blows life deals.

But just like a movie that is playing out at the theaters
  • We usually do not get to redo or 'correct' a scene that we don't like in the movie.
  • Rarely is the movie paused to allow us to fully digest the portions of it which have passed.
  • If we are distracted or have to take a "break", we risk missing important parts of the movie and ruining the experience.
  • If we focus too much on thinking about or discussing the scenes that have passed, we risk missing important parts of the movie and ruining the experience.
It's not that we can't consider life as it goes along or reflect upon certain points in it as we continue to move forward.  We can think about the past, we can reflect upon it and we can perhaps wish to experience certain "scenes" over again or to change certain them.  However, life doesn't usually afford us the opportunity to stay parked in the past without the risk of ruining or missing the future.  If we stay stuck and/or descend into a spiral downwards in our lives, we risk life's reel getting stuck and damaging the 'movie'.  In the worst case scenario, we risk life's reel getting completely destroyed or rendered unusable.  Sometimes if we don't like the 'scenes' that have played out so far or are not liking the direction it is taking, we may actually try to sabotage or destroy the movie, just like we try to do so in our life.

So, what do we do?

  • If we don't like the direction the movie is taking, we consider the possibility of an alternative story-line for the rest of the movie, rather than just going along a predictable story-line.
  • If we do like the story-line, we must understand that the story-line may look predictable, but be aware that it can change and not always by our choice.  In other words, we must be prepared to accept that the story-line may go in a different direction and adjust accordingly.
  • We must realize that no matter how far along we are in the movie, as long as the reel hasn't run its course, we still have time to change the remaining frames or scenes in the movie. In other words, as long as there are still frames to show, we can change the ending.
  • We must accept that the movie WILL end sometime, but be focused on making the best movie experience possible and not necessary the longest one.
  • We must be aware that our movie may spawn sequels or reboots.  i.e., progeny, proteges or followers.  Therefore, in the interest of quality sequels or reboots, we should make the best 'original' movie possible.  

A good movie like a good life, has the following elements:
- Moments of joy
- Moments of sadness
- Moments of somber reflection
- Moments of laughter
- A purpose and theme, hopefully a positive one.
- Lessons to be learned and passed on.

Though the opening scenes in life's movie may not be what we would have for, but we have some influence over the ending credits. So take the time and appreciate life's movie, but be aware that even if the movie doesn't start out well that if we put on the best movie possible, the ending credits will speak for themselves.

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