I love this time of year -- the year-end montages, the Barbara Walters specials, the decorations, the top 10 lists and reflecting on the past year. But most of all, I love the memories of the experiences I shared with my family growing up and the ones that we are creating with our children. And what keeps coming back to me is how watching with movies with my dad and my children has been a constant. I grew up watching movies, especially the quotable iconic comedies, with my dad. When my children want to see a remake of a classic, the original is required viewing. Believe it or not, I have found that almost any life event, challenge or problem can be made even a little better or even resolved with just the right movie line. Now I am not talking about world hunger or global warming, but I have used movie lines to get out of many a pickle.
I know that some skeptics might be reading this and thinking this concept is ridiculous, but hear me out. I really think I might be on to something. I can honestly say that not a day goes by in the office, in my home and in my life, with family, friends, neighbors, irate drivers, government officials (and the list goes on) that I don't find myself quoting movies. Sometimes, it just lightens the mood, makes me laugh, cheers someone else up or just make the time pass.
Picture a typical day. Fill in your own situations. I will help with the movies. Here are some of my favorites (which I have done my best to quote accurately).
- You are stuck in traffic court where you are forbidden to use your phone or computer. You are sure you are about to go insane and need to find a way to avoid getting arrested in a fit of rage. You say out loud or to yourself: "I guess I picked the wrong day to give up sniffing glue." (Airplane)
- You are overwhelmed with the demands of your schedule and can't see daylight. You think: "I can't do next weekend. Justin Bieber is in town. But any other weekend I'm free." (The Hangover)
- You are quite sure that the person with whom you are having a conversation is not understanding a single thing you are saying: You say: "It's a big building with patients, but that's not important right now." (Airplane)
- Your boss gives you a covered assignment and you quite frankly, blow it. You feel crushed and defeated and need to recover. You think to yourself: "You f**ked up. You trusted us." (Animal House)
- You are feeling emotional and have a moment of panic that you might cry or start sweating profusely in an inappropriate setting. Note: You don't have a tissue or change of clothes with you. You think to yourself: "There is NO crying in baseball!" (A League of Their Own)
- You need a "fire in the belly" speech and you don't want to use a sports analogy. Consider: "I want you to eat lightning and cr*p thunder." (Rocky)
- You feel like an outsider or an outcast in a work or social setting and you need to lessen your own discomfort. Think to yourself: "Oh, like you blend." (My Cousin Vinny)
- A friend has been untruthful and you want a gentle way to let him/her know that you know. Think to yourself or say to them: "Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life, Blutarsky." (Animal House)
- Someone asks for your honest opinion about a decision he/she has made that has been met with blistering criticism. Always works: "The truth... you can't handle the truth." (A Few Good Men)
- You are done, totally, completely done with any number of situations Try this one: Go to your windows, lift them up, stick your head and out and shout, "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore." (Network)
I think this life approach has real potential. And if none of these work for you, I have yet to find better life guidance than a quote my father always used to share with us from the original Rollerball movie from 1975, starring James Caan -- a classic, if you haven't seen it. In the movie, the brutal sport of rollerball -- grown men on skates, with sharp gloves and weapons -- is played until the death of the other team. The coach gives a motivational speech before each match, he simply says to his players, "No time outs, no substitution." Loosely translated, there is no quitting. The success of your life and your happiness depends on your tireless efforts. And with that in mind, I wish you all success, the passion to keep going, the endurance to make your life happen and plenty of time to catch up on your movies in 2013.