I watched the Golden Globe Awards last night. I watch them almost every year. I’m not a big Hollywood junkie or anything. I don’t have an investment in who wins the awards. I just watch to find out what shows or movies I might not want to miss. The Golden Globes are how I discovered Breaking Bad, and I have no regrets about the hours I logged watching Walter White. The Golden Globes are research. That is all.
Last night’s big winner was Boyhood, which won in the motion picture category for Best Director, Best Supporting Actress, and Best Drama. I was curious, so today I rented it on iTunes. The director tells the story of a boy growing up, from age 6 to age 18. He did this by filming the actors once a year for 12 years. It’s brilliant, really. As you’re watching the film, you are literally watching the main character grow up before your eyes. I suppose that’s what makes the movie so poignant. As a parent watching my own kids blossom, it was damn near heartbreaking to watch. It’s a beautiful film and an appropriate reminder that time with our kids, no matter how exhausting, frustrating, and downright unpleasant it can be at times, is ephemeral. Damn all the people who have made a point of telling me that life is short. Damn them for being right.
Toward the end of the film, the mom is realizing that her nest is about to be emptied. She has a small meltdown and says, “I just thought there would be more.” More. She recognizes that she’s reached the milestones of her adult life. Getting married. Having kids. Getting divorced. Finally getting her degree and her dream job. Watching her kids go off to college. The big stuff is over, and now all she can think is that the next phase of her life ends in her own funeral. We’re raised to focus on milestones. It’s all about reaching the next phase. We’re forever rushing forward until we reach the time when we feel we’ve gone too far too quickly. We just want to go back, but by then it’s too late.
I’ve been working to appreciate each moment as its own, knowing that this is all there is. I’m getting better at being present in my life. I know I must be because sometimes now I look at my boys and get weepy. In a good way. They’re so handsome and precious with their unique personalities and their whole lives ahead of them. The emotions I used to run from bubble over these days, spilling into everything I do. There are more hugs in my life now. More deep breaths. More moments of gratitude. When I hear that clock ticking, I make a conscious effort to slow it down by focusing on now. I know we’re all screwed up. I’m not alone in my insanity. It’s only recently that I’ve acknowledged that I’m one of the lucky ones. I get it.