Live like you were living

stranger_than_fiction_opening_contact-0-1080-0-0I got to thinking this morning about one of my favorite movies: “Stranger Than Fiction.”  I’ve seen it too many times to count, having used it as a teaching tool in the Humanities class I used to teach, and each time I revisit the film, something new jumps out at me.

I feel like a film has a significant impact on me as a piece of art when a couple of things happen:  First, it’s got to deserve multiple views or reads.  Second, every time I go to it, something new comes to me, some realization, some point of view, some new way of seeing my life, or some confirmation of a thought.

In “Stranger Than Fiction”, Harold Crick is an IRS agent who hears a voice, a voice narrating his life.  When he discovers that he is headed toward his imminent death, he makes a choice to start living the life he truly wants to live.  It’s brilliantly written and brilliantly acted by all.  It’s a story that speaks to me on so many levels.

My favorite line is spoken by Harold’s friend, who is a fellow IRS agent.  He and Harold are having dinner, and Harold asks his friend what he would do if he discovered that he was going to die soon.  His friend thinks for a moment and answers by saying that he would go to Space Camp.  It’s something he’s wanted to do since he was nine.  When Harold asks, “Aren’t you too old for Space Camp?” his friend responds with my favorite line in the whole movie,

“You’re never too old for Space Camp.”

I mention this because I sometimes wonder if I’ve been living my life waiting for what’s going to happen tomorrow and sometimes letting today go by.  I wonder if I’ve been sacrificing what I can do today because I somehow seem to think that tomorrow is going to bring my dreams right to me.  Tomorrow will come, as far as I know, and always brings with it enough trouble of it’s own.  That just takes me to the next tomorrow, where I start thinking about the next day or, more importantly, the next weekend.

The greatest moments of my life occur when I live in the now, the now of right now.  When I’m present in whatever situation or moment I’m in, life makes sense and my world is all right.

Do you plan for the future?  Do you save and make arrangements for your family and loved ones?  Of course you do!  Do all of those things.

But don’t waste a moment.  Don’t give in to your restless anxiety for a minute.

See your family and friends.  I mean really see them.

Appreciate them.

Love them.

Hug them.

Kiss them.

Not because they may not be here tomorrow but because they are here today!

“Life is too short.” Ok, so that’s a phrase you could use.

“Live like you were dying” is another.

I personally like the saying, “Live like you were living.”  Don’t look at your life in terms of when it might come to an end, but instead, look at it for all it could be now, in the “now of now.”

“Live in the now of now! Live like you were living!”

I like that!  Who said that?

Oh yeah, I did.  Just now.

Peace to you.

Author: Scott Langdon

Scott Langdon is an actor, writer, and photographer living just outside of Philadelphia in Bristol, Pennsylvania with his wife, Sarah, and their dog, Watson. He can be seen on stages throughout the professional Philadelphia theater community or writing in one of his many favorite local shops in his beloved "Borough", where the only way they could get rid of him was to tell him there was a pandemic. He has a hard time knowing when he's not wanted.

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