Wednesday, April 04, 2007


I spent the past few hours with my firstborn watching an old movie on HBO: Heart and Souls. I remember laughing and crying when I first saw this film almost 15 years ago, and I wanted to see if I'd still enjoy it.

You probably know how the movie went, I won't rehash it here. (If you haven't seen it, you can get the synopsis over at IMDB.) So it got me thinking, if I died suddenly but was given the chance to finish one last thing before I had to ride the spiritual bus that would take me to my final destination up there or down there, what would that thing be? What particular thing would make my life complete, as it were, at this point in the journey?

For the life of me, I can't name just one. There are so many things that I still want to do. The thing is, I know that doing these things will take time...and how many of us are sure about how much time we have left? The logical thing to do, then, would be to bust our asses in order to get things done, to achieve our goals. But doing so would mean an increased risk of missing out on the small but meaningful things in life, things that we're already wont to take for granted sometimes.

Achieving that balance between being driven to achieve one's dreams and yet being laid back enough to enjoy life's sweet moments takes patience, concentration, and determination -- virtues that I sorely lack. I am so screwed.

Oh, I did laugh and cry again watching that movie tonight. I knew my man-boy was probably rolling his eyes at me, but that's okay. I have the satisfaction of knowing that he's a lot more like me than he will ever care to admit.


Natalie said...

I watched "Click" with Adam Sandler last night (not as good as I wanted it to be) but it had many similar themes to this movie. I don't know what i would do if given that chance either. Probably something stupid. I hope you would choose more wisely.

Bond said...

Are any of us prepared to make a decision like that Lizza?

I know I am not...

houseband00 said...

I love that film! Walk like a man, talk like a man... =)

I think we sometimes overlook the fact that our lives are complete and that we should be content with the fact that these are the cards dealt to us. I have my son (or whatever semblance to a family left with me) and whatever I feel I have to achieve is all for his welfare; and you do know it's definitely not only the financial aspect.

When my wife knew that she was dying, she didn't focus her attention in trying to live longer. She realized the futility in it. She just selfelessly devoted herself in teaching D whatever values she could.

And those small but meaningful things in life you mentioned? They're not small at all.

Take a step back, Liz, and see the big picture.


thethinker said...

Wow, there would be way too much to do. I'd probably miss the bus.

Kyels said...

I guess there are films that will touch us and make us think for a moment even though we did not expect for that to happen in the first place.

Just like how inspirational books can do to us.


Kiyotoe said...

i wonder if i could handle the pressure. What to do first, what to do next?

I'd probably mess around and take a nap and wake up while the bus driver honked his horn outside the house impatiently.

Travis said...

Such a paradox. We may not have enough time to get things done, but if we spend our lives trying to get things done, then we're sure to miss something small and special.

Scott from Oregon said...

houseband00 has it exactly right.

It is irrelevant if you do or don't do anything special.

If you are sentient, you are already a miracle, far beyond your own ability to understand what a miracle you are.

You are already so much greater than your ability to think about you, nothing can top that.

lizza said...

Natalie: I hope so too. :-)

Bond: Neither am I.

HB: And D is lucky to have such a dad.

Travis: I agree. And the things we feel are special can seem trivial to everybody else.

Scott: That sounds so reassuring, that we're already so much greater than our ability to think about ourselves--and that we're miracles in ourselves.

lizza said...

Thinker: If only we're allowed to miss the bus. :-)

Kyels: I think every film has a lesson that we can pick up. Maybe even the really, really bad ones.

Kiyotoe: He'd carry you to the bus himself. :-)

Odat said...

Lizza, After 9/11 happened, I think there were many, espeically here who reevaluated their lives and came to the conclusion to live it one day at a time...realizing that life is so precious...and in an instant it can be taken from us.
Your post stirred up lots of feelings for me me thinking.........

H said...

ooooohhhhh yesssssss


I was dancing in the rain when God handed these out. Haven't a clue of what it means to have any of these. Damn. does that mean I'm screwed too?

Lizza said...

Odat: Apologies for stirring up painful memories. I recall you stating that you lost many co-workers that day, and that we almost lost you too.

H: Look at it this way: we're screwed together. So let's just go dance in the rain and have fun. :-)

SGT DUB said...

I would have to decide to live to be older, that way I could finish those projects. There just isn't any other way around it.

Prometheus said...

Finish things? Prometheus would rush over to that bus and try and get the best seat. A window seat up front. Mebbe even an upgrade to the first class. Hope they serve free booze.

Matt-Man said...

I know this may sound a little heavy and philosophical, but my last wish would be to spend 24 hours in a Bangkok brothel armed with unlimited cash..Cheers!!

CSL said...

Is getting to finish raising your children too big a request? Because that is the only regret I'd have if I had to die now. NOt that I don't want to live - I d, I love life! - but I don't feel anything else is "unfinished." By the way, Lizza, I finally tracked down some San Miguel! Good stuff.

Lizza said...

Sgt Dub: That sounds good, but we'll never know when that darn bus will come honking.

Prometheus: Hahaha! Great attitude, mon ami. I hope they serve free booze too.

Matt-man: Don't forget to wish for the needed stamina! ;-)

CSL: Those of with kids probably feel that way, I think.

Ooohh, you tasted San Miguel! Glad you liked it. Now trash your receipt! ;-)

Natalia said...

I don't think I have seen this. Must watch.


Sony said...

First off, great movie. I had such a crush on Kira Sedgwick when that film came out (hey, she looked good).

But it never really got me thinking about my own life and unfinished business. Don't think there's any one thing---how do you choose between finishing the great american novel or spending one last night with the people you love?

Can't, can you? I just try to live everyday for the best---working on my dreams, enjoying the day and the company, and making sure I fall asleep happy each night knowing that I'm heading in the right direction.

Thoreau said it best: "Go confindently in the direction of your dreams; live the life you have imagined." If I can do that everyday, then I'm set.

Great post!

Lizza said...

Natalia: I hope you do! It's a fun movie. Don't expect anything deep, though. :-)

Sony: It's so hard to choose. Choices are that way sometimes. :-) Great quote by Thoreau, thanks!

Chimera said...

haven't watched this movie, but i know what u mean when u say that we need to make time to smell the roses while travelling towards our goals.

Lizza said...

Exactly, Chimera. Thanks for dropping by.