They say that when it comes to time, we are losers, unless those who do good, and spread goodness to others. In other words, make your life awesome. One of the best movies I’ve seen, when it comes to learning to appreciate our short time, on this earth, is About Time.
When I first went to watch About Time, I thought it was going to be a typical Mcadams chick flick, where the whole movie is about how to make a relationship work, and it turned out to be so much more than that.
About time is one of those movies that made me laugh and cry so hard by the end of the movie, for it has all the qualities of a good story. What’s more important is that it’s one of those movies, that leaves you thinking a lot about what it’s trying to say as a story. If you haven’t seen About Time, then please do so, there will be spoilers in this post, so for those of you who are not too keen on spoilers, come back here after you’ve seen the movie!
Here are 6 lessons, I’m learning to absorb from the movie:
1) We all time travel
The main character, Tim, finds out early in the movie from his dad, that the men in their family can time travel. He can only travel within his own life time. They can’t go back to pay Helen of Troy a visit for example. What they have to do, is to find a dark room somewhere, where they’re alone and they just think back of a time they wish to find themselves in and they’re there. The dad wastes no time in explaining how they’ve obtained this power, for it’s just a tool for them to tell the story.
This is something that we all tend do quite a number of time, in one life time. We all find ourselves alone at a corner, a bedroom, a closet, or even a storeroom at times, and we think of that place we like to revisit, and we will find ourselves there. And it’s real as we want this to be. How many times have we found ourselves in a similar situation, meeting the same faces, after many years? The movie takes a literal sense for this approach but we do it all the time. As Tim says at the end of the movie
“We’re all traveling through time together, every day of our lives. All we can do is do our best to relish this remarkable ride.”
2) Love is out of our hands
“All the time traveling in the world can’t make someone love you.”
You can’t make someone fall for you. You can bend over backwards, and you may adore that person with all your heart but by the end of the day, they will only love you at their own will.
In the movie, you see Tim at the beginning doing his best to make Charlotte fall for him, fixing every mistake he did, and yet to no avail.
With Mary on the other hand, even with all the mistakes he made, she somehow finds herself drawn towards him no matter what the situation was. Not to say, he didn’t travel back in time, on Mary’s situation, because he did. The only difference is that he keeps going back in time for Mary, to make things better than the first time. Nobody ever get things right the first time. Anything worth doing always needs a second try.
As Ben Folds starts his song “The Luckiest” with the line ‘ I don’t get many things right the first time, in fact I am told that a lot. Now I know all the wrong turns, the stumbles, and falls brought me here.” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VTfQ7licgJ
3) There’s always a way
No matter how bad we think we’ve messed up in life, there’s always a way to find our way around things to make it better.
Whether it’s in love, family, career, faith, we should never give up. Tim tried to change so many things with his sister Kit Kat, to fix her life, after she got into a car accident due to an argument she had with her long-time boyfriend. Tim even went as far as stopping Kit Kat from even meeting her boyfriend who proves to be toxic for her, by using his time traveling abilities. And although her life got better at the time, Tim finds out soon how it changed the child he originally had, and decided to help his sister the traditional way.
Tim and Mary had an intervention with Kit Kat and spent several nights at the hospital with Kit Kat, to make a point that she needs to get her life together and that they genuinely cared.
She eventually caved in and admitted to the flaws of her ways. And this part of the movie just proves that you don’t need superpowers to help those you love. You just need to be sincere about giving a hand, and pray that they’ll be sincere in helping themselves eventually.
4) Family is key
You must always keep family together. The whole movie is about building a family, and that’s what I think lacks in a lot of romance movies these days. That they focus so much on this idea of the ideal romance between couples, as if love is all about not being able to control yourself, when you’re in love. About time, tells us that love is about two people coming together, to build a better community, with their own family institution
The movie is about a father who sees before his own eyes how his son unfolds to become a man. This is credited to his father’s guidance. The dad spent a lot of time with his son and that’s why the son returns the same enthusiasm as an adult.
Because the dad is so adamant in becoming a better dad, you can see Tim responding by wanting to be a better son, and when it was his turn to become a Dad, he knew he had to do his best to surpass what his dad taught him. And this is seen when he said at the end;
“I’ve even gone one step further than my father did: The truth is I now don’t travel back at all, not even for the day, I just try to live every day as if I’ve deliberately come back to this one day, to enjoy it, as if it was the full final day of my extraordinary, ordinary life.”
5) Destiny is real
I remember hearing a line that goes something like “Destiny is like the earth and the heavens, you can’t do anything beyond these two points but anything in between is all us”
Tim wanted to change his father’s fate at one point, and even expressed that he finds it very frustrating that there’s nothing he can do about it.
The line goes:
“No, I never said we could fix things. I specifically never said that. Life’s a mixed bag, no matter who you are. Look at Jesus: he was the son of a God, for God’s sake and look how that turned out.
Tim: I know… You must see I feel a bit cheated.”
There are things in life that are just not meant for us, recently in my own personal experience, I must say that 2014 has been a year where I’ve learned that nothing ever really belongs to us. I’ve had the most extreme ups and downs in all aspects of my life, this year. In love, family, faith, career and everything in between. Things that I never thought that could come my way, just managed to show up and things I never thought I could lose, just flutters away.
It’s one of those times you realize that God really ends up making the call by end of the day. Tim’s dad, replies his statement of feeling cheated by just saying
“Don’t. In fact, feel the opposite. The only people who give up work at 50 are the time travelers with cancer who want to play more table tennis with their sons.”
6) Ordinary can be great
I’m just going to end this post to acknowledge that Tim described his life being an ‘ordinary extraordinary life’. Something I believe, we all are striving for. Most of us are not going to be movie gods, rockstars, and the likes. So, I think we should all start looking at our own lives as extraordinary. This shift of paradigm, will definitely give us a better insight, as to how lucky we really are in life.
Start noticing your day the way Tim does towards the end as he said “to live every day again almost exactly the same. The first time with all the tensions and worries that stop us noticing how sweet the world can be, but the second time noticing.”
What do you guys think? Were there other lessons from the movie you would like to highlight? 🙂
Originally published at: https://tatooineboy.wordpress.com/2014/09/04/about-time-6-lessons-from-time-travelling/