My right eye has been twitching non-stop recently. I don’t know if it’s stress or too much pizza, but I’m guessing it’s one of the two.
The other night, while eating pizza (evidence!), I coerced my husband into watching The Age of Adeline with me. He’s a man who can appreciate a good chick flick, but the premise of this film was a bit much– even for him. Still, I told him that Blake Lively would at least be good eye candy for him, if nothing else.
He assured me that I’m much more attractive than Blake Lively. Good man.
Dario from Game of Thrones is in it, too…in case you’re looking for a way to hook your significant other into watching, besides the otherworldly good looks of Blake Lively.
Anyway, this whole movie was about a woman who never ages, thus has to change her identity every 10 years to prevent becoming a public spectacle. She still remains close with her daughter, who is in her 80s at this point, but it’s confusing because she– the mom– still looks 29. Of course, she has closed herself off to the possibility of falling in love, because a lover would age while she’d remain the same, which…honestly, sounds like it’d be any man’s dream. But I guess the whole “watching everyone you love die while you remain 29” thing is probably pretty traumatic. By the end of the movie, she confronts a guy that she loved and ditched in her past, while figuring out how to move forward with a new guy. Essentially, it’s about a 108-year-old lady dating a 30-year-old. #goals
Aaron ended up loving it, by the way. So did I, duh.
The movie really made us both think hard about the concept of time. I’ve written about time HERE and HERE, so it’s not like I’ve never thought about it before watching this movie, but I needed a little recalibration.
Time is something I’ve always feared and appreciated at the same time, knowing how useful it can be in overcoming heartache, but also how fragile and limited it is in the face of mortality.
When we watched Adeline face the good and bad that came with endless time, I came to the conclusion that a finite number of years on this earth is much better than living forever. When you know that you don’t have forever to love your husband or pursue your passions, you appreciate the opportunity to do those things while you can.
If I knew I had endless time with the people I love, I’m not sure I’d cherish the moments with them as much as I do. And sure, it’d be awesome to develop my goals and talents for a longer period of time, but where would the motivation to push myself come from? It’s amazing what we can accomplish when we know we don’t have forever.
I, like everyone else, sometimes forget how precious time is– even when I think of my mom or see tragedies on the news. I’d like to think that I take the time I’m given seriously, with intention and gratitude, but it’s easy to get distracted. Distracted by petty frustrations, bogged down by fears, and even blissfully preoccupied with daily routines.
The Age of Adeline brought the value of time back into focus. Instead of fearing time coming to an end, which is a horrible mental trap that often leaves me terrified for Aaron to even leave the house, I should enjoy the feeling of finality that comes with each moment. Sure, it’s a bit scary, but the arch of life is pretty spectacular. If we’re lucky to experience the whole thing, we get to enjoy the delightful ignorance of childhood, the self-development of adolescence, the struggle for independence in our twenties, the added responsibilities of our thirties, the feeling of things finally coming together in our forties, the stability of our fifties, the adjustment to facing retirement and an “end of an era” in our sixties, the wisdom of our seventies, and the peace of our eighties and beyond.
Some of those decades…okay, fine, all of them…have scary parts, but when fully recognized and honed, each can be used as tools of development in becoming truly extraordinary beings. Even if we don’t get to experience all stages, we get to experience the beauty in whichever ones we do live through.
The hardest part isn’t the finality our own time, though (at least for most of us). Rather, the hardest part is not getting the same amount of time that starts and stops simultaneously with the timelines of our loved ones. Wouldn’t that be great? But that’s not how things work. So, like Adeline learned, we can’t close ourselves off to love just because we fear losing it. We have to open ourselves up to it, knowing that the joy it brings us for however many days, months, or years far outweighs the prospect of never experiencing that joy at all.
Thank goodness for movies and other random things in life that pull our focus back onto things that matter. When I want to give up this blog, or get worked up with the people I love, I hope I can remember that I can’t let precious time simply pass by. I should love the people I love as fiercely and forgiving-ly as I can, pursue the things I love in a way that makes the world better, and breathe in all of the beauty that comes with life– be it big moments like watching the people I love get married, or little moments, like seeing all the strangers around me drinking coffee with friends at Starbucks.
Time is valuable because it’s unique to each of us. So let’s use it well, acknowledge its magnitude, and choose to enjoy the benefits of its restrictions.